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Instant Islanders: Takeaways From Shutout Win Over Blue Jackets



AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

The New York Islanders defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0 at Nationwide Arena on Saturday night, improving their record to 4-2-1.

Semyon Varlamov made 33 saves against Columbus, picking up his first win and first shutout of the season.

Kyle Palmieri scored the game’s opening goal in the first period. Blue Jackets goalie Spencer Martin coughed up a rebound with a pad save, leaving a wide-open net for Palmieri to shoot at for his second goal of the season.

Pierre Engvall and Sebastian Aho each assisted on Palmieri’s score.

Matt Martin extended the Islanders by scoring his first goal of the season at 16:39 of the third period, with Casey Cizikas getting credit for the assist.

But that’s just the box score. There’s much more to take away from this game.

Palmieri Helping Pace Islanders In Points:

With his goal, Kyle Palmieri now has seven points in seven games.

That stat is impressive enough but is made even more so considering the 32-year-old missed nearly half of training camp and played in just one exhibition game before the start of the regular season.

Palmieri now shares the team lead in points with Noah Dobson, who had his recent five-game streak come to an end against Columbus.

Defense Resets:

Over their last handful of games, the Islanders had allowed an enormous amount of shots, so much in fact that head coach Lane Lambert voiced his concern about it the other night.

Although they allowed 30-plus shots once again, the Islanders never felt in danger against Columbus, with Varlamov standing strong in goal.

Wahlstrom Still Searching For Role:

Oliver Wahlstrom has worked to settle back into the lineup since making his season debut a week ago.

Wahlstrom began the night against Columbus skating on the Islanders’ third line but was eventually moved up to the first line, switching with Mathew Barzal.

The move seems to be a way of giving Wahlstrom more of an opportunity in a scoring role.

In his first three games of the season, Wahlstrom has averaged just 9:08 of time on ice but logged 13:08 on Saturday.

We’ll see if having Wahlstrom on the top line is an alignment  Lambert chooses to stick with moving forward.

Holmstrom Settling In On Third Line:

The Islanders have shuffled their lineup through much of the early part of the season, especially on the third line.

Recently, Lambert placed Simon Holmstrom on that line. Although he didn’t write his name on the scoresheet, Holmstrom had his best performance so far this season on Saturday.

Holmstrom displayed the two-way traits necessary for any quality NHL third liner. He logged 2:29 of shorthanded time, helping the Islanders go three-for-three on the penalty kill.

And although he didn’t write his name on the stat sheet, twice in the first period did Holmstrom challenge Columbus’s Martin with quality scoring chances.




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