NEW YORK — The Islanders won their second straight game on Saturday night with a 5-3 win over the San Jose Sharks. Anders Lee scored twice and recorded an assist in the win and John Tavares had a three point night ( a goal and twos assists).
Andrew Ladd and Josh Bailey also scored for the Islanders. Logan Couture scored all three goals for the Sharks. Thomas Greiss Made 28 saves in the win for New York and recorded his second win of the season.
The Islanders are back in action on Tuesday when they host the Arizona Coyotes at the Barclays Center.
1. Mathew Barzal had another strong performance on Saturday night, picking up the primary assist on Andrew Ladd’s goal in the third period. The rookie continues to be one of the best players on the ice night in and night out and was key in setting up Ladd’s tally at 3:12. Barzal’s speed is obvious on the ice, but his strength on the puck has also been impressive to see for the 20-year-old. Barzal has put up three points in as many games and his confidence continues to grow when he’s on the ice.
The Islanders needed him to be an impact player this season and so far he’s been doing that.
2. For the second straight game Josh Bailey was given a scoring chance at point blank range and he capitalized against the Sharks. Bailey was in a similar situation on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, but was robbed by Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. This time around Bailey was able to show off some of his puck handling skills and then sneak the puck past the leg of Sharks starter Aaron Dell.
“It just kind of happens,” Bailey said of the goal. “It wasn’t really my intention. When I got in tight I just wanted to make a quick move and I felt like he didn’t really bite on anything. Just ran out of time and space, so figured that was my best option. It was definitely one that was fun to score.”
Bailey has quietly gone on a three-game point streak. He scored against the Kings last Sunday had an assist against the Rangers on Thursday and then had the goal on Saturday night.
3. Tavares snapped a five-game stretch in which he failed to record a single point. The Islanders captain recorded an assist on Lee’s first goal in the opening period and then set up Lee again when the pair had an odd-man rush in the third period. Tavares held the puck the momentarily and then fed Lee the puck for the goal. He capped the night off with an empty-net goal
Tavares has had his chances to score this season, including on Saturday and Thursday, but had not been able to find the back of the net since the Islanders Oct. 7 win against Buffalo. Some may believe his slow start could be connected to Tavares’ mind being focused on other things, namely his decision over whether to sign a contract extension with the Islanders. That has been the talk among some on Isles Twitter anyway, but Tavares has been known to be a streaky player at times and has been prone to stretches where he struggles to find the back of the net.
4. “An empty netter is night but he could have had five or six points. Those are the games that helps you get out out of these types of situations. He’s been playing hard. Just a great pass to Lee on the two-on-one and he was in charge to night. He was playing a good game and I like that he was rolling his shifts over and I kept getting him out. I don’t know what he ended up playing, but it was a good game for him.” — Doug Weight on Tavares.
5. The Islanders unexplainable dominance over Western Conference opponents continued on Saturday. New York is 22-4-4 when a team from the west travels to the Barclays Center. No one has a real explanation for why the Islanders are so good against the west at home.
“The Western Conference thing I don’t really know if theres much to that,” Bailey said. “Sometimes you just get those funky stats that just tend to go in your favor, but I think we enjoy playing here. Obviously playing in front of our fans is motivating. Great to just get a result here.”