Toews scores first NHL goal, Islanders beat