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Recap: Islanders 5, Flames 2

Gibson makes 50 saves, Boychuk has three points as Isles halt eight-game slide

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders

Christopher Gibson sounded like he was ready to go another 12 rounds against the Calgary Flames after the Islanders posted a 5-2 win Sunday night. 

After a 50-save win, the Isles goalie was excited for his first win of the season and that the Islanders snapped an eight-game winless streak. 

"It's a great feeling, I'm happy that the team won today," Gibson said. "The guys played really well in front of me. Most of their shots were deep point shots. I just had to find a way to see the puck. If I let out bad rebounds the guys were there to clear them out." 

Video: Islanders beat Flames to snap eight-game skid

The Islanders felt that the process was improving over the course of their recent skid, but the results just weren't there. There were a number one-goal games and three straight overtime/shootout losses, but on Sunday night, they found a way to break through. 

"We've been losing one-goal games or in overtime and doing some good things, but tonight we came out and scored a couple quick ones and just tried to do the right things," Johnny Boychuk said. "Something's got to give, especially if you just keep doing the right things. We know we're in a corner and we have to win as many games as we can."

Video: NYI@CGY: Leddy, Boychuk tally two in 18 seconds

Boychuk (1G, 2A) had a game-high three points - his first three-point game since October 10, 2014 - while Gibson became the second Isles rookie to stop 50 shots. The most important number at the end of the day was two - as the Isles picked up a pair of much-needed points. 

"It's a big win, we had to get a win," Head Coach Doug Weight said. "There's not too much critiquing going on, just excited to get a win." 

The Islanders lit the Flames early, going up 2-0 in the opening 2:32, giving Mike Smith a rough welcome back in the goalie's first game in a month. Leddy opened the scoring going bar down with a wrister at 2:14 and Boychuk followed up 18 seconds later, beating Smith with a deflected knuckler from the blue line. 

Video: NYI@CGY: Eberle backhands in his own rebound

Johnny Gaudreau's sharp-angled shot over Gibson's shoulder made it 2-1 at 7:23, but Jordan Eberle potted his own rebound at 10:25 to restore the two-goal lead. 

"We just wanted to get some pucks on net in the beginning and force him to make saves," Lee said. "We were able to get a couple good bounces and tips that snuck by him."

Boychuk had a hand in the Isles third goal, feeding Eberle with a slap pass in front that Smith initially stopped before Eberle scooped up his own rebound. John Tavares kickstarted the play with a nifty, no-look backhand pass across the zone to find Boychuk. 

Video: NYI@CGY: Lee pots rebound to extend lead

Boychuk's big game continued in the second, as his slapper bounced off Smith right to Anders Lee, who made it 4-1 with his first goal of the night 50 seconds into the middle frame. Lee also rounded out the scoring with an empty-netter for his team-leading 33rd goal of the season.

"He makes really good plays at the point when he gets the puck and gets some time," Weight said. "I think that's a part of his game that's underrated, how he gets pucks through. He has some really good vision. Big game for him." 

From there it was the Gibson show. The Isles goalie saw 38 shots over the final two periods, but aside from a Mark Giordano slapper that squeaked through in the third period, didn't give an inch. 

"He was really good, he made some big saves," Weight said. "He fed off his first two games and looked really comfortable. He's playing really well. They shoot the puck. They had 14 or 15 shots on the power play as well so it was a big test for him… he passed."

Video: NYI@CGY: Gibson stops 50 for first win of season

STANDINGS IMPLICATIONS: 

The Islanders (70 points) are seven points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets (77 points) for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers (75 points) and Carolina Hurricanes (71 points) were all off Sunday. 

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