Islanders Right the Ship in New Jersey, Dispatch the Devils
A trip into Newark, NJ was exactly what the doctor ordered for the Islanders.
The New York Islanders were free-falling. They had dropped four straight and are now closer to 3rd place in the Metropolitan division than they are to first.
A trip into Newark, NJ was exactly what the doctor ordered.
The Isles got a big boost with the return of Jaroslav Halak to the lineup who looked sharp stopping all 26 shots he faced en route to his fifth shutout this season. Halak had been out since the loss to the Ottawa Senators on March 13th.
The Islanders got another boost from Nick Leddy who returned to the lineup for the first time since the Islanders last won a game on March 9th. There is no question Leddy was a calming influence to the backline, and allowed the right defensive pairings.
The Islanders were much stronger in their own zone enabling Halak to see the puck well all night.
Another big factor was getting off to a faster start.
Just under 12 minutes into the game, Ryan Strome struck from just outside the left circle to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead which the Islanders made stand through the contest.
Although the Islanders O for 1 with the man advantage, the second goal was a direct result of the power play.
As the last second ticked off the penalty to Steven Gionta, he was unable to get back into the play as Travis Hamonic found himself free just above the left circle. He stepped up and put the puck into the top of Corey Schneider’s net to all but put the game away for the visitors.
Kyle Okposo added an empty net tally to get us to our 3-0 score-line.
The goal had to feel good for Okposo who had been criticized since his return from injury for “upsetting the chemistry” and for lackluster play; he had been a minus-7 and hadn’t found the net since his return from injury earlier this month.