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Notebook: Isles Beat Yotes 4-2, Win Fifth-Straight Game

Derick Brassard scores his first goal as an Islander, Casey Cizikas returns after missing five games

by Cory Wright WrightsWay /

The New York Islanders won their fifth-straight game on Thursday night, beating the Arizona Coyotes 4-2 at NYCB Live. 

Derick Brassard, Josh Bailey, Anders Lee and Scott Mayfield scored for the Islanders, while Semyon Varlamov made 21 saves. Michael Grabner and Conor Garland scored for Arizona, who saw their four-game winning streak snapped. 

Video: Bailey powers Islanders past Coyotes, 4-2

"It was a good win for us, a pretty complete win," said Bailey, who was named the game's first star. "Even some of the other games, we found ways to win, but it wasn't pretty, that's part of being a good team… Tonight it was good to have a complete effort and hopefully we can carry that into tomorrow."

It was a pretty complete effort from the Islanders, who showed no ill effects from a four-day layoff. Armed with a healthy Casey Cizikas and a complete fourth line, they set a physical tone early, established a lead and became the first team this season to score four goals in regulation against a stingy Coyotes squad.  

Video: ARI@NYR: Brassard opens the scoring with deflection


Derick Brassard scored his first goal as a New York Islander in the first period of Thursday's contest, redirecting a slap pass from Ryan Pulock past Darcy Kuemper at 1:25. 

The goal lifted a weight off Brassard's shoulders, as the new Islander turned in perhaps his best game of the young season. The 32-year-old had a goal, three hits and a blocked shot in 17:54 of TOI.

"He was really good. I thought that was his best game of the year," Head Coach Barry Trotz said. "He was on the puck. He was physically really involved. He made plays in the offensive zone, he was detailed in the defensive zone and he produced." 

"That was more the Brassard that I've always seen," Trotz added.

Brassard was given a different assignment on Thursday night, trading in his usual third line center role to play left wing alongside Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier. Trotz said the move was designed to help Brassard break out of his scoring drought and help facilitate the transition to a new team. The move paid off and Brassard said he felt comfortable on the Isles second line. 

"I just felt like I was a little more involved tonight," Brassard said. "Trying to get a different feel for it. Nelly and Beau as well, they've been outstanding since the start of the season. They really helped me. It's a good feeling to be able to help the team." 

Video: ARI@NYI: Lee nets backhander while falling to the ice


After missing five games with a lower-body injury, Casey Cizikas rejoined the Isles against the Coyotes. 

Cizikas took his usual spot in the lineup, starting the game between Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck. From the drop of the puck, Cizikas looked like his old self, as the Isles identity line crashed and banged around the Coyotes end. The line combined for 12 hits, three shots and created some quality scoring chances, with Cizikas looking for Clutterbuck on a backdoor play in the first period. 

"There's a different level of pop in a game and it shows with Clutter and Marty. Whatever formula they got, they just work well together," Trotz said of the trio. "They had some good lucks, they were pretty good on the PK."

Cizikas also won 9-of-15 faceoffs (60%). 

Video: ARI@NYI: Bailey nets one-timer from the slot


Josh Bailey scored his fourth goal of the season, one-timing a feed from Nick Leddy in the low slot to put the Isles head 2-1 at 14:03 of the second period. Bailey's four goals tie him with Nelson and Mathew Barzal for the team lead. 

The goal was a nice response from Bailey, who lost a puck along the wall to Michael Grabner leading to the Coyotes first goal of the night. (Trotz didn't hang the goal on Bailey, saying he didn't like the team's line change, which let Grabner go in alone.) 

Bailey also picked up an assist on Lee's game winner at the eight-minute mark of the third period, throwing the puck to the front of the net while the captain backhanded it past Kuemper to make it 3-1. Lee's goal held up as the eventual winner, as Garland made it 3-2 with 1:05 to play, before Mayfield's empty-netter sealed it. 


The Islanders finish a back-to-back set on Friday night in Ottawa. Leo Komarov (illness) will not make the trip. Puck drop is at 7:30.  

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