Islanders continue strong play on home ice
The New York Islanders have found their footing in Brooklyn once again, and the road-weary Calgary Flames don’t feel too bad about Monday night’s result, either.
Thomas Hickey scored 1:53 into overtime, helping the Islanders rebound from a vexing West Coast trip with a 2-1 win over the Flames.
Hickey won it after Flames forward Michael Frolik broke a stick in the defensive end, leading to an awkward line change for Calgary. Islanders captain John Tavares wheeled around the zone with the Flames momentarily short-handed before backhanding a shot that Hickey tipped off goalie Brian Elliott and in.
“I was glad to get a stick on it in overtime,” Hickey said. “This was a game we had to have.”
New York improved to 3-1-0 in home games following a road loss by relieving frustration from a wild swing through California. They beat Anaheim in a 14-round shootout but then lost twice on goals in the final 3 minutes of regulation against Los Angeles and San Jose.
Last-place New York is just 1-6-1 on the road but remains respectable in Brooklyn, improving to 6-4-3 at Barclays Center.
Tavares also scored in the first period and has six goals and 11 assists this season. The goal was his first in 10 games. “I have a lot of expectations,” Tavares said. “I have to make plays and produce. And lead by example.”
Thomas Greiss stopped 25 shots for the Islanders, standing tall during a barrage late in the second period before allowing Sean Monahan’s tying goal 5:51 into the third. Monahan scored on a one-timer from the left circle.
Elliott was mostly solid with 25 saves but still lost his seventh straight start. He was acquired from St. Louis over the summer to be Calgary’s primary goalie but had sat three straight games in favor of journeyman Chad Johnson.
Elliott had a few pivotal saves late, including when he stopped Shane Prince on a breakaway midway through the third.
“The guy works so hard and cares so much,” Flames captain Mark Giordano said. “So for him to have a big night for us and come and bounce back and play that well was nice to see.”
Monahan’s goal helped Calgary complete a grueling six-game, nine-day trip 3-2-1.
“I think anytime you’re over .500 on a long one it’s successful,” Giordano said, adding, “I think we can build off of getting a point there.”
Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey, left, celebrates his overtime goal with center John Tavares.