Nearly two weeks after being shutout 5-0 in Denver, the New York Islanders enacted their revenge.
The Islanders pulled out a 6-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday night on Long Island, stretching their win streak to four games.
New York was one of the hottest teams in the league when it came to Pepsi Center on Oct. 30 with a 6-3-0 record, but after falling to the Avs and losing two days later at the San Jose Sharks, the club seemed to be heading back to the mean. Instead of continuing to fall in the standings, the Islanders quickly found their form again and finished the five-game road trip with wins over Anaheim, Los Angeles and Arizona before returning home for the rematch against the Avs.
The Islanders have once again become one of the toughest teams to face in the Eastern Conference and are now second in the Metropolitan Division, just one point behind Pittsburgh.
"I'll say this, they played really well. I have to give them credit," Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy said of New York. "They were really intense. They were jumping on a lot of pucks. They put pucks at the net. They did a lot of good things."
The Islanders' offense tallied just 1:33 into the game and didn't slow down, even after holding a 4-0 advantage on the scoreboard after two periods. New York finished with double-digit shots in each period.
Roy didn't sugarcoat his team's performance after the game; the Avs didn't play good enough to win.
"It's a team that is much improved, and it was a game where we were not at our best, without a doubt," Roy said. "We know we need to be better in order to win those types of games, that's for sure."
The Avalanche has two games left on this four-game eastern swing. Colorado takes on the defending Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers on Thursday before closing out the trip Saturday in New Jersey against the Devils.
"We need to stick together. We need to continue to work hard with the things that we have been doing well," Roy said. "Tonight was just a bad game. We need to regroup tomorrow, have a good practice and be ready for the Rangers."
LAST DANCE ON THE ISLAND
It was fitting that on Veterans Day the Avalanche played in an arena named to honor those who have sacrificed for their country.
November 11, 2014 also marked the last time the Avalanche would play at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., unless the club faces the Islanders in the Stanley Cup Final. The Islanders are moving to Brooklyn and to the nearly-brand new Barclays Center for the 2015-16 season.
The Avalanche/Nordiques franchise entered the game with 14 wins, 21 losses and one tie all time on Long Island, and the home team took advantage of some favorable arena bounces in the first period.
The Islanders recorded two goals in the first 5:21. Nick Leddy scored on a rebound after the puck caromed off the end boards, and Anders Lee tallied after a ricocheting puck went off the partition between the glass panes and surprised Semyon Varlamov when the Avs goalie tried to play it.
Colorado always seemed to be on the positive end of 'bounces' last season. So far in 2014-15, many of those 'bounces' haven't gone the club's way.
"We think we saw a lot of things from the start of the year and tonight was another example," Roy said. "Obviously last year, everything was bouncing our way. Now it's tougher."
VARLAMOV RETURNS TO THE NET
Semyon Varlamov returned to the Avalanche net after having the last two games off to rest.
He played seven consecutive games before Roy and goaltending coach Francois Allaire determined Varlamov could use a break after a 5-2 loss to Vancouver last Tuesday. Reto Berra was in the crease for the past two games, Thursday against Toronto and Saturday at Philadelphia.
Varlamov finished with 40 saves against the Islanders, marking the second game this season where me made 40 stops against New York.