The New York Islanders put together a complete game for their new coach.
John Tavares scored two goals and Thomas Greiss made 23 saves for his second consecutive shutout, as the Islanders beat the Dallas Stars 3-0 on Thursday night at Barclays Center, giving Interim Coach Doug Weight his first NHL win.
"It's nice in the first game to get a win, but it's great in the fashion they did it," Weight said. "I'm impressed with the effort and it was a great win."
The Islanders looked like they didn't miss a beat after Monday's 4-0 win in Boston. They outshot the Stars 36-23, generated seven power plays to Dallas' three, created chances consistently and got big saves from Greiss in the third period when they needed them.
"More importantly about the win, it was two games in a row," Thomas Hickey said. "We played really good hockey, very structured, it was a really good game tonight and six periods in a row and it's something to look on and build on here."
Video: DAL@NYI: Tavares shows off hands and buries a beauty
Tavares powered the Islanders' offense, cashing in on two of his four AAA chances. The Islanders' captain opened the scoring at 13:31 of the first period, making an outside-line move on defenseman John Klingberg before beating Kari Lehtonen. He solidified the win with his career-first shorthanded a goal, making a few moves before snapping a shot low blocker on Lehtonen.
Tavares could have had two more, but was denied by Lehtonen on a first-period breakaway and couldn't lift a rebound over the goalie's pad in the second period. Overall, Tavares has seven goals in his last four games.
"He had the puck on a string today, it was something special from the first goal on," Weight said of Tavares. "It couldn't come off his stick, but not only that, his work ethic and killing penalties, his attention to detail. He's a great leader and I feel the guys are following him."
Video: DAL@NYI: Tavares buries his second while shorthanded
Tavares' goals - and a Calvin de Haan empty-netter - aside, Thursday's Islanders-Stars game was not the goalfest it's been in year's past, though it didn't lack in chances. Jason Chimera rang a shot off the post on a semi-breakaway after taking a stretch pass from de Haan in the first, Alan Quine misfired on a Shane Prince one-timer and Lehtonen laid out to get a pad on Prince's second period breakaway.
The Stars had their turn too in the third period, as Jamie Benn had a partial break after exiting the box on a four-minute double-minor. Tyler Seguin had the Stars best chance to tie the game, ringing a shot off the post in the third period.
Greiss was good again too for the Islanders, recording back-to-back shutouts for the first time in his career. The Isles' goalie picked up his first assist of the season, leaving a pass for de Haan for the long-range empty-netter.
Video: DAL@NYI: Greiss slides to rob Seguin with right pad
"Today was a good win, we built off the game on Monday," Tavares said. "It was a good response from the guys after a pretty emotional day and a half and a significant change. We wanted to come out, give a good effort and respond with some good hockey. Good win, everyone contributed in a big way."
BOYCHUK, LADD AND CLUTTERBUCK MISS GAME:
Johnny Boychuk missed Thursday's game with an upper-body injury… Andrew Ladd (upper body) and Cal Clutterbuck (lower body) both missed their second straight games, but are considered day-to-day… Thomas Hickey dropped the gloves for his first NHL fight, having a go with Radek Faksa in the second period.
The Islanders will look to carry the momentum into Saturday when they take on the LA Kings at Barclays Center. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.