The New York Islanders extended their point streak to 12 games, beating the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Saturday afternoon at Barclays Center.
Scott Mayfield broke a 1-1 tie at 6:50 of the third period, while Thomas Greiss made 37 saves in the win. Mathew Barzal scored his team-leading seventh of the season to open the scoring, while Aleksander Barkov scored for Florida. The Isles are now 11-0-1 in their last 12 games.
Video: FLA@NYI: Mayfield scores after puck ricochets in
ISLES HOLD OFF PANTHERS IN THIRD PERIOD:
After giving up a 3-0 third-period lead to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, the Islanders showed a much better response when the Panthers tied the score on Saturday.
Aleksander Barkov chipped a power-play goal past Greiss at 6:12 to tie the score 1-1, but the Isles answered 38 seconds later to retake a 2-1 lead.
"Our response after the goal that told me a lot about this group," Head Coach Barry Trotz said.
Scott Mayfield scored the go-ahead goal, as his shot pinballed off a trio of Panthers and past Bobrovsky at 6:50. With Florida pressing, the Isles held their ground, with Adam Pelech notably laying out to take a sure goal away from Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgenii Dadonov. That's the type of all-in commitment Trotz has preached and it helped seal the win.
The Isles also caught a break with 5:25 to play, as Barkov's would-be game-tying goal was called back due to a high-stick. From there, the Isles largely kept the Panthers chances to the outside, grinding their way to a regulation victory.
"Nice response from our team. We had the lead again going in to the third period and knew we didn't want to lose it there," Barzal said. "They got one back on the power play and then we got one back in the next shift. It was a good response by our group. That shift after was huge. It was huge by our team. Greisser made some big stops down the stretch. It was a good team win."
Video: FLA@NYI: Greiss stones Barkov with terrific pad stop
GREISS SUPERB IN WIN:
Thomas Greiss has played some of his best hockey against the Florida Panthers and Saturday afternoon was no exception. The Isles goalie made 37 saves and was the unquestioned first star of the game. In the process, Greiss extended his personal winning streak to six games and has now allowed two or fewer goals for the eighth time in nine appearances this season.
Greiss was especially good on a Panthers power play in the second period, coming up with three key stops to preserve a 1-0 lead. The Isles goalie kicked out the left pad on an Evgenii Dadonov one-timer from the slot and lunged across his net for a right pad save on Barkov.
The lone shot to beat Greiss was a Barkov rebound on a third period power play, but it was another strong game for the 33-year-old, who leads the NHL with a .942 SV% and is top-four in goals-against average.
"What more can you say? His save percentage and goals against average have been right there with the top goaltenders in the league," Barzal said of Greiss. "He had Vezina numbers last year and then this year, he's been doing the same thing. Him and [Semyon Varlamov] in the net have both been great for us. Greiss had another great one tonight. It's nice to be able to rely on both of our goalies."
Video: FLA@NYI: Barzal roofs backhand to start the scoring
BARZAL SCORES TEAM-LEADING SEVENTH OF THE SEASON:
Mathew Barzal opened the scoring on Saturday afternoon, putt the Isles up 1-0 at 5:40 of the first period.
Barzal showed a ton of patience on the play, corralling a cross-crease pass from Brock Nelson, pulling the puck around MacKenzie Weegar and roofing a backhander past a sliding Sergei Bobrovsky. The goal was Barzal's team-leading seventh of the season.
Barzal finished the night with a team-leading two points (1G, 1A), in 19:24 TOI. He also recorded a team-high five shots.
Video: FLA@NYI: Eberle sprawls out to deny Connolly
EBERLE ACTIVATED, LEDDY RETURNS, WAHLSTROM TO BRIDGEPORT:
Jordan Eberle returned to the Islanders lineup after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. Eberle assumed his regular spot on the top line alongside Anders Lee and Mathew Barzal, while Josh Bailey played with Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck.
Eberle had an active game in his return, playing 14:41 TOI, with four shots and two blocks. His play of the game came in the second period, where he dropped down in the Isles crease to stop a Brett Connolly shot.
"I saw the guy coming down and it's kind of just a firedrill from there," Eberle said of his save. "Do your best Greisser impression and try to make a save."
To clear room for Eberle's activation off IR, Oliver Wahlstrom was loaned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Wahlstrom had played nine games for the Islanders on his call-up and a 10th game would have activated the first year of his entry-level contract.
Nick Leddy returned to the lineup after missing three games with a lower-body injury.
CIZIKAS LEAVES GAME:
Casey Cizikas did not play in the third period of Saturday's win. The Isles center blocked an Aaron Ekblad shot in the first period, a shot that clearly caused Cizikas discomfort in the second, leading to the Isles holding him out in the third. Trotz did not have an immediate update, but the injury is not believed to be serious.
The Islanders are off until Wednesday night, when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs at NYCB Live. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.