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Rapid Reaction: Islanders Come Out Strong, Beat Kraken 5-2

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New York Islanders

The New York Islanders, after losing 3-2 to the Montreal Canadiens in a shootout this past Sunday, flipped a switch as they beat the Seattle Kraken 5-2 on Tuesday night.  The Islanders move to 19-20-7 on the season, 9-10-3 on the road.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Brock Nelson gave the New York Islanders a 1-0 lead just over 11 minutes to play in the first period as he beat Seattle Kraken netminder Philipp Grubauer over the glove for his 18th of the season. Anthony Beauvillier and Ryan Pulock were credited with the assists.

Zach Parise gave the Islanders a 2-0 lead with under three minutes to play in the first period as he deflected a Noah Dobson point shot for his fifth of the season. Dobson and Mathew Barzal were credited with the assists.

Kyle Palmieri made it 3-0 as Zach Parise found him in the low slot for his fifth goal of the season under six minutes into the middle frame. Parise and Mathew Barzal were credited with the assist.

Casey Cizikas increased the Islanders lead to 4-0 as he finished off an end-wall pass by Scott Mayfield at 10:33 of the second period. His fifth of the season was assisted by Mayfield.

Yanni Gourde got the Seattle Kraken on the board to make it 4-1 as he beat New York Islanders netminder Ilya Sorokin off the glove and in from the slot for his 11th of the season at 11:18 of the second period.

Riley Sheahan made it a 4-2 game as he caught all the Islanders, including Sorokin looking the wrong way after an odd bounce off the boards. His second of the season was unassisted at 1:35 of the third period.

Zach Parise scored his second of the contest as his empty-net goal gave the Islanders a 5-2 lead with just under two minutes to play in the third. Zdeno Chara was credited with the assist on Parise’s sixth of the season.

Islanders Get On the Board First, Game Changer

Over the last 12 games the New York Islanders have allowed the first goal 11 times. Their offensive struggles this season has not allowed for much room for error and head coach Barry Trotz stated following the loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday that that trend is rather concerning.

Against the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday, the Islanders found the scoreboard first and when you are not chasing the game early, things change.

The Islanders scored two goals in the first period, first Brock Nelson and then Zach Parise.

After one period of play, the Islanders had 13 shots on goal, and after two periods had 27 shots and a 4-1 lead.

The Islanders finished the contest with 36 shots on goal and improve to 15-0-0 when leading by two goals this season.

Nelson Makes History, Ties 2020-21 Goal Total

New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson has a knack for historic moments. Back on November 20th against the Calgary Flames, the first-ever game at UBS Arena, Nelson scored the Islanders first goal in their new home.

On Tuesday night, Nelson became the first goal scorer against the Seattle Kraken in New York Islanders history.

With his 18th goal of the season, Nelson ties his goal total from 2020-21 in 19 fewer games. He had 18 goals in 56 games a season ago and has hit that mark in just 37 games.

New Top Line Came To Play

New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz moved Zach Parise and Kyle Palmieri to the top line alongside Mathew Barzal for the contest against the Seattle Kraken. And as soon as the puck dropped, the threesome hit the ice running…I mean skating.

Zach Parise gave the Islanders a 2-goal cushion in the second period and Kyle Palmieri made it a 3-0 contest early in the second period. Parise added an empty-net goal.

Mathew Barzal, who was playing hockey in Seattle for the first time since he won a WHL Championship with the Seattle Thunderbirds in 2017 had two assists on the night and was everywhere.

Chara Ties Chelios

New York Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara has been in the NHL for 24 seasons. At the age of 44, his NHL career will not last much longer but he is on the verge of setting a record that may never be passed.

On Tuesday, Chara played in his 1,651st career NHL game, which tied Hall of Famer Chris Chelios for the most games played amongst defensemen in NHL history.

When the puck drops on Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings, Chara will become the all-time leader in games played amongst defensemen.

GAME NOTES:

New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz switched up his lines as he put Zach Parise and Kyle Palmieri on Mathew Barzal’s wings. Anders Lee and Josh Bailey flanked Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

Oliver Wahlstrom (day to day, upper body) missed his second-straight contest as Trotz said he wants him to be 100-percent healthy before he gets back in the lineup.

Semyon Varlamov backed up Ilya Sorokin after returning to the ice Monday after a stint in COVID-19 protocol.

Zdeno Chara played in his 1,651st NHL game, tying Chris Chelios for most games played by a defenseman in NHL history.

WHAT’S NEXT: The New York Islanders will face the San Jose Sharks at 10:30 PM ET.

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