ELMONT, N.Y. —The New York Islanders defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-2 on Thursday at UBS Arena. They are 2-0-0 in 2022 and the win improved the Islanders to 11-12-6, and 5-5-3 at home. The Islanders extended their point streak to five games (4-0-1) and their home point streak to six games (5-0-1).
How it Happened:
Mat Barzal scored the game-winner at 15:07 of the third period to give the New York Islanders a 3-2 lead. After he broke into the Devils zone, Barzal left the puck for Josh Bailey and then found his way to the slot. A perfect feed allowed Barzal to beat New Jersey Devils goaltender Jon Gillies high for the go-ahead marker via the one-timer. Bailey picked up the primary assists, his second point of the game while Scott Mayfield recorded the secondary assist.
New Jersey Devils forward Yegor Sharangovich got his team on the board first in this one, as a harmless wrist shot beat New York Islanders netminder Ilya Sorokin short-side at 9:43 of the first period. P.K. Subban and Colin White got the assists on Sharangovich’s eighth of the season.
With just over a minute to go in the first period, Josh Bailey notched his second of the season to tie the contest. While on the power play, Anthony Beauvillier faked a one-timer at the top of the right circle before a shot on goal. The puck hit Zach Parise who had screened Jon Gillies. With traffic in front, the puck came out to Bailey, who scored his sixth goal of the season. Beauvillier and Parise credited with the assists at 18:59 of the first period.
Defenseman Adam Pelech gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead at 9:22 of the second period. Forward Kieffer Bellows’s shot stunned Gillies. The rebound was touched by Austin Czarnik before Parise found Bellows along the end wall. Bellows then fed Pelech at the point whose shot deflected off of Devils defenseman Ryan Graves and past Gillies. Bellows and Parise credited with the assists at 9:22 of the second period.
The New Jersey Devils tied the score at two apiece at 10:25 of the third period. While on the power play, Nathan Bastian tipped a Ty Smith one-timer from the point just past Islanders netminder Ilya Sorokin. Bastian’s sixth of the season was assisted by Smith and Nico Hischier.
Barzal Stays Hot
New York Islanders forward Mat Barzal entered Thursday’s contest with points in eight straight. Barzal struggled mightily through the majority of the game, but in a big moment came through to give the Islanders the lead and the eventual two points.
With his third period tally, Barzal pushed his point streak to nine games with three goals and 11 assists.
13 in the slot.
3-2 good guys. pic.twitter.com/7G4DRWNaFo
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 14, 2022
Islanders Undisciplined After 12-Day Break
The New York Islanders found themselves in the box often Thursday. They took five penalties, and although they killed off four of them, the fifth saw the New Jersey Devils take the lead.
Adam Pelech doubled his penalty minutes total for the season as he picked up four on the night. Brock Nelson and Ross Johnston also picked up four minutes. Nelson’s first of the game canceled out an Islanders power play as it was a trip in the offensive zone. Johnston’s second of the contest resulted in four-on-four action as New Jersey’s Bastian went to the box with him.
Although a few of the penalty calls were a bit questionable, the Islanders made questionable decisions of their own.
Against a stronger opposition, this game may have gone another way.
All-Star Suits Adam Pelech
Prior to the start of the game, the New York Islanders announced that Adam Pelech was heading to the All-Star Game. That announcement may have given Pelech a boost as his goal was his first of the 2021-22 campaign. Not only did he score his first, but played the defensive game that rewarded him the opportunity to represent the Islanders in Vegas.
Grip it and rip it.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 14, 2022
He also recorded two penalties in the contest, doubling his total on the season to four. He cross-checked New Jersey Devils forward A.J. Greer following a wack at Ilya Sorokin’s glove in the second and the other a questionable tripping call.
Pelech ended the night with one hit, two blocks in 22:07 TOI. He was the Islanders’ first star of the contest.
Demolishing the Devils
The New York Islanders were rather physical from the start of the contest. The Islanders ended the night with 27 hits.
When an Islander had a chance to line a Devils up, there was zero hesitation. Cal Clutterbuck led the way with four hits, but the biggest hit of the contest came from Oliver Wahlstrom.
After Wahlstrom’s shot went wide, he came around the get the puck and lined up New Jersey Devils forward Jimmy Vesey, knocking off Vesey’s helmet in the process.
OH MY BUCKEY POP pic.twitter.com/MueUP1NFeY
— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) January 14, 2022
Wahlstrom had three hits on the night.
Only two Islanders failed to record a hit in the contest.
Parise Performs Against Former Team
New York Islanders forward Zach Parise earlier this week was praised by head coach Barry Trotz for what he does on a game-to-game basis. The only thing missing from his game was the offense.
Against his former team in the New Jersey Devils, Parise picked up two assists.
Even with the uptick in offense, his defensive play never wavered.
He had one hit, one block, and played a pivotal role in the Islanders killing off all four of five power plays.
Game Notes: New York Islanders forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau and defenseman Sebastian Aho missed Thursday’s contest due to both their wives giving birth earlier in the day.
Associate coach Lane Lambert filled in for head coach Barry Trotz who is in COVID-19 protocol (Jan. 11). Forward Kyle Palmieri, who returned to practice on Jan. 3 remained on IR and did not participate in warmups before the game against New Jersey Devils.
Forward Matt Martin did not skate during warmups. Oliver Wahlstrom and Brock Nelson returned to the lineup after missing the last three contests due to COVID-19. Prior to the game, Adam Pelech was selected to represent the Islanders at the NHL All-Star Game in Vegas.
Up Next: The New York Islanders will host the Washington Capitals on Saturday, Jan. 15 at UBS Arena.
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