The overtime winner came from speedster Michael Grabner, who would have never gotten the chance in overtime if it wasn’t for the stellar play of Kevin Poulin and Brock Nelson.
Poulin played very well all night, notching 30 saves on 31 shots. The only goal he gave up came off the stick of Nathan MacKinnon; it came when the defense was caught flat-footed, and MacKinnon’s speed gained him an easy breakaway.
MacKinnon struck late in the second period for the first goal of the game. The second period was the worst period the Islanders played all night, and they went into the second intermission in a hole. It seemed as though the Islanders had run out of steam, something that can happen easily in the Mile High air.
Nelson struck for the Islanders early in the third, and really helped New York regain the momentum. Nelson’s gritty attitude on this play helped the Islanders work the puck deep in Colorado’s zone. Frans Nielsen then found the puck and threw it in front of the net, and a lucky bounce helped the puck find its way back to Nelson’s stick, and he found the back of the net.
This was a big game for the Islanders. After starting the year poorly, the Islanders seem to be picking up their play as of late. They head onto Texas now, to play the Dallas Stars, a team they embarrassed this past Monday night in New York, 7-3.
The Islander appear to be getting back to their level of play from last year, and the rest of the league should be on alert.