It was another terrific week for the New York Islanders, as the hottest team in the NHL extended their point streak to 17 games. They defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in back-to-back games before grabbing a point against the San Jose Sharks during their first game of a three-game road trip.
Currently, the Islanders remain in second place in the Metropolitan Division, three points back of the Washington Capitals. New York has four games in hand on Washington.
Third Star: Ryan Pulock
Coming into the season, the Islanders knew they were going to need a big year from their young defender in Ryan Pulock. Through the first 21 games, he has shown that he can be considered one of the top defenders in the league and scored a huge goal to help the Islanders win on the road in Pittsburgh.
The Islanders trailed 4-2 with under seven minutes left in the third period before scoring two goals late, with Pulock’s coming on a shot from the point with the net empty to tie the game. He then picked up an assist in back-to-back games, playing in over 20 minutes in every game this week.
He currently has three goals and seven assists to lead the back line for the Islanders and has been a big part of the early season success that the defensive unit has had.
Second Star: Anthony Beauvillier
Coming into the week, Anthony Beauvillier had consecutive two-goal games, against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers. He then extended his goal-scoring streak to four games with a goal in both games against Pittsburgh.
His first goal came in the second period on Tuesday with the Islanders down 2-0 on a wrist shot that went off the crossbar and in. He also assisted on the game-winning goal in overtime and then scored again Thursday night on the power play.
After Jake Guentzel of Penguins received a roughing call on Scott Mayfield, he quickly earned himself an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on his way to the box. The Islanders did not score in the first two minutes, but then tied the game at two in the second two minutes on another beautiful wrist shot from Beauvillier for his eighth goal of the season.
First Star: Brock Nelson
Brock Nelson might be the first star of the entire NHL this week following his incredible week. He became the first Islander ever to score overtime goals in back-to-back games and had a chance for a third straight on Saturday.
Before his first game-winning goal, Nelson tied the game at two on Tuesday against the Penguins. He then came in on a 2-on-1 with Beauvillier and put home his own rebound to secure the second point.
Two nights later, he once again scored in regulation. Nelson had what looked like the deciding goal late in the third period on a wrist shot off a faceoff win, but Pittsburgh was able to tie the game up late.
In overtime, he danced his way into the Penguins zone and scored a beautiful backhand goal for his third overtime goal of the season in his 500th career game. Nelson currently leads the team with eight goals and has three of them in the extra session.
Up next, the Islanders will continue their trip out west with the Anaheim Ducks on Monday before heading to Los Angeles to play the Kings in the final game of a three-game road trip. The Islanders will come home for one game and then head back out on the road for a back-to-back against the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings.