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Barzal OT Snipe Gives Islanders 2-1 Win Over Vegas, 2 Points Out

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New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal (Photo courtesy of New York Islanders Twitter)

ELMONT, NY — The New York Islanders swept their back-to-back as they defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 on Saturday night courtesy of a Mathew Barzal overtime snipe.

The Islanders are now 25-22-5 and enter the All-Star break on a two-game winning streak, trailing the Pittsburgh Penguins (three games in hand) by two points for the final wild-card spot.

SCORING

Anders Lee gave the New York Islanders a 1-0 lead at 3:52 of the second period as Anders Lee hopped on a loose puck for his 19th of the season. Kyle Palmieri and Brock Nelson were credited with the assists.

William Carrier tied the contest at one as he was left all alone in front for his 12th of the season at 16:08 of the second. Chandler Stephenson and Phil Kessel were credited with the assists.

Mathew Barzal snipe at 4:28 of the overtime frame gave the Islanders the 2-1 win. Anthony Beauvillier and Adam Pelech were credited with the assists.

Barzal Snaps Skid

New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal entered Saturday night’s contest with no goals in 10 straight games and just one assist as he had struggled. And after a three-period performance where his line generated chances, but no one finished, he took it upon himself.

With under a minute to play in the overtime period, Barzal waited and waited in the high slot for teammates to get open but then realized he had a prime shooting lane.

And just like that, he sent UBS into a frenzy, with a snipe on Vegas Golden Knights netminder Logan Thompson, snapping his goal drought for his 12th of the season.

“It was great to see him score,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. “He’s had some opportunities over this stretch here. He’s missed a couple of empty nets […] he put himself in a position tonight, and he shot the puck, and he got rewarded for it.”

Second Line Continues to Collect Points

New York Islanders captain Anders Lee had no goals in six games heading into the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs back on Monday. However, since then, the goals have come, and he continued his scoring ways against the Vegas Golden Knights.

After Kyle Palmieri was taken down on a rush toward the Vegas goal, Lee got his stick on the loose puck and scored his 19th goal of the season.

With that goal, Lee now has scored in back-to-back games, with four over his last four games.

As you just read, Lee has been on fire, but so has his entire line.

Palmieri’s primary assist on Lee’s tally was his fifth in four games since returning from a 17-game absence.

Nelson, who notched the secondary assist on Lee’s tally, has points in six straight games, with three goals and three assists.

Since Palmieri has returned from injury, the Islanders have scored six goals. All six have come from this line, with Lee potting four and Nelson potting two.

“Well, I think it just bleeds into everyone,” Lambert said. “When you’re watching a line out there, and they’re playing the way they’re playing, you want to follow that up. And that’s what’s happening right now.”

Varlamov Makes Highlight-Reel Save in Second

It seemed like Reilly Smith was going to be the benefactor of a sneaky backdoor pass from teammate William Carrier in the second, but Islanders netminder Semyon Varlamov elected not to slide all the way as there was no chance he was getting to the back post in time.

Instead, he just stared down Smith and stuck out his stick.

You could call it skill, strong hand-eye coordination, or just sheer luck, but the paddle got in the way for one of Varlamov’s best saves of the season:

WATCH: Islanders Varlamov Robs Golden Knights Smith With Paddle

“I got lucky. The whole net was open. And it happens like once a year. Shoot there 100 times, you probably score 99 of the 100,” Varlamov said. “I’m glad I made that save. I mean it was unbelievable, you know.”

Varlamov finished the night with 44 saves on 45 shots, including a penalty shot save on William Carrier in overtime.

Next Up: The Islanders enter the All-Star break and will return to action on Feb. 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers on the road with puck drop set for 7 PM ET.