Sat, 06 Mar 2021

Jordan Eberle scores twice as Islanders down Devils

Field Level Media
22 Jan 2021, 12:55 GMT+10

Jordan Eberle scored twice and Mathew Barzal had a goal and two assists Thursday night for the New York Islanders, who never trailed in a 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils in Uniondale, N.Y.

Brock Nelson also scored for the Islanders, who have won two consecutive games. Goalie Semyon Varlamov, whose season-opening shutout streak was snapped at 142 minutes and 10 seconds when Nathan Bastian scored in the second period, made 30 saves.

Varlamov's streak was the eighth-longest season-opening shutout stretch in NHL history and the longest since Darcy Kuemper went 164 minutes and 2 seconds at the start of the 2014-15 season.

Emergency starter Scott Wedgewood recorded 31 saves in net for the Devils, who lost starter Mackenzie Blackwood to the NHL's COVID-19 protocol list less than two hours before faceoff. The appearance was the first for Wedgewood since Feb. 13, 2018, when he earned the win for the Arizona Coyotes against the San Jose Sharks.

Barzal began his three-point evening by capping an end-to-end rush less than five minutes after the opening faceoff. Barzal took a no-look drop pass from Josh Bailey, dashed past Nikita Gusev in the neutral zone and fired a shot past the extended stick of P.K. Subban and over the right shoulder of Wedgewood at the 4:43 mark.

A turnover generated by Barzal helped the Islanders double their lead in the final minute of the period. Barzal intercepted a pass by Michael McLeod deep in the Islanders' zone and passed to Anders Lee. The New York captain then tucked the puck between Subban's legs to Eberle, who shuffled the puck before beating Wedgewood over his right pad with 20.9 seconds left.

A turnover by the Islanders' Adam Pelech allowed the Devils to snap Varlamov's shutout streak 2:10 into the second period. Ty Smith picked off a clearing pass by Pelech and passed to Bastian, whose cross-body shot sailed past Varlamov for the first regular season goal he's surrendered since March 10.

The Islanders put the game away with a pair of power play goals in the first six minutes of the third. An angled Eberle put back the rebound of a Noah Dobson shot at the 1:56 mark before Nelson, who needed stitches to repair a facial cut he absorbed after tripping and falling on Subban's stick or skate in the second period, redirected a shot by Nick Leddy at 5:16.

--Field Level Media

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