The New York Islanders faced another tough opponent in the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, but two goals by Anders Lee and some solid goaltending by Thomas Greiss led the Islanders to a 3-2 win at the Barclays Center.
The game was evenly played throughout but the victory extended the Islanders’ points streak to six games (5-0-1) and got them over the .500 mark for the first time all season (11-10-5).
The Blues came out skating and controlled the tempo in the opening five minutes. This paid off when Robby Fabbri tapped in a pass from Vladimir Tarasenko at 4:36 to put St. Louis ahead 1-0. The Islanders asked for a replay review claiming goaltender interference, but the goal stood.
The Islanders’ power play evened the score at 6:51 when Lee deflected home a Nick Leddy shot from the point. John Tavares and Lee were both creating havoc in front of Blues goalie Jake Allen.
Tavares gave the Isles a 2-1 lead at 9:31 on a great individual effort that put the Islanders ahead for the first time.
The pace slowed in the second period, which was evenly played but less sharp than the first 20 minutes. Fabbri took a hit to make a play and made a nice pass to Kyle Brodziak who tied the game 2-2 at 3:33.
The rest of the period was fairly even with both goalies playing well.
Both teams had chances but it was Lee who broke the tie in a physical and more conservative third period. Casey Cizikas won a clean faceoff and Lee was able to let one go from the top of the circle that eluded Allen with 7:18 left in regulation.
The Blues had a few chances late in the game but the Islanders’ defense kept them on the perimeter and Greiss was equal to the task when called upon.
The Islanders played smart positional hockey and seem much more confident after their recent turnaround.
STL – Robby Fabbri (6) assisted by Vladimir Tarasenko
NYI – Anders Lee PPG (7) assisted by Nick Leddy
NYI – John Tavares (8) assisted by Travis Hamonic
STL – Kyle Brodziak (3) assisted by Robby Fabbri and Joel Edmundson
NYI – Anders Lee (8) assisted by Casey Cizikas
THW Three Stars
First: Anders Lee (2G, GWG)
Second: John Tavaes (G)
Third: Robby Fabbri (G, A)
New York Islanders vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Nationwide Arena, 7:00 PM EST on Saturday, Dec. 10
Broadcast Channels: MSG Plus
2016-17 Meeting: First of the season
Long time hockey writer and author of the new book, “Ice Wars: The Complete History of New York’s Greatest Modern Sports Rivalry.” It tells the story behind every game between the Rangers and Islanders dating back to 1972 and features profiles of more than 80 players from both teams and quotes from more than 50 exclusive interviews from players, coaches and broadcasters from both teams.