NEW YORK — Jordan Eberle played the role of hero on Saturday night scoring the game-winning goal with 3:06 left in overtime to give the Islanders a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
The goal came just after A kings shot on the other end of the ice missed the net, ricocheted off the glass and sprung the Islanders. Mathew Barzal skated up the ice with Eberle, setting up the two-on-one chance, and then fed Barzal fed Eberle for the goal.
Josh Bailey, John Tavares and Anders Lee also scored for the Islanders, and Greiss made 26 saves in net.
The Kings scored the opening goal 12:56 into the first period from the point. Oscar Fantenberg’s shot from the point snuck by the glove of Griess, who appeared to misread the shot.
Tyler Toffoli gave the Kings a two-goal lead on the power play after he undressed several Islander defenders on his way to the net and then put it past Greiss. It was the 12th power play goal the Islanders have surrendered in the last 10 games.
Josh Bailey scored with 50 seconds left in the first period to pull the Islanders within one. Bailey was able to tip in a shot from the point by Calvin de Haan.
John Tavares tied the game off a one-timer from the right faceoff circle. Anders Lee fanned on a one-timer attempt and the puck bounced right to the Islanders captain. The Islanders took a brief lead after Lee backhanded the puck past Darcy Kuemper.
However, that disappeared with 13 seconds left in the game when Anze Kopitar was able to sneak the puck by Griess during a scramble in front of the net. The play was reviewed for goaltender interference, but it was ultimately confirmed as a good goal.
1. Let’s get this one out of the way early, and you all know what I’m referring to. The Islanders were as perplexed as everyone else over the decision to rule Anze Kopitar’s goal with 13 seconds left in the game a good goal. Doug Weight was visibly upset on the bench and still hadn’t completely cooled down when he met with the media after the game.
The main point of contention was the inconsistency in the application of the goaltender interference rule. The Islanders had a similar play occur on Monday against the Washington Capitals, which saw an Anders Lee goal disallowed.
“Seriously what is the difference of that play,” Weight said. “Slow motion picture. It’s under Thomas’ pad just like Anders Lee he hits the puck first, which was stated in our email, and you wonder why I’m so upset. It’s the same exact, it’s almost the same camera angle just a different color jersey… If it’s not a goal for Anders Lee you can’t tell me it’s any different.”
2. All things considered, it was a pretty good performance by the Islanders against a team that has been on fire out west. The Islanders started slow in the first period, but managed to pull themselves out from the two-goal deficit they were in late in the opening period. Surely the Islanders don’t want to find themselves in an early hole, but they overcame a lot of variables to pick up two important points in the standings.
3. It was a chaotic last five minutes for the Islanders in the third period. Anders Lee scored the go-ahead goal with a little over three minutes to play and then the Kings evened things back up in rather dramatic fashion.
“That’s what makes hockey fun,” Josh Bailey said afterwards. “When you’re on the winning side of things it’s a little easier. That’s the way the game goes sometimes and you just try to keep a level head.”
Not an easy task to do on a night like Saturday.
4. And speaking of chaotic, the overtime period was far from a cakewalk, especially for Eberle and Mathew Barzal. The pair got caught on the ice for an extended shift just before the game-winning goal was scored. The back and forth flurry at the end of OT was enough to leave Mathew Barzal winded, even after the team had left the ice, and could have set up a precarious situation if the play didn’t stop.
“I was looking pass the whole way,” Barzal told Islanders Insight. “I was like man please just score. Please score because I was so tired. If he missed the net or something I couldn’t backcheck. I was just really happy he put it in.”
5. The Islanders power play went 1-for-5 on the man-advantage on Saturday night. The power play was hit or miss in the victory over Los Angeles, with some shifts creating several good scoring chances and other times yielded next to nothing. All of that said, the Tavares power-play goal did tie the game in the third and the team has power play goals in three straight games.
6. “I thought the whole night we played well. We created chances. Obviously, the score wasn’t leaning our way for most of the game, but we stuck with it. Found a way to take the lead and ultimately win.” — Jordan Eberle on Saturday’s win.