Hischier, Blackwood Lead Devils to 2-1 Win Over Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Nico Hischier scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 29 shots, and the New Jersey Devils beat the New York Islanders 2-1 Thursday night.

P.K. Subban also scored to help the Devils win their third straight and improve to 6-2-1 in their last nine games.

Brock Nelson scored for New York and Semyon Varlamov made 29 saves as the Islanders lost their fourth straight at Nassau Coliseum.

Hischier extended his point streak to three games when he scored the go-ahead goal at 1:09 of the third. The Swiss forward escaped the face-off circle with possession of the puck and made his move to the net. He craftily slid the puck from his backhand to forehand to give the Devils a 2-1 lead.

Nico Hischier New Jersey Devils
Nico Hischier, New Jersey Devils (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Nelson gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead when he put a wrist shot past Blackwood 7:33 into the second. Nelson charged up the ice during 4-on-4 play and stopped short upon entering the offensive zone. The Devils’ defender momentarily screened Blackwood and Nelson took advantage of the opportunity. Ryan Pulock and Derick Brassard assisted on the opening goal.

Anders Lee had a chance to double the Islanders’ advantage after 19-year-old defenceman Noah Dobson delivered a cross-ice pass, but Blackwood made a sliding pad save.

Subban tied the score when his blistering slap shot buzzed by Varlamov with 1:27 left in the middle period.. Nikita Gusev extended his point streak to five games with the primary assist. It was Subban’s fourth goal of the season and only his second since Nov. 2nd.

New Jersey Devils P.K. Subban
New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

Travis Zajac tied Kirk Muller for third place on the Devils’ all-time points list after recording the secondary assist on the goal. It was Zajac’s 520th point after being drafted by the Devils in the first round of the 2004 NHL Draft.

The Islanders appeared to take a one-goal lead early in the second period when Leo Komarov buried a rebound in front. However, the play was called back after Devils coach Alain Nasreddine successfully challenged the play for goaltender interference 49 seconds into the middle frame. Komarov hasn’t scored since last Jan. 20.


Islanders D Adam Pelech missed the game with a lower-body injury. … New York D Scott Mayfield skated in his 200th NHL game. … The Islanders recorded 52 wins in the 2019 calendar year, which ties a franchise record for most wins in a single calendar year (1978 & 1982). … New York scratched F Michael Dal Colle. … Devils F Jack Hughes, the No. 1 overall selection of the 2019 NHL draft, missed the game with an upper body injury. … New Jersey scratched D Connor Carrick.


Islanders: At Toronto on Saturday.

Devils: Host Colorado on Saturday.

Scott Charles, The Associated Press