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Scott Mayfield gets redemption for Islanders with Game 7 goal

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Scott Mayfield

Scott Mayfield was feeling down after how Game 6 ended, but he more than turned things around with an impressive final game of the New York Islanders series with the Philadelphia Flyers.

The defenseman, whose broken stick led to Ivan Provorov’s game-winning tally Thursday night, got the Islanders on the board 9:27 into Game 7. His early strike helped the Islanders to a 4-0 series-clinching win over the Flyers.

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With tired bodies on the ice in double overtime of Game 6, Devon Toews fed Mayfield at the right point. And as Mayfield attempted to pass the puck down to Mathew Barzal, his stick snapped and led directly to the rush and goal that ended the game.

But in Game 7, as the Islanders cycled the puck low to high to the point, Toews again made a pass to Mayfield on the right side.

This time, though, the right-handed Mayfield waited patiently for Anders Lee and Barzal to crash the net before rifling a shot from the faceoff dot. He picked the top left corner and Flyers goalie Carter Hart had no chance. Mayfield came into the night with four points in the playoffs but his biggest yet came via his first-ever playoff goal to help set the tone in a dominating shutout victory.

With a couple of laughs after the game, Mayfield said it would’ve been hard to predict him scoring the decisive goal in the clincher, but he was happy it happened.

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“I was kind of down the last couple of days after breaking my stick there in overtime, so it’s a confidence boost,” Mayfield told reporters after the game. “Game-winner, Game 7 to go into the Eastern Conference Final, I don’t think anyone would think I’d be scoring it. But, I had a lane and I was happy I could put it away.”

Andy Greene added the team’s second goal of the first period, as the Islanders not only held the lead but kept the edge in shots 10-6 after one period. In his 26th playoff game, Mayfield aided the Islanders with his goal and his veteran presence on defense.

“I think it’s all learning, I think we’ve got some young guys on the team that haven’t been in certain situations,” Mayfield said. “I don’t think there’s too many guys (here) that have played a ton of Game 7s. It’s a special opportunity and we learn from it. The overtime losses I think hurt a little bit. It’s nice we came out flying and got the win today.”

Scott Mayfield played a complete game, registering two blocks and three hits. Yes there were two giveaways, but the defenseman more than made up for it. The 27-year-old and the rest of the defense clamped down to help the Islanders hold the Flyers to just 16 shots on goal for the entire game. And, according to Natural Stat Trick, Mayfield had three high danger chances. It was emblematic of the way the Islanders controlled the game from start to finish.

This came on the heels of an effort in which New York held Philadelphia to 31 shots over five-and-a-half periods of hockey in Game 6. Even after logging over 30 minutes Thursday, Mayfield came back Saturday and put in 20:17 of ice time. That includes 3:00 of time on the penalty kill, where he kept the Islanders at a perfect 2-for-2.

It’s been over five years since Scott Mayfield made his playoff and NHL debut, when he filled in at the blue line in Game 6 against the Washington Capitals in 2015. This isn’t his first rodeo in the playoffs, so Mayfield said he is able to keep calm in pressure situations. This time, it helped the Islanders advance to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time in 27 years.

“I think when it comes down to it it’s just another hockey game,” he said. “It’s hard to say that, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t super nervous before the game. Once you hit the ice, you go through warmups, you kinda just get in the groove, you have your process. In the end, it’s just another hockey game.”

Despite giving up nine goals over the previous two games, the Islanders kept the Flyers off the board, to bookend the series with shutouts.

It was a strong finish heading into Monday’s Game 1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“I think we know how we want to play,” Mayfield said. “I think when we’re moving north, getting the puck in, being physical on the forecheck, not playing slow. We have a fast team, so playing fast. We have our identity, and that’s what we try to get to every game.

“It’s nice that we got that that identity pretty much right off the bat tonight and played a full 60 (minutes).”

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New York Islanders

Three Takeaways: Dobson, Bellows Look Good, Barzal Finds Two-Way Game in Win | NYHN+

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New York Islanders players

The New York Islanders started off the 2020-21 NHL season off on the right foot Thursday night with a 4-0 win over the New York Rangers.

The Islanders capitalized on the power play on several occasions, they received timely goaltending when they needed it and their top-six forwards found the back of the net.Β Not to mention, the play of several young Islanders hoping to maintain their spots on the roster.

Let’s take a look at three takeaways from the Islanders’ season-opening win over their Manhattan rivals:

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New York Islanders

GARDEN PARTY: Lee, Barzal Lead Islanders Shutout Thrashing of Rangers

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New York Islanders Anders lee Mathew Barzal

The New York Islanders will take a start like that any day.

