Greiss strong in net, Islanders beat Blues 3-2 in OT
ST. LOUIS (AP) Thomas Greiss lost the shutout early in the third period, and then the rest of a two-goal cushion, too.
The goalie was the New York Islanders’ best player regardless, making 38 saves and keeping them alive for a 3-2 overtime victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.
”We played really good defensively,” Greiss said. ”There was one shot and most of the time guys were able to clear away the rebounds. It made my life a lot easier.”
Mikhail Grabovski scored his first goal of the season 4 minutes into overtime.
”I think for us just to win is important, plain and simple,” Grabovski said. ”It’s good scoring, that’s for sure.”
John Tavares scored his fifth of the season and extended his point-scoring streak to six games for the Islanders. Frans Nielsen had two assists, including on Grabovski’s winning goal.
And the Islanders held the Blues scoreless on five power plays. Over the last five games, they’ve killed 18 consecutive power plays.
”Whether they were warranted or not, we had to kill a lot of penalties,” coach Jack Capuano said. ”Our goalie made some big saves when he had to.”
Rookie defenseman Colton Parayko had a goal and assist in the third for the injury-depleted Blues, who outshot the Islanders 40-22. St. Louis will be without forwards Jaden Schwartz (broken ankle) and Paul Stastny (broken foot) for an extended period.
One day after Schwartz was injured in practice, the Blues predictably came out flat.
”You don’t want it to be, but that’s what it kind of felt like a little bit,” goalie Brian Elliott said. ”The guys did a good job battling out of that hole and tying it up.”
Kyle Okposo had a power-play goal in the first period for the Islanders, who have won five of six and bounced back smartly a night after losing at home to Boston. Tavares has four goals and six assists during his streak and has 23 points his last 13 regular season games.
Parayko ended the Blues’ scoreless slump at 103:33 on a high drive from the point on the first shot of the third, the drive apparently ticking off the jersey of a defender past Greiss at 2:26. Steen tied it with 9:09 to go on a deflection on another point shot by Parayko after Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy first deflected the puck.
The Blues had won five in a row against the Islanders before falling short in their first home game since beating Edmonton in the opener.
”I thought we played great in the second and third,” coach Ken Hitchcock said. ”Guys gave a lot, gave a lot in the second and gave a ton in the third.”
Besides the two front-liners, the Blues’ depth was further tested when forward Scotty Upshall was scratched with illness about an hour before game-time.
”It just seems to be one of those weeks, it really threw us for a curve,” Hitchcock said. ”We jumbled lines all over the place.”
Anders Lee set a nice screen for Okposo’s shot from the left point with 3:08 to go in the first.
Tavares bought space with a fake on defenseman Jay Bouwmeester before beating Brian Elliott with 1:19 left in the second.
NOTES: Former Blues D Bob Plager wore a No. 6 jersey in tribute to the late Jimmy Roberts when he escorted a cancer survivor to center ice for the ceremonial puck drop. Roberts, who died at age 75 on Friday, was to have dropped the puck. … Rookie F Robby Fabbri (concussion) is expected to rejoin the lineup on Tuesday. … D Kevin Shattenkirk (lower body) was among the Blues’ scratches. … Islanders D Marek Zidlicky was a healthy scratch, ending a streak of 142 consecutive starts. … The Islanders dominated in face-offs in the first period, going 15-5, but ended up with a slim edge of 29-26.