After facing a pair of hot goalies in their last two games, the New York Islanders got a sizzling performance from their goaltender on Saturday night.
Thomas Greiss' 40 saves were the difference as the Islanders gutted out a 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center.
"It was the difference," Head Coach Doug Weight said of Greiss. "We held on. We bent, but we didn't break and we needed some big saves from Thomas."
Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Cal Clutterbuck scored for the Islanders, who improved to 1-1-0 on their current California road trip and picked up their first road win of the season.
Video: Greiss backstops Islanders past Sharks in 3-1 victory
"It's nice to get the first road win of the year," Nelson said. "Good bounce back. I thought we did some good things in Anaheim, but weren't rewarded. It's nice to come out on top here."
Kevin Labanc opened the scoring for the Sharks on Saturday before the Islanders answered with three straight goals - one in every period. Goalie Aaron Dell made 20 saves in his first start of the season.
Here are four takeaways from Saturday's game:
Greiss Looks Great vs Sharks:
Video: NYI@SJS: Greiss denies Pavelski's point-blank chance
Thomas Greiss earned his first win of the season on Saturday and did it in impressive fashion stopping 40-of-41 shots as the Sharks laid a siege on the Islanders.
Greiss went toe-to-toe with the Sharks best, frustrating Joe Pavelski to the point where the Sharks captain chopped his stick in half over the Islanders' net in the second period. Greiss held the Islanders in the game early as they found their legs and was their best player in the third period, as the Sharks outshot the Islanders 16-4.
"Greisser was extremely solid tonight," Lee said. "He gave us a wonderful chance to take a lead and win the game. To only let up one against a team like this says a lot about how he played tonight."
Video: NYI@SJS: Greiss shuts the door on Labanc's chance
As good as Greiss was in the third, he got some help from Johnny Boychuk, who dove and swatted away a floating puck with under four minutes to go. The goalie also credited his defensemen for clearing lanes and letting him see pucks on Saturday.
The only goal to beat the Isles goalie was a bad bounce off Cal Clutterbuck's stick on a early Sharks power play.
Nelson Heating Up:
Video: NYI@SJS: Nelson caps off Isles' attack with wrister
Brock Nelson scored his team-leading third goal of the season on Saturday, with all three coming in his last two games.
Josh Ho-Sang found Nelson with room in the slot in the second period and the three-time 20-goal scorer made no mistake, sliding a changeup underneath Aaron Dell before being hit my Melker Karlsson. Ho-Sang has assisted on all three of Nelson's goals this season.
Nelson is a bit of a streaky scorer, so when he gets hot the goals tend to pile up - especially in October. Nelson has 15 goals in 42 October games, nearly a quarter of his 83 career goals.
"He's taken a little step in these last three or four games and it's nice to see," Weight said of Nelson. "We want that consistency to keep going. He's a big piece of our team.
Video: NYI@SJS: Lee evens the score on a redirect in front
Isles Allow Another Early Goal:
For the third time in as many road games, the New York Islanders allowed a goal in the opening five minutes of the first period.
Kevin Labanc's power-play goal put San Jose on the board 4:16 into the opening frame. It was a bad break for the Islanders, as Labanc's shot made a hard right turn off of Cal Clutterbuck's stick, but put the Isles in an early hole nonetheless.
"This is a tough building to play in the first period," Lee said. "They come out absolutely flying, the crowd is into it. We just held our ground a little and continued to pick up our momentum the other way."
Overall, the Islanders have allowed the first goal in four of their first five games this season and will look to break that trend on Sunday in LA.
Video: NYI@SJS: Clutterbuck puts one into the empty net
Clutterbuck, Eberle In, Beauvillier Out:
Cal Clutterbuck potted an empty net goal in his return to Islanders lineup after missing three games with a lower-body injury. Anthony Beauvillier took line drills in warmups, so it appeared Jason Chimera was going to be the scratch, but Weight opted for the veteran.
"It's a big team in San Jose. I went with the speed and size of Chimmer, the experience and that's just what it was," the coach said.
Jordan Eberle also played on Saturday, suiting up after sitting out practice on Friday. Eberle had an assist on Saturday, getting a piece of a Calvin de Haan shot that Anders Lee eventually tipped in.
The Islanders finish their Nor-Cal, So-Cal back-to-back set on Sunday night in LA. Puck drop from Staples Center is at 10:30 p.m. eastern.