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Recap: Islanders 6, Avalanche 4

Mathew Barzal sets Isles rookie record in 6-4 win over Colorado.

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders

Mathew Barzal set an Islanders rookie record with five assists, Islanders defensemen scored four goals and the power play struck twice. All of it added up to a 6-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday at Barclays Center. 

"Some nights the pucks just seem to find the back of the net a little easier," Barzal said. "We got a couple of lucky bounces, but eventually those start going in. It's just nice to see (Jordan Eberle) get two, (Nick) Leddy get two and the power play was clicking again. It was a night where everything went right."

Video: Barzal's five assists lift Isles past Avalanche, 6-4

The Islanders - who scored six goals for the third time in four games - took care of business against a team playing on the second night of a back-to-back. Scott Mayfield opened the scoring at 4:05 of the first and the Islanders offense didn't relent after the Avs lost Matt Duchene - who was traded to Ottawa in the first period - and Blake Comeau - who left after taking a puck to the head. 

With Colorado down to 10 forwards, Eberle made it 2-0 by finishing the first of Barzal's record five assists with a top-shelf one-timer. The Islanders blew the game open in the second period, scoring three straight goals after Nathan MacKinnon had briefly made it 2-1. 

Video: COL@NYI: Eberle buries one-timer from Barzal in 1st

Nick Leddy scored a pair of power-play goals Sunday, while Johnny Boychuk scored his first of the season to make it 5-1 by the midpoint of the game. Puck luck was on the Islanders' side, as the team scored four goals off of Avalanche sticks, skates and bodies. Leddy's second of the night put an exclamation point on the Isles good fortune, bouncing off the end glass, back over the Avs net, off defenseman Patrik Nemeth and past goalie Jonathan Bernier. 

Video: COL@NYI: Leddy nets long-range PPG through traffic

"We weren't as sharp as we wanted to be, I think we got a lot of fortunate bounces and we capitalized on our chances," Eberle said. "A win is a win, so we have to take it."

Gabriel Landeskog made it 5-2 at 13:02 of the second period, but the Islanders were firmly in control of the game by then. Eberle netted his second of the game in the third period, converting a nifty backhand saucer pass from Barzal at 1:23.  

Video: COL@NYI: Leddy gets fortunate bounce for second PPG

In addition to establishing a new Islanders rookie record for assists in a game, Barzal became the first Islanders rookie since John Tavares to have a five-point night. 

Alex Kerfoot scored a pair of goals in the final 30 seconds of the third period to round out the scoring. Kerfoot's goals cut into Thomas Greiss' statline, but the Islanders goalie finished the night with 31 saves in his first start in four games. Jonathan Bernier stopped 22 of 28 in the loss. 

Video: COL@NYI: Eberle buries Barzal's dish for his second


Mathew Barzal was electric on Sunday night, setting the Islanders rookie record for mosts assists in one game.

"It's a pretty cool thing to do," Barzal said. "I'm growing more confident every day and nights like tonight don't really hurt. I'm just trying to fit in and make an impact."

Tweet from @NYIslanders: .@Barzal_97 has set a franchise rookie record tonight with five assists in a game. �� #Isles

The five-assist night doubled Barzal's assist total for the season. The 20-year-old center now has 13 points (3G, 10A) in 14 games this season and is second among NHL rookies with 10 assists.  

"[Barzal]'s has an uncanny ability to find people while he's shifting his weight and turning away from checks and instantly sees the ice and he had the hands matching the brain and he can make those plays," Head Coach Doug Weight said. "Five assists in a game is pretty special… it's a good accomplishment."

Barzal is the first Islander to have a five-assist game since Pat LaFontaine on Jan. 11, 1990. 


The Islanders power play stayed red hot, going 2-for-2 on Sunday night. The two-goal night marked the fourth-straight game the Isles power play recorded multiple goals - the first time it's done that since the 1991-92 season. The club record is five games, set from Feb. 7-16, 1982.

It's been one extreme or the other for the Islanders power play, which started the season on a 2-for-33 stretch (6.06%). Over the past four games, the power play is 9-for-16 (56.25%) and has jumped up to eighth in the NHL (22.4%). 


The Islanders defensemen broke through in a big way offensively, netting four of the team's six goals Sunday. The four-goal night more than doubled the blue lines production to start the season, as the eight defensemen had previously combined for three goals. 

Video: COL@NYI: Mayfield opens the scoring from sharp angle

Johnny Boychuk scored his first of the season, while Scott Mayfield scored his second en route to completing a Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist and fight). Nick Leddy finished the night with three points (2G, 1A) and leads the Isles defensemen with 10 points (3G, 7A) this season.

Video: COL@NYI: Boychuk blasts one home from the point

"It's nice to chip in offensively, the defensemen did a better job tonight. I think that's something we were a little slow at to start the season," said Mayfield. "It's something we need to take pride in and start doing a little more of. Tonight's a good example, it helped us out a ton."


The Islanders host Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night at Barclays Center. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.

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