The New York Islanders beat up on the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 as Matt Martin returned to Brooklyn for the first time since his departure.
Tonight was sure a strange night for the Islanders as they welcomed back old friend Matt Martin. It was his first time returning to New York after spending eight years with the Islanders. He received a warm welcome and a nice tribute as well.
The Islanders got things going early scoring two goals in the first period. One from Travis Hamonic just 1:01 into the period and then Casey Cizikas at the 7:22 mark. It was a good first period for the Isles as they were able to jump out to an early lead and take the momentum.
The second period was definitely different as neither team scored and the momentum the Islanders carried with a two goal lead seemed to disappear.
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The Maple Leafs got on the board quickly in the third on a power play goal from Jake Gardiner. The once comfortable two goal lead was cut to one. After a weak second period it seemed like the tables were beginning to turn.
That is until Shane Prince scored his second goal in two games. Oddly enough it looked a lot like his first one in Pittsburgh.
The Islanders had a more comfortable lead and the momentum back on their side. They weren’t done yet. Brock Nelson, the team scoring leader would add a goal to extend it to 4-1. Then in the final minute Josh Bailey added the cherry on top to make it a 5-1 game.
Although a five goal outburst will get most of the attention it would be unwise to look past the performance of Thomas Greiss. He was fantastic stopping 33 of 34 shots on goal. He certainly played like a number one goalie, just in case there’s any truth to the Jaroslav Halak rumors.
The Islanders are now 4-5 on the season and will have a tough game their next time out on Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. They’re winning the games they should, it’s now time for a statement win if they want to be taken seriously in the Eastern Conference.