John Tavares reminded everyone why he is considered one of the best young offensive talents in the NHL on Saturday night, as his hat trick helped the New York Islanders defeat the New Jersey Devils 5-1. The Islanders’ star center now has at least a goal in five straight games and 11 goals on the season. The Islanders may not be winning many games, but their play against the Devils showed how lethal the team can be when their offense is clicking.
Tavares had four points against the Devils and two of his goals came on the power play. His five-game point streak now features seven goals and two assists as he once again leads the Islanders in most offensive categories. Tavares has five goals and 10 points on the power play this season, a big part of the reason for his team having the second most successful power play in the league. Despite the Islanders ranking in the top six in three of the four main scoring categories, the team has a 6-7-1 record due to the fact that they still give up too many goals. Evgeni Nabokov had one of his best outings of the season against the Devils, making 30 saves while allowing only one goal.
The hat trick was the fourth of Tavares’ career and his sixth multi-point game of the season. He led the Islanders last season with 31 goals and 50 points and seems to be seeing some benefits from staying active overseas during the lockout. Tavares had 17 goals and 42 points in 28 games for Bern of the Swiss-A league during the work stoppage.