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game recap

Doug Weight wins coaching debut for Islanders

John Tavares scores twice, Thomas Greiss makes 23 saves to shut out Stars

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- New York Islanders captain John Tavares scored twice in a 3-0 win against the Dallas Stars at Barclays Center on Thursday to give Doug Weight his first victory in his debut as coach.

Weight, 45, was named coach Tuesday when Jack Capuano was fired with the Islanders in last place in the Eastern Conference. He preached puck management the past two days since taking over, and the Islanders responded by outshooting the Stars 36-23.

 

WATCH: All Stars vs. Islanders highlights

 

"It was a tough couple of days because [Capuano] is a good man and great friend and mentor to me," Weight said. "I want some swagger and confidence from these guys. I think I'm going to make them accountable. They're going to hear about it. A couple guys heard it on the bench and a couple heard it between periods and they reacted to it in a good way. I want them playing like they can fly around the rink; I want a fast and skilled team."

Thomas Greiss made 23 saves for his second straight shutout, and defenseman Calvin de Haan scored an empty-net goal for the Islanders (18-17-8). Greiss is the first Islanders goaltender to get back-to-back shutouts since Jaroslav Halak on Nov. 8-11, 2015.

"We didn't make many mistakes and didn't give them much," Greiss said. "To win games in this league you need to make big saves."

Video: Greiss, Condon earn Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

Greiss, who was making his eighth straight start, made 32 saves in a 4-0 win at the Boston Bruins on Monday. He has two shutouts this season and six in his NHL career.

"From top to bottom, it was a great effort led by our captain and our goalie," Weight said.

Kari Lehtonen made 33 saves for the Stars (19-20-8) and was a big reason the Islanders finished 0-for-7 on the power play.

"I think we had some good kills but took too many penalties," Lehtonen said. "We have to stay out of the box. It was nice to get some quality two-minute penalty kills."

Tavares scored the first shorthanded goal of his NHL career with 3:06 left in the third period to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead. De Haan scored with four seconds remaining.

"It only took me 7 1/2 years, so it was nice to get it," Tavares said. "I'm getting more comfortable on the penalty kill and had two good opportunities. It was nice to bury the second one."

Tavares scored from the slot 13:31 into the first period to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead. Greiss made 10 saves in the first; his best was against Tyler Seguin at the left post during a Dallas power play.

"It doesn't take much for a guy like Tavares to get loose and get a breakaway; he had an awesome game and on every shift he was really dangerous," Lehtonen said.

Dallas is 3-12-4 in the game following a victory; the Stars won 7-6 at the New York Rangers on Tuesday. They haven't won back-to-back games since Dec. 27, when they won the second of three straight.

 

Goal of the game

Tavares' shorthanded goal, his 18th goal of the season, came on a breakaway 16:54 into the third period.

Video: DAL@NYI: Tavares buries his second while shorthanded

 

Save of the game

Greiss denied Seguin with his right pad and then stopped the rebound attempt 4:05 into the first period.

Video: DAL@NYI: Greiss slides to rob Seguin with right pad

 

Highlight of the game

Tavares took a pass from Anders Lee, skated around defenseman John Klingberg and lifted a shot over the glove of Lehtonen from the slot for his first goal of the game.

Video: DAL@NYI: Tavares shows off hands and buries a beauty

 

Unsung performance of the game

Lehtonen made 18 of his 33 saves during the power-play opportunities by the Islanders.

 

They said it

"[Doug Weight] has got his own style on how he wants to run the bench and point things out during the game or make adjustments. He was real positive and intense when he needed to be, so he was great back there and it was good to get him his first win." -- Islanders captain John Tavares

 

"It's frustrating; we need to pick up points. We're in a dogfight and there are a lot of teams in that pack with us. We have to win some games, and have to learn how to win consecutive games and find a way to get points." -- Stars center Jason Spezza

 

Need to know

The Stars entered the game having allowed a League-high 40 power-play goals. ... Weight said Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (upper body) could return to the lineup against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. ... Tavares had a game-high six shots and finished 14-of-21 (67 percent) on faceoffs. ... Islanders center Casey Cizikas returned to the game after needing stitches on his face after taking a high stick from Jamie Benn 3:56 into the third. ... The Islanders are 0-for-21 on the power play in their past six games.

 

What's next

Stars: Host the Washington Capitals on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NHLN, FS-SW, CSN-DC+, NHL.TV)

Islanders: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday (6 p.m. ET; MSG+, KCOP-13, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Tavares, Greiss power Isles past Stars, 3-0

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