Barzal scores in OT, Islanders beat Golden Knights 2-1
NEW YORK (AP) — Mathew Barzal scored in overtime and Semyon Varlamov made a season-high 44 saves to help the New York Islanders beat the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 on Saturday night for their second straight victory.
Barzal beat goaltender Logan Thompson with a high shot at 4:28 of the extra session after Varlamov stopped William Carrier on a penalty shot earlier in overtime, then denied Jack Eichel on another point-blank shot.
“It was great to see him score,″ Islanders coach Lane Lambert said. “He put himself in a position tonight. He shot the puck and he got rewarded for it.”
The goal was Barzal’s 12th of the season. He had only one assist in 10 games entering Saturday's game. His previous goal came on Jan. 5 and his last overtime winner was on Nov. 23, 2018.
“That was huge, so it kind of puts us right back in the hunt,″ Barzal said. “I’m sure we’re going to be hungry to have a good start after the break.”
The Golden Knights lost their fourth straight and Thompson made 35 saves in defeat.
Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy was encouraged by his team's effort.
“We played a realty good hockey game but left a point on the table,'' he said. ”We keep that kind of effort up, we'll be fine. We have to just hang in there until pucks start going in."
After a scoreless first during which the Islanders outshot the Golden Knights 15-8, Islanders captain Anders Lee scored at 3:52 of the second, his 19th of the season and fourth goal in four games.
Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri assisted. Nelson extended his points streak to six games while Palmieri's assist was the 200th of his career and his fifth assist in four games since returning from injury.
Carrier tied it for Vegas late in the second with his 12th.
Varlamov improved to 9-6-1 for the Islanders, who were coming off Friday’s 2-0 home win over the Detroit Red Wings after a 1-7-3 stretch dropped them out of playoff position.
“He was focused and square all night,'' Lambert said of Varlamov. ”He played a fantastic game."
The Islanders improved to 6-3-1 in their last 10 meetings with the Golden Knights, including a 5-2 win at Vegas on Dec. 17.
Vegas lost 4-1 to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Friday after falling to the Devils 3-2 in overtime on Tuesday in Newark. The Golden Knights have lost seven of their last eight - with a 1-5-2 record heading into the All-Star break. Their next game is Feb. 7.
“I thought we played well in the second and third. We had tons of chances″ Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore said. “We’re doing the right things. Every team goes through scoring droughts. It’s a perfect time for the break.”
The Golden Knights began the season 16-4-1 but are 13-14-3 since. They have allowed the first goal in 19 of their last 30 contests and are 4-12-3 in those games.
“It will be good to get some rest and get away for sure,'' Cassidy added.
The Islanders went 0-1 on the power play. They are 0-25 in their last 10 games and 3-64 in the last 23 contests.
NOTES: The Islanders are 17-7-2 when they score first ... New York is 4-17-3 when they score less than three goals … The Islanders were without injured defenseman Noah Dobson and injured forwards Cal Clutterbuck, Oliver Wahlstrom and Hudson Fasching … New York also scratched forward Ross Johnston and defenseman Parker Wotherspoon …The Golden Knights scratched injured forward Mark Stone plus defenseman Daniil Miromanov.
Islanders: At Philadelphia on Feb. 6.
Golden Knights: At Nashville on Feb. 7.
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Allan Kreda, The Associated Press