Toews scores in OT to lift Blackhawks past Islanders 3-2
NEW YORK (AP) Two nights after the Chicago Blackhawks lost at home in their championship banner-raising season opener, Jonathan Toews helped them spoil the New York Islanders’ Brooklyn debut.
Toews scored on a power play at 1:49 of overtime to give the Blackhawks to a 3-2 victory over the Islanders on Friday night, giving the defending Stanley Cup champions their first win of the season.
With the Blackhawks awarded an extra skater after a slashing penalty on the Islanders’ Nick Leddy during the 3-on-3 overtime, Patrick Kane sent the puck toward the middle of the net from the right side and Toews tapped it in while fighting off a defender.
”That was a heck of a play by Johnny,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. ”That line was dangerous again, they got something going.”
Kane and Artem Anisimov also scored for the Blackhawks and Corey Crawford stopped 34 shots. Crawford improved to 4-0-1 in his career against the Islanders and helped Chicago bounce back from the opening loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.
John Tavares and Marek Zidlicky scored for the Islanders. Thomas Greiss, starting in place of the injured Jaroslav Halak, finished with 32 saves.
”It would have been nice obviously to get a win but I think we played well,” New York winger Matt Martin said. ”Took a little bit to find our legs and get into it, but it’s our first game as a full group, I mean we played a pretty hockey team there tonight who already had a game under their belts.”
With the Islanders trailing 2-1 after two periods, Zidlicky tied it at 1:18 of the third as he snapped a wrist shot from the left side inside the blue line past Crawford, who was being screened by Mikhail Grabovski. It drew a roaring ovation from the sellout crowd, followed by their usual chants of ”Yes! Yes! Yes!”
”Good crowd, still a loud building, so it was fun,” Islanders center Frans Nielsen said of the team’s first game at the Barclays Center, their new home after spending their first 43 years at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island.
Grabovski had a chance on a 2-on-1 break later in the period, but had his wrist shot stopped by Crawford a little more than 8 minutes in.
Teuvo Teravainen had shot go off the goalpost with about 6 minutes to go for Chicago, and Tavares had a slap shot that deflected wide of the net with about 15 seconds left in regulation.
The Blackhawks went ahead late in the second. Toews fought off a defender behind the net and backhanded the puck to Kane, who snapped it home from the right side for his first goal of the season with 4:49 remaining.
Tavares had tied it at 5:22 of the second with the Islanders’ first goal in Brooklyn. Johnny Boychuk was in the right corner and passed it back to Tavares at the side of the net, and the Islanders’ captain skated toward the middle, had his initial shot deflect back to him and he then put the rebound past Crawford.
After the Blackhawks were whistled for having too many men, Anisimov gave them the lead with 6:32 left in the first. After a turnover by Brock Nelson, Anisimov skated down the center of the ice, moved to the right and backhanded the puck past Greiss for a short-handed score.
”That was a big goal for us,” Quenneville said. ”First time we had the (penalty) kill all year and we score short-handed. You score short-handed on the road you usually have a good night. It turned out to be a big factor in the game.”
The Islanders received a rousing ovation when they skated onto the ice, gathered in a circle around the team logo on center ice and raised their sticks.
After that there was a video tribute to honor Al Arbour, their former coach who died in August at the age of 82. Arbour was 740-537-223 in 19 seasons with the Isles and led them to four consecutive Stanley Cup titles from 1980-83. The Islanders are honoring Arbour by wearing a patch that says `AL’ on the left shoulder of their jerseys.
The teams conclude their home-and-home series Saturday night in Chicago.
NOTES: … Tavares has now scored a goal against every NHL team except for Los Angeles. … In addition to Halak, out with an undisclosed upper body injury, F Steve Bernier and rookie D Ryan Pulock were scratches for the Islanders. … D David Runblad and RW Kyle Baun sat out for the Blackhawks. …. Alexa Ray Joel, daughter of Long Island native and music legend Billy Joel and supermodel Christie Brinkley, performed the national anthem before the game. … Islanders greats Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy, Bob Nystrom and Billy Smith took part in the ceremonial puck drop.