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Recap: Isles Strike Oil With 5-2 Win

The Islanders pick up their 35th win of the season with victory over Oilers

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / NewYorkIslanders.com

The New York Islanders beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 on Saturday night, their final regular-season game at Barclays Center this season.

Ryan Pulock, Valtteri Filppula, Mathew Barzal, Anders Lee and Brock Nelson scored for the Islanders, who picked up their second-straight win and 35th of the season - matching the team's total from all of last year.

With the win, the Islanders improved to 12-6-2 at Barclays Center this season. They will return if they can advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. 


Video: Five different Isles score in win against Oilers

ISLES WIN 35TH GAME: 

Saturday's win was a benchmark of sorts, as the Islanders picked up their 35th "W" matching their total from all of last season. 

What took 82 games last year only took 58 this season, which showed how far the Isles have come inside one year. 

"It's a complete opposite. If you look at our defensive game from last year to this year and just the way we find a way to win tight games compared to last year," Pulock said. "When you're comfortable in those positions it makes it a lot easier. Over the last 30-40 games we've been comfortable in those tight spots and just have guys step up and find a way to get the job done."

Video: EDM@NYI: Barzal redirects Toews' shot past Koskinen

The Islanders were in a couple of tight spots on Saturday night, as the Oilers would not go down easy. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins poured cold water on the Isles hot second period, making it 2-1 with 2.3 seconds to play in the second, but the Isles responded with an early third-period goal, as Barzal tipped a Devon Toews shot past former Islander Mikko Koskinen for his 17th goal and 50th point of the season.

Leon Draisaitl's power-play goal made it 3-2 midway through the period, but the Isles - who killed off two more penalties afterwards - stepped up and put the game away, with Lee and Nelson scoring a pair of goals in the final 2:16 of the third period. 

"Up 2-1 going into the third, that was a fragile spot last year for us. Tonight we were just locking it down, staying aggressive and [kept] the same mindset all the way through," said Barzal. "This team has come a long way, even from the start of the season this year." 


Video: EDM@NYI: Lee buries Komarov's pass on the rush
LEE LEADS ISLES WITH GOAL AND FIGHT: 

Anders Lee brought the Islanders into the fight on Saturday - both literally and figuratively. 

Lee dropped the gloves with Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse and scored the backbreaker to make it 4-2, in what was an effective outing by the Islanders' captain. 

While the tilt was an escalation of some mutual cross-checking, the Isles took a cue from their captain, upping their intensity against a desperate and pesky Oilers team. 

"He wasn't backing down and he pulled us into the fight a little bit," Trotz said. "It's really nice when your leader is dropping the gloves and battling and doing all those dirty things and maybe is not getting rewarded or the fanfare. He's doing all the heavy lifting all the time."

Lee capped his night with his team-leading 19th goal of the season, finishing a fantastic saucer pass from Leo Komarov at 17:44. More importantly for Lee, the goal snapped a 12-game drought, his first tally since Jan. 17.

"He's been battling for so long in the last little while and not getting rewarded. It was nice to see him get rewarded," Trotz said. "I was really happy for Anders."


Tweet from @NYIslanders: New pads, same @RobinLehner. 🤩 #Isles pic.twitter.com/UXWUNxkHJr

NEW PADS, SAME LEHNER: 

Robin Lehner made 34 saves on Saturday night, christening a new set of pads with a quality win. The Islanders goaltender stopped 12-of-13 shots in the third period alone to preserve and drew some cheers from the Barclays Center crowd with a highlight-reel save on Oscar Klefbom in the first period. 

The win improved Lehner's record to 14-3-1 in his last 18 games. 


Video: EDM@NYI: Pulock rips one-timer past Koskinen for PPG

PULOCK PILING UP POINTS: 

Ryan Pulock opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 3:02 of second period, hammering a one-timer past Mikko Koskinen for his sixth goal of the season. Pulock's goal was his eighth point in his last eight games (3G, 5A). 

The Islanders' defenseman nearly had a second, ringing a shot off the post and through the crease after a slick cross-ice pass from Filppula. 

Filppula had a goal of his own at 13:30 of the second, deflecting a Nick Leddy shot past Koskinen. 


NEXT GAME: 

The Islanders kick off a three-game road trip through Western Canada starting on Wednesday in Calgary. 

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