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game recap

Lehner shutout sparks Islanders past Sharks

Goalie makes 35 saves in season debut; Cizikas has goal, assist for New York

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

NEW YORK -- Robin Lehner made 35 saves, including 16 in the third period, in his New York Islanders debut, a 4-0 win against the San Jose Sharks at Barclays Center on Monday.

Anders Lee, Scott Mayfield, Matt Martin and Casey Cizikas scored for the Islanders, who blocked 23 shots and killed four penalties to remain perfect this season (8-for-8).

"It was a fun game to play," said Lehner, who signed a one-year contract with the Islanders July 3. "It was a great atmosphere today in the building too against a good team. I felt real good."

 

[WATCH: All Sharks vs. Islanders highlights]

 

Martin Jones made 26 saves for the Sharks, who outshot the Islanders 16-5 in the third period. San Jose is 0-for-10 on the power play this season.

"They played desperate," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "They blocked a lot of shots. They were heavy, they were hard. They played a good hockey game. That's a one-goal game basically going into the third period on the road, so you've got to give them some credit. They played hard defensively. They didn't give you a whole lot. They found a way to get the first power-play goal and we didn't.

"You've got to give their goalie some credit. He made some big saves at the right time."

Lee gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 14:34 of the second period. With Evander Kane in the box for slashing, Josh Bailey one-timed Mathew Barzal's pass from the right face-off circle that Jones saved with his pad. Lee, who was named Islanders captain Oct. 4, was in front for the rebound and quickly roofed it over Jones for his second goal of the season.

Video: SJS@NYI: Lee roofs rebound for power-play goal

"What we demand from ourselves and what we want to achieve every night is to be good defensively, and a lot of that has to do with the little things, that extra effort," Lee said. "It's fun to play offense, and defense is all about effort, commitment and playing smart, that structure that we have and taking pride in it."

Mayfield made it 2-0 at 5:16 of the third period. Moments after Cal Clutterbuck helped the Islanders gain control of the puck with a hit on Marcus Sorensen, Mayfield took a pass from Cizikas and sent a shot from the top of the right face-off circle that deflected off Rourke Chartier and past Jones.

Martin, reacquired by the Islanders in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 3, made it 3-0 at 13:02 of the third when he took a pass from Valtteri Filppula and beat Jones with a wrist shot from between the face-off circles.

Video: SJS@NYI: Martin goes top shelf to extend the lead

"It's always fun to score in general, but to be back here and pot one in a big game … it was a strong game for our team in general," Martin said. "I'm happy for [Lehner] to get the shutout. It feels good. We're just going to continue to build and get better."

Cizikas scored a shorthanded empty-net goal with 55.6 seconds remaining to make it 4-0.

Lehner, who became the first goalie to get a shutout in his Islanders debut, kept the Sharks off the board when he closed his pads on Timo Meier's shot from point-blank range at 3:56 of the second period.

"I was a little bit nervous at the beginning, to be honest," Lehner said. "Then I got a couple of easy ones right from the start and I kind of got settled down a little bit."

 

They said it

"It was a game that was winnable. It's frustrating we don't stick any in the net with some of the looks we had, some of the power plays, the kind of momentum we felt like we had. It's one of those games every time you get that Grade A [chance], it seems to hit him in the chest or finds his pad." -- Sharks captain Joe Pavelski 

"To me, it's a team win. We did everything as a team and I thought everybody contributed through the lineup. But it always starts from the net out. Robin was really solid. I was happy for him. He's made such a big commitment in so many areas of his life and the way he's changing his game with (goalie coach) Piero (Greco). I was happy for him, and I think the guys were too." -- Islanders coach Barry Trotz

 

Need to know

DeBoer said prior to the game that center Joe Thornton does not have any structural damage in his right knee. Thornton experienced swelling after a 3-2 overtime win at the Los Angeles Kings on Friday and was placed on injured reserve Sunday. "It looks like an infection," DeBoer said. "[They] put him on antibiotics, and he should be fine." … Lehner is the first Islanders goalie to shut out the Sharks since Garth Snow on Feb. 19, 2003. … Barzal, Bailey and Filppula each have three-game point streaks.

 

What's next

Sharks: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Islanders: At the Nashville Predators on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Video: Lehner, Islanders shut out Sharks, 4-0

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