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game recap

Barzal has five assists, Islanders defeat Avalanche

Rookie center sets up two goals each by Eberle, Leddy; New York ends Colorado's three-game winning streak

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- Mathew Barzal had five assists, and Nick Leddy and Jordan Eberle each scored twice to help the New York Islanders to a 6-4 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Barclays Center on Sunday.

Defensemen Scott Mayfield and Johnny Boychuk also scored for New York (8-5-1). Thomas Greiss made 31 saves.

 

[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Islanders highlights]

 

"I'm just taking it day by day," said Barzal, who set an Islanders single-game record for assists by a rookie. "I think sometimes you can get ahead of yourself after you have a good game here and there. But I'm just trying to take it day by day. I've got to prove myself every day. I'm just trying to help this team win. That's all I really care about."

Colorado (8-6-0) played two forwards short for the final 50 minutes after Matt Duchene was traded to the Ottawa Senators and Blake Comeau sustained an upper-body injury. Duchene played 1:59 but trailed Comeau to the Avalanche dressing room with 10:37 remaining in the first period and left the arena during the second.

Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog scored in the second period, and Alexander Kerfoot had two goals in the last minute of the third for Colorado, which had its three-game winning streak end. Jonathan Bernier made 22 saves.

"The bench got a little bit short there in a hurry," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "We've known it could be a possibility here the last couple of days."

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

Mayfield, who had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick, was credited with his second goal of the season 4:05 into the game when his centering feed went off Comeau's stick at the edge of the right circle and trickled past Bernier to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead.

Eberle made it 2-0 at 12:58 of the first period when he one-timed Barzal's feed from the slot past Bernier.

Barzal, a center who was the Islanders' first-round pick (No. 16) at the 2015 NHL Draft, extended his point streak to five games.

"He has an uncanny ability to find people while he's shifting his weight and turning away from checks, and instantly he sees the ice," Islanders coach Doug Weight said of Barzal. "You have the hands matching your brain, you can make those plays. Five assists in a game is pretty special."

MacKinnon got the Avalanche within a goal when he scored 40 seconds into the second period. Greiss made a save on Erik Johnson's shot from the left circle, but MacKinnon got the rebound and roofed it to make it 2-1.

New York quickly responded with power-play goals 2:51 apart by Leddy. The defenseman scored 1:33 into the period when his shot from the point found its way through a crowd and past Bernier. He made it 4-1 at 4:24 when his shot ricocheted off the end boards, deflected off Avalanche defenseman Patrik Nemeth and trickled into the net.

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

Boychuk ended a 35-game goal drought when he made it 5-1 at 9:46 of the second period. It was his first goal since Jan. 31.

Landeskog made it 5-2 at 13:02.

Eberle finished a 2-on-1 with Barzal 1:23 into the third period to give New York a 6-2 lead.

"He's feeling it right now, which is great," Eberle said of Barzal. "It's fun to play with him."

Kerfoot scored with 30 seconds remaining and again with 8.6 seconds left to make it 6-4.

Video: COL@NYI: Kerfoot scores twice in 21 seconds

 

Goal of the game

Eberle gave New York a 2-0 lead at 12:58 of the first period.

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

 

Save of the game

Greiss got his right pad on Mikko Rantanen's redirection at 8:23 of the second period.

Video: COL@NYI: Greiss splits for great pad save on Rantanen

 

Highlight of the game

Eberle scored his second goal of the game at 1:23 of the third period.

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

 

They said it

"It was strange. Just the way it happened, early first period. Strange how it went down, but it's over." -- Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon on Matt Duchene being traded during the game

 

"I'm more on edge about our display and our play. The League is relinquishing a few more goals, so you have to be relative in your mind game to game. You want to be a plus team. But you're concerned about every aspect that's not going well. We talked about our power play and our penalty kill was letting us down, and now we've gotten some mojo in that. Now we're inconsistent in other areas and we've kind of got some guys that are just going through some motions. Whether that's squeezing their stick, that's not calling them as far as work ethic and preparation, but we have to find a way to do it if you're going to be a great team, if you're going to be a deep team. You've got to warrant your ice time sooner or later." -- Islanders coach Doug Weight

 

Need to know

MacKinnon extended his point streak to four games. … Barzal is the first Islanders player to have five assists in one game since Pat LaFontaine on Jan. 11, 1990. … The Islanders are 25-4-4 against Western Conference opponents at Barclays Center, their home since the start of the 2015-16 season. … Josh Bailey assisted on Mayfield's goal to extend his point streak to nine games. It's the longest active streak in the NHL.

 

What's next

Avalanche: Host the Ottawa Senators on Friday in 2017 NHL SAP Global Series at Stockholm (12 p.m. ET; NHLN, ALT, TSN5, RDS, NHL.TV)

Islanders: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, MSG+, SNOL, NHL.TV)

 

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

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