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game recap

Islanders start Western trip with win against Avalanche

Greiss makes 30 saves for New York; Colorado's Rantanen has point streak end

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DENVER -- Thomas Greiss made 30 saves for the New York Islanders in a 4-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Monday.

Colorado forward Mikko Rantanen's point streak ended at 14 games. He had 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists) in the streak.

Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle each had a goal and an assist, and Johnny Boychuk and Valtteri Filppula scored for the Islanders (16-12-4), who started a four-game Western Conference road trip with their second win in a row and third in their past five games.


[WATCH: All Islanders vs. Avalanche highlights]


Gabriel Landeskog scored, and Semyon Varlamov made 17 saves for the Avalanche (18-10-6), who are 1-3-1 in the past five games.

The Islanders limited the Avalanche's high-scoring line of Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Rantanen to a power-play goal and an assist.

"Everybody knows they're the engine of the whole team," said Greiss, who is 7-2-1 against Colorado. "If you can shut them down, it's a big part of their game. It was huge to play really well against them. We didn't give them much."

Rantanen was more concerned with the loss than the end of his streak.

"Yeah, it's a long time," he said. "My linemates have been helping, like I say in every interview. The team has helped me too. I don't really think about it too much. There's so many games left, and our goal is to stay in the top three in the (Central) division and make the playoffs."

Video: NYI@COL: Greiss makes great pad stop on Soderberg

The Islanders killed four of five penalties, including two hooking minors against Joshua Ho-Sang at 11:23 of the second period against Sven Andrighetto and Gabriel Bourque while leading 2-1.

"That was huge," New York coach Barry Trotz said. "That was a game-changer. If they score there, that could've been a game-changer. We actually got some momentum off of that.

"That's the thing with the special teams sometimes. Power plays can pull momentum away from you, just because you're expecting to score. If it doesn't go well, the penalty-killing team gets the momentum. We killed that off and gave us some momentum, gave us a little extra juice in the back end of that period."

The Islanders took a 1-0 lead when Eberle scored at 18:20 of the first period. Brock Nelson passed to Eberle, who scored from the slot for his seventh goal and first in 11 games.

Boychuk gave New York a 2-0 lead at 2:07 of the second period with a one-timer from the left face-off circle on the power play for his first goal of the season.

"It's nice just to get one on the score sheet," Boychuk said. "There's been a couple of times where I hit the crossbar or they make nice saves."

Video: NYI@COL: Boychuk rockets a shot past Varlamov for PPG

Landeskog made it 2-1 with a power-play goal at 6:45 when he tipped Tyson Barrie's shot from the blue line.

Lee tipped a shot by Nick Leddy on the power play to give the Islanders a 3-1 lead at 18:25 of the second.

Filppula scored an empty-net goal at 17:36 of the third period for the 4-1 final score.

The Islanders were 2-for-4 on power plays after going 2-for-34 in the previous 13 games.

"Our special teams ended up being pretty big for us tonight," Trotz said. "It's a good team win. I thought a majority of the guys were going. We played the right way for the most part. We defended, we sort of just did what we had to do. Frustrated them a little bit, I think, and we were able to capitalize when we did have some chances."


They said it

"It was just a good job by our special teams just overall tonight except for that one goal that they got. They still had a couple chances where they could have scored and made it a closer game. It was a good job by our special teams and [goalie Thomas Greiss] obviously stood on his head. It was just a good team win." -- Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk


"I'm not concerned, I believe in our team and what we're capable of doing. I just feel like we're not as sharp, as crisp as we were earlier. That's why we win one, lose one. The urgency has to come back into our game. I didn't feel like our team was real urgent from the drop of the puck, and they were." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar


Need to know

Nelson left the game after being kneed by Avalanche defenseman Ian Cole, who was penalized at 17:55 of the second period. Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey left at 17:26 of the second with an upper-body injury. "We'll see where they are tomorrow," Trotz said. … Barrie tied John-Michael Liles for the most assists by a defenseman in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history (207). … MacKinnon has two goals eight assists in a six-game point streak.


What's next

Islanders: At the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; FS-A, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday (8:30 p.m. ET; SN, SN360, ALT, RDS, NHL.TV)

Video: Balanced offense leads Islanders to 4-1 win vs. Avs

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