The New York Islanders have a rare Saturday-Sunday off. Goaltenders Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss can probably use the rest.
The Islanders allow more goals and shots on goal per game than any team in the NHL. The first number is down to 3.55 after back-to-back 3-0 shutouts of the New York Rangers on Thursday and Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. The second number continues to rise; it's at 36.2 shots per game after Halak made 50 saves against the Rangers and Greiss made 45 in the win at Carolina.
Halak and Greiss combined to make the Islanders the first team in NHL history to have shutouts of at least 40 saves on consecutive days. New York is the third to do so in consecutive games; the others were the Florida Panthers (March 2-4, 2008, including a 53-save, 1-0 shutout of the Islanders by Craig Anderson), and the Phoenix Coyotes (March 31-April 3, 2012).
The shutout by Halak was the 11th since the NHL made shots on goal an official statistic in 1955-56 when a goaltender had to make 50 or more saves. The Islanders and Edmonton Oilers are the only teams to have done it twice; Glenn Healy made 51 saves in a 3-0 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Jan. 16, 1990. The Rangers are the only team to have been shut out three times despite taking 50 or more shots on goal.
Video: Halak earns Thursday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout
Islanders center Mathew Barzal leads NHL rookies in scoring with 62 points (16 goals, 46 assists). Those numbers might be even bigger if the Islanders played the Rangers more often.
Barzal assisted on all three Islanders goals Thursday, giving him nine points (three goals, six assists) in three games against the Rangers. He scored his first NHL goal at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 19, then had a five-point game (two goals, three assists) in a 7-2 win at the Garden on Jan. 13.
Thursday was Barzal's seventh game with three or more points and he's the fourth rookie since 1993-94 to have that many. Sidney Crosby is the leader with 11 in 2005-06.
Video: NYR@NYI: Hickey gets 100th point, Barzal's 3rd assist
Beat the clock
The Columbus Blue Jackets didn't get the win they wanted against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday, but they didn't come away empty-handed. Cam Atkinson's goal with 3:28 remaining in the third period earned Columbus a point in a 2-1 overtime loss at Nationwide Arena.
It was the 92nd time this season that a team scored the tying goal in the final 5:00 of the third period and the 12th in a 10-day span. Teams that score the tying goal in the final 5:00 are 47-1-44. The teams that allow a late tying goal are 45-6-41.
Another one bites the dust
The Vegas Golden Knights continue to shred the record book for NHL expansion teams. Their 6-3 victory against the Montreal Canadiens at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday was their 22nd home win, matching the mark for a first-year team set by the 1979-80 Hartford Whalers, who went 22-12-6. Vegas is 22-4-2 with 13 games left at T-Mobile Arena, beginning Monday against the Anaheim Ducks (10 p.m. ET; ATTSN-RM, PRIME, NHL.TV).
The win against Montreal put the Golden Knights (39-15-4) on top of the NHL standings, one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning, as the NHL nears the three-quarter mark of the 2017-18 season. It's by far the latest any first-year team has been first overall. The Elias Sports Bureau says the previous best for an expansion team was the 1967-68 Los Angeles Kings, who were first on Nov. 24, 1967, after their 19th game.
The Golden Knights have already blown past the mark for the most wins by a team in its inaugural season (33 by the Florida Panthers and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 1993-94). They are one short of the mark for road wins by a first-year team (18 by the 1993-94 Mighty Ducks), though they won't get a chance to surpass that one until they begin a five-game road trip against the New Jersey Devils on March 4.
Video: Kane, Geno notch milestones, Vegas ties NHL record
It took nearly three-quarters of a season, but Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith finally has a goal. Keith scored his first of the season on his 139th shot during the Blackhawks' 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.
The new leader for most shots without scoring a goal this season is Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton, who is 0-for-80. Among forwards, it's Jannik Hansen of the San Jose Sharks, who has no goals on 37 shots in 32 games played.