Forget The Cyclone on Coney Island, the biggest roller coaster ride in Brooklyn on Friday was at the Barclays Center.
The Islanders scored four goals in the final 5:26 of regulation and Brock Nelson completed his second-career hat-trick with an overtime winner, as the Islanders scored a dramatic 7-6 comeback win over the Detroit Red Wings.
"That was a wild one for sure. I've never been a part of a game like that," Nelson said after the game. "It's kind of hard to describe, but we needed these two points badly."
"Comeback win" doesn't do the game justice. The Islanders trailed 5-2 before scoring four power-play goals on the same five-minute power play to take a 6-5 lead into the final minute of regulation.
Josh Bailey's go-ahead goal was set to be the winner, but there were still two turns left before this ride would come to a complete stop. Mike Green tied the score 6-6 with 29 seconds to play in the third period, setting up the extra session, where Nelson finished a two-on-one rush with Mathew Barzal for the winner.
"It was just a roller coaster ride of emotions for sure," Bailey said. "If you asked us with six minutes or whatever was left if we were taking it to OT, we would have taken it. Happy to get the win."
Here are six takeaways from a wild win in Brooklyn.
Video: Nelson caps hat trick in OT as Isles beat Wings, 7-6
1. THE GAME-CHANGING POWER PLAY
Things looked dire for the Islanders when Darren Helm and Anthony Mantha scored two goals 2:12 apart to give the Red Wings a 5-2 lead in the third period.
Head Coach Doug Weight pulled Thomas Greiss in favor of Jaroslav Halak and, even for one of the NHL's more explosive teams, a three-goal rally in the back half of the third period on the back end of a back-to-back was a tall task.
But with 6:33 to play, the Islanders got their opening, as Tyler Bertuzzi was given a five-minute major for slashing Cal Clutterbuck on top of the knee. The door opened just an inch for the Islanders and they kicked it down, scoring a franchise-record four power-play goals over the next five minutes.
"It was a pretty incredible display of power play," Weight said. "They just went at it and shot pucks and were hungry around the net and made some great plays by some great players."
Video: DET@NYI: Nelson finishes hat trick with OT winner
Nelson's second goal of the period got the ball rolling, as he deflected a Barzal shot past Petr Mrazek at 14:34. Fifty-six seconds later, Anders Lee knocked in a rebound for his team-leading 29th of the season and the Isles could feel the energy surging in their favor.
Nick Leddy's half-slapper went through traffic and past Mrazek for the tying goal and Josh Bailey one-timed a cross-ice feed from Tavares to give the Isles a 6-5 lead at 18:11.
"As soon as we got that five-minute call everyone's energy level kind of jumped up a little bit," Barzal said. "We knew something was going to go. We were fortunate to get a power-play there and we have some guys who can put the puck in the net and they did."
The power-play goals extend the Islanders streak of scoring with the man advantage to four games. The Isles finished the night 4-for-7 on the power play.
Video: DET@NYI: Bailey caps Islanders' PPG barrage
2. BARZAL NETS THIRD 5-POINT GAME OF SEASON:
Mathew Barzal also had a spectacular night on Friday, dishing out five assists for his third five-point game of the season.
Per Isles PR:
Mathew Barzal had five assists on Friday night and became the first NHL Rookie to record three 5-point games since 2017-18 (Joe Malone - Montreal). Barzal moved into third place all-time on the Islanders rookie assist list and became the first player this season to record three five-point games.
Barzal assisted on two of Nelson's three goals, including the game-winner, starting the rush up the ice before dishing to Nelson.
Video: DET@NYI: Nelson pots second goal on power play
3. ISLES GET OFF TO SLOW START:
For the second straight night, the Islanders fell behind 3-0 to their opponents. It happened quickly on Friday, as the Isles gave up two goals five-and-a-half minutes into the contest.
"It's never easy when you come off games like that, but every team does it and we have to find a way to be ready, that's what being a pro is all about," Bailey said. "Just a tough start. It was frustrating. I think we were all frustrated and in the third period we had to use that as a positive and not a negative."
4. BROCK NELSON STAYS HOT:
Brock Nelson extended his point streak to four games with his hat trick on Friday. The Isles center now has seven points (4G, 3A) over that span. He scored two goals via deflection and the three-time, 20-goal scorer made no mistake on a two-on-one rush in OT.
"Getting the OT winner and the hat trick, that's always nice, but hopefully that can vault him and our team," Weight said. "It makes us a different team when Brock's playing like that."
Video: DET@NYI: Nelson tips Hickey's shot past Mrazek
5. JOHNNY BOYCHUK RETURNS:
The Islanders got a big piece of their back end back on Friday, as Johnny Boychuk returned to the lineup after missing 18 games with a lower-body injury.
Boychuk played 15:18 in his return, rejoining Nick Leddy on the Islanders top pair. The Islanders got a vintage game out of Boychuk, who was stepping into slap shots from the point and throwing the body, notably dropping the gloves with Justin Abdelkader.
"He had a good fight and got us going," Weight said. "Those things aren't something you want to tell people to do, but that really lit a fire under us… We had a little life between periods with a 3-1 score where it looked like we were going to end up with 15 shots."
6. A GALVANIZING MOMENT?
It was a dramatic win and one the Islanders desperately needed to keep up in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
What did it mean to the guys in the room? Barzal said it could be a coming together moment for the team.
"It's a long season and you're going to have your ups and downs and we were going through a rough stretch for a little bit there," the rookie said. "Hopefully it pushes us in the right direction and I think this team needed something like that, we needed a big comeback or a big game like that, a big win. That's exactly what we needed in the locker room to get the emotions up… Hopefully this can get us going for the last 25 games."
Video: NYI 7 vs DET 6 (OT): Doug Weight
Video: NYI 7 vs DET 6 (OT): Brock Nelson
Video: NYI 7 vs DET 6 (OT): Mat Barzal
Video: NYI 7 vs DET 6 (OT): Josh Bailey