The Islanders scored three times in the first period, anchored by goals from Anders Lee and Mathew Barzal, and kicked off the 2020-21 season with a 4-0 win over the New York Rangers. Brock Nelson also scored for the Islanders on Thursday.

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“I think we just wanted to start on the right foot and get to our game early,” Lee said. “Find that momentum by playing the way we play and I think we did a pretty good of that. It was the result of a good camp and everyone being ready for tonight, and Varly playing a great game as well. Just a good team effort.”

The season-opening win was anchored by a strong effort in the first and third period by the Isles, and a good performance in the net when they needed it from Semyon Varlamov. It was the 10th consecutive opening night start and second with the Islanders for Varlamov, who finished the night with 24 saves.

The opening night shutout was the Isles’ first since Chico Resch accomplished the feat in 1976 against Philadelphia.

“It’s always easy to play like that when we score first,” Varlamov said. “Overall I’m pretty happy with how we did today. I thought the team played very well.”

The Islanders finished the night with 33 shots on net, while holding the young Rangers to 24 shots.

The Isles special teams unit got plenty of work to start the season, with the Rangers giving the Islanders eight power-play chances on Thursday. They capitalized on two of their chances.

It didn’t take long for the Islanders to find the back of the net on Thursday night. It was a mere 2:33 into the game when Nelson lit the lamp for the first of four goals on the evening from the Long Island visitors.

The goal was the fourth fastest the Islanders have scored in a season-opening game in franchise history.

Anthon Beauvillier went for a shot inside the faceoff circle, but had it redirect off the skate of Adam Fox and went right to Nelson in the slot. Nelson quickly put it past Igor Shesterkin for the Isles’ first power-play goal of the year.

Just over a minute later, the Isles struck paydirt again. After Lee took a stick up high he stayed on the ice and after a Rangers turnover was able to create a two-on-one. The Islanders captain fired a shot of the New York goalie’s arm and in for his first of two goals on Thursday.

“I was a little upset. Took one to the teeth and I was making my way back,” Lee said about the goal. “I kind of got lucky that the puck got to Ledds and I could kind of take a chance on hoping that that one got out. He made a great play getting the puck down and it came right to me.”

Barzal capped off a strong first for the Isles with an impressive goal to make it 3-0 after weaving by three Rangers.

Despite a Rangers push in the second, the Islanders were the ones to add a goal in the third. Jordan Eberle threw the puck towards the net and Lee redirected the puck in the slot for his second of the night.

The goal was officially credited to Eberle, but video evidence clearly shows the puck was tipped by Lee.

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New York Islanders

County Exec Laura Curran Cheering on New York Islanders from Quarantine

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Nassau County Exec Laura Curran

As the New York Islanders open their season this evening many Islanders fans will be watching the game from home, which includes Nassau County’s most influential fan of the team county executive Laura Curran.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran will be watching the Islanders battle the New York Rangers from quarantine after she was recently exposed to someone with COVID-19. Curran tweeted out a video this afternoon about her excitement for being able to watch the season opener in its entirety.

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“I guess the small silver lining of quarantine is that I get I watch TV tonight,” Curran said in the video. “And that means I get to watch the entire Islanders game.Β  Game one,Β  taking on the Rangers, 7 p.m. puck drops. I am ready.”

Curran’s office announced that the county executive had been exposed to COVID-19 on Wednesday night and she is at the beginning of a 10-day quarantine. Officials from the county executive’s office declined to disclose to Newsday where Curran had been exposed to the virus for privacy reasons.

Curran has been an unabashed fan of the Islanders and today was the second time in five days the Nassau County politician tweeted about the Islanders. The county executive tweeted “YES! YES! YES!” along with a GIF of Mathew Barzal following news that the Islanders star had re-signed for three years with the team on Saturday.

Curran has been a vocal supporter of the UBS Arena project at Belmont Park and of getting the Islanders back on Long Island before the opening of UBS Arena in the fall. Curran twice lobbied NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to allow the Islanders to play at Nassau Coliseum before their new home opens.

In 2019, Curran wrote to Bettman to help persuade him to allow the Islanders to play home playoff games on Long Island. The NHL eventually came to an agreement that allowed the Islanders to play their first-round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nassau Coliseum and then after that all home postseason games would move to Barclays Center.

Last year, she called on Bettman again to allow the Islanders to play their final full season before UBS Arena at the Coliseum. The NHL eventually allowed the Islanders to do so after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo stepped in.

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