The Islanders’ perfect season continued Thursday evening when the Isles matched the Predators for two periods before skating to victory in the final 20 minutes. After falling behind in the opening period, Nikolaj Ehlers wristed a shot past Michal Neuvirth with just two seconds left in the period. That proved to be a key moment as team co-captain Alex Pietrangelo noted, “It energized the entire squad and reminded us that we’re still undefeated. We played with more on the line for the rest of the game.”
Jacob Markstrom pushed his record to 3-0 after saving 25 of the 28 shots that made it through to the netminder. Back-up goalie Jake Allen was all smiles after the game, rapping “We’re two Jakes and we ain’t fakes.”
Pietrangelo made good on his only two shots of the game, taking a beautiful feed from Nicklas Backstrom in the 2nd period and then scoring an unassisted goal in the final period when he intercepted a pass at the Islander blueline and raced through the entire Predators team to beat Neuvirth with a nifty move sliding the puck between his pad and the left post. Pietrangelo earned the first star of the game and now has 10 star points. All those ahead of him are goaltenders.
Ryan Sproul scored his first Islanders goal to give the squad some insurance and leading to the Predators yanking Neuvirth before bringing in goalie Antti Niemi. The final score was 5-3 and GM Steve was all smiles at the nightly post-game boozefest.
“I may be getting old, but winning never does. Every win is a rebirth and an inspiration.” He added.