Yesterday, the only thing better to me than Josh Bailey, Matt Martin & John Tavares having their own Knight of Cups T-Shirt, was seeing our New York Islanders beating the Calgary Flames 4-0 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in front of 11,582 fans. With the win, the Isles improve to a 6-2-1 record and a second place Metro position, just one point behind the Rangers with a game at hand. It is the Isles 2nd best start in their post cup era since going 7-0-1-1 in 01-02.
After a closely played 1st period, the Islanders wore down the visiting Flames and simply outworked them in the game. At the 14:01 mark of the 2nd, Mikhail Grabovski PPG (Bailey & Boychuk) scored his second goal in two games with a shot from the top of the crease. But it wasn’t until the 3rd period that the Islanders took control and never looked back.
Frans Nielsen’s (Kulemin & Okposo) goal early in the period was the one that got the Isles push going after he broke in and ripped it over Ortio for a 2-0 Isles lead. Cal Clutterbuck deposited a pass in the net from Casey Cizikas who relentlessly outworked the Flames' Russel along the boards to the side of the net and delivered it to his line mate for a 3-0 lead for New York. Frans Nielsen (Okposo & Kulemin) would add his 2nd of the game after a Kyle Okposo shot deflected off him for the final goal in an impressive 4-0 Isles win.
On the defensive side of things, Jaro Halak is now 3-1-0 (28 saves) and was in great position all night long and completely controlled the crease the entire game. He made several saves in the first two periods that set the pace for the methodical Isles win. It was his 2nd shutout of the season and the 38th of his career.
Special teams was big for the home team. The Isles were 1/3 on the PP (4th in NHL at 25%) and 3/3 on the PK (2nd in NHL at 91.18%) which has gone 21 of 21 in their last 6 games. They outshot their opponent 35-29 in the contest.
Although Tavares’ point streak ended at 6 games, Josh Bailey has points in 5 straight, Nikolay Kulemin with 6 in his last 6 and Kyle Okposo has 9 points in his last 7. New York is 6-1-0 when scoring at least 3 goals so far this season. (Hornick)
Jaroslav Halak, Frans Nielsen & Kyle Okposo were named the 3 stars of the game.
Isles D, Thomas Hickey has been put on the IR with a lower body injury and is expected to miss 4 weeks.
Former Isles G, Kevin Poulin cleared waivers for the TBL, assigned to Syracuse in AHL.