Islanders roll past Coyotes 5-1
Islanders roll past Coyotes 5-1
Feb. 25, 2015
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Playing the reeling Arizona Coyotes, the New York Islanders weren't at their best for the first 40 minutes.
But they rebounded for the final 20 as they scored four unanswered goals and earned another home win.
Matt Martin and Johnny Boychuk scored less than a minute apart early in the third to break a tie and the Islanders went on to rout the Coyotes 5-1 on Tuesday night.
Martin snapped a 1-1 tie before Boychuk added his seventh at 4:15. The win kept the Islanders atop the Metropolitan Division by two points over the rival Rangers and sent the Coyotes to their seventh straight defeat.
"We knew we needed to be better and we went out and played a strong third," said Martin, who tied his career high with this eighth goal of the season. "We want to play up to our capability and we did."
Kael Mouillierat — his first goal in the NHL — and Brock Nelson also scored in the third. Mouillierat's goal came at 7:16 while Nelson's was at 9:10. Colin McDonald assisted on both.
"There are times in the minors when you think it's never going to happen so when it does happen, it's a pretty unbelievable feeling," said the 27-year-old Mouillierat who was playing his third game and also assisted on Martin's goal.
Backup Chad Johnson made 27 saves in his fourth start in the past 11 games to improve to 8-7-1.
"We stayed focused and tight as a group and it paid off," Johnson said. "It all starts in the room for us as it has all year. We know what it takes to be successful."
The Islanders played the type of third period that has them in first place as Monday's trade deadline approaches.
They skated hard and wore down the tired Coyotes and goaltender Mike Smith, outshooting Arizona 14-8 and scoring four times. The victory was a rebound for the Islanders after Sunday's 4-0 loss to Vancouver.
"We had 1-1 game in the third period on the road and we just self-destructed," Smith said. "It's about giving ourselves a chance and again, we didn't get it done. Simple plays have got to be made."
Anders Lee opened the scoring with his 20th goal 37 seconds into the second before Arizona's Marc Arcobello tied the game at 15:52 of the second.
It was the 12th goal of the season for Arcobello. He was acquired by Arizona on waivers from Pittsburgh on Feb. 11. He has four goals for the Coyotes.
The teams played a bland first with the Islanders failing to take advantage of Arizona playing the night before at Newark, New Jersey, where the Coyotes lost 3-0 to the Devils.
There was more energy in the second as the Coyotes had a 14-13 shots advantage and the teams traded goals.
Islanders coach Jack Capuano started shifting line combinations midway through the first period and kept the trend going throughout the second and third.
The Islanders have won 19 of their past 25 home games and have outshot their opponents in 29 of the past 33 games.
They will finish a busy month of 10 home games with back-to-back games at Nassau Coliseum on Friday against Calgary and Saturday against Carolina.
New York is 22-8 at home this season and it has reached the 40-win mark for the first time since 2006-07.
Earlier Tuesday, the Islanders announced the signing of defenseman Nick Leddy to a seven-year contract extension worth a reported $38.5 million.
Leddy was acquired from Chicago on Oct. 4 — the same day they snared his defense partner Johnny Boychuk from Boston. Leddy, 23, would have been a restricted free agent this summer. He won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013.
"He's a great young defenseman with a lot of upside," Capuano said. "It speaks volumes that he wants to be here. It's gratifying."
Arizona will visit the Rangers on Thursday before completing its trip at Boston on Saturday.
NOTES: The Islanders are 34-6-1 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 6-13-1 when they do not. ... Coyotes captain Shane Doan is second among active NHL players in games with 1,374, behind Jaromir Jagr (1,529).