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Notebook: Isles Soar Past Wings 8-2

Eberle's 500th point and Dobson's first NHL goal highlight decisive win over Detroit

by Cory Wright WrightsWay /

How's that for a response game. 

Twenty-four hours after a tough loss at Madison Square Garden, the New York Islanders came back with their biggest offensive output of the season, torching the Detroit Red Wings 8-2 on Tuesday night at Nassau Coliseum. 

The Islanders scored a season-high eight goals in the win, taking out Monday's frustrations on a struggling Red Wings team who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time on Tuesday. The eight goals were the most the Isles have scored under Barry Trotz and first time since Feb. 7, 2016.

"You play a game like [Monday], we've all been through it before, those aren't fun, so we needed a response today," Jordan Eberle said. "I said it yesterday we had a lot of character in this room and I knew we would."

The Islanders were dialed in from the drop of the puck, going up 3-0 by the 7:56 mark of the first period and opening up a 6-1 lead before the game was 23 minutes old. 

Brock Nelson had a pair of goals on the night, while Anders Lee (1G, 1A), Jordan Eberle (1G, 1A), Anthony Beauvillier (1G, 1A), Leo Komarov (1G, 1A) Mathew Barzal (2A) and Ryan Pulock (2A) each had two-point games. Noah Dobson punctuated the feel-good night with his first NHL goal, while Thomas Greiss made 34 saves for his second straight win.  

"I thought all four lines were pretty good today," Nelson said. "I thought Barzy's line was going. They led us out of the gates, Beau was going and forechecking. Bailey's line was good too. They had a few good looks. When you get everyone going like that, we're a tough team."

Video: DET@NYI: Bailey fires rebound past Howard


The Isles scored three goals on their first seven shots and chased a slumping Jimmy Howard - who dropped to 0-11-1 in his last 12 games - by the 7:56 mark of the first period. 

It happened fast, with the Isles going up 2-0 in the opening four minutes. First, Barzal ladled a quick pass to Eberle, who cut across the crease and flipped a backhander past Howard to open the scoring at 3:23. 

Josh Bailey followed up 36 seconds later, as he scored his first goal since Dec. 9, knocking in a Tom Kuhnhackl rebound after Kuhnhackl rang a shot off the iron. 

Nelson made it 3-0 at 7:56, taking a feed from Anthony Beauvillier from below the goal line before burying short side on Howard. The goal was Nelson's 17th of the season and ended Howard's night, as Calvin Pickard came in, in relief. 

"I liked our start, we came out with a lot of purpose and were able to jump on them early and establish a bit of a forecheck and were able to capitalize," Trotz said. "We forced them to chase the game the rest of the way."

Video: DET@NYI: Nelson scores second goal on breakaway

The goalie change briefly sparked the Red Wings, as Filip Hronek floated a shot blocker side past Greiss at 11:45, but Lee re-established the three-goal lead before the end of the period, sniping high glove off some pretty sauce from Barzal. 

The Islanders didn't let up in the second period, as Nelson made it 5-1 at 1:59 of the middle frame. The Isles' center stepped out of the penalty box and onto an uncontested breakaway, head-faking Pickard before sliding a backhander five-hole for his team-leading 18th goal of the season. Forty-one seconds later, Dobson netted his first-career goal, as his wrister deflected off Alex Biega and past Pickard at 2:40. 

Anthony Beauvillier snaped a 13-game goalless drought by tipping a Pulock shot from the high slot at 5:12 of the third period, while Leo Komarov's first goal of the season rounded out the Isles scoring at 9:07 of the final frame. Givani Smith's first NHL goal resulted in the 8-2 final.

Video: DET@NYI: Dobson scores first career NHL goal


Noah Dobson checked a personal milestone off the list on Monday, as he netted his first-career NHL goal. 

It may not have been how he drew it up - a wrister off a Red Wings player and in - but the rookie soaked in the moment on the ice. At first it appeared as he may be holding back tears of joy, but on the bench, the 20-year-old defenseman was all smiles. 

"It's definitely a reall cool experience and something you dream about as a kid," Dobson said after the game. "It obviously wasn't how you drew it up, but I'll take it forsure. I just got a pass from Pulock on the wall and tried to throw it down there. I'm not sure what it hit, but it wound up in the back of the net. A weird one to remember, but it's a definitely a cool feeling scoring your first NHL goal."

Naturally, Dobson had to deal with the requisite chirping from his teammates, as Pulock jokingly told him "what a laser!" on the bench after his goal. 

The goal came in Dobson's 18th career NHL game and gives him four points (1G, 3A) on the season. The rookie has seen his role increase Adam Pelech's season-ending injury on Jan. 2. After coming in and out of the lineup for the first three months of the season, Dobson has now played in seven-straight games and logged a career-high 20:24 TOI on Monday night. 

"It's definitely a big change from playing here and there to being a regular now, but it's definitely been good," Dobson said. "Just want to continue to grow as a player. I feel more comfortable every game and just want to continue to try and build on that."

Tweet from @NYIslanders: he's CHEESIN' 🧀🧀🧀#FirstNHLGoal


Jordan Eberle recorded his 500th career point on Tuesday night, picking up the secondary assist on Lee's first-period goal. 

"It's funny, you look back to yesterday and it was my 700th game," Eberle said. "It goes by quick. It feels like my first week in the league was just yesterday, so I'm trying to enjoy as much as I can."

Eberle finished the game with two points, his second straight multi-point game after picking up a goal and an assist against the Rangers. The winger has seen a spike in production of late, with five points (3G, 2A) in his last four games. 

"This is the time of year you want to [produce points] in," Eberle said. "I had a bit of a slow start with the injury and trying to come back, but I feel good now. The biggest thing now is to try and be as consistent as possible every game." 

Eberle has 118 points (50G, 68A) in 194 games with the Islanders and potted 382 points (165G, 217A) in 507 games with the Edmonton Oilers from 2010-17. 

Video: DET@NYI: Lee wires home top-shelf wrist shot


With Casey Cizikas out for a second straight game, Otto Koivula drew into the Islanders' lineup on Monday. 

Koivula, who was recalled on Monday evening, slotted in as the team's fourth-line center between Matt Martin and Leo Komarov. The rookie played six games with the Isles from Nov. 16 (his NHL debut) to Dec. 2 before being returned to Bridgeport. Koivula earned the call-up with a hat-trick against Laval on Sunday night in Bridgeport. 


The Islanders get a rematch against the Rangers on Thursday night at the Coliseum. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. 

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