La dee da, ho hum, just another five-point game from Mathew Barzal — nothing to see here.
For the third time this season — yes, third — the Islanders rookie registered a half-decade worth of points in a contest, posting five assists in New York’s 7-6 OT win over Detroit on Friday. The 20-year-old tallied four of his five helpers in the game’s final nine minutes as the Islanders erased a four-goal third-period deficit with four powerplay goals on the same five-minute man advantage.
Barzal’s final act of magic to set up Brock Nelson for his hat trick in overtime was a saucy delight:
With his performance, Barzal became the first rookie in NHL history to record two five-assist games in the same season. He’s just the second rookie ever to post three five-point contests, the last being Joe Malone 100 years ago in the NHL’s very first season. Barzal Previously tallied five helpers on November 5 against Colorado, and ripped home two goals while adding three assists against the Rangers last month.
Barzal is now clipping at a 1.04 points-per-game pace as he leads all rookies in scoring with 58 points — including 16 tallies — in 56 games so far. Barring the health of Vancouver Canucks super rookie Brock Boeser, who leads the freshmen class in goals, this year’s Calder Trophy race should be a glorious one right to the finish.
More NHL coverage from Yahoo Sports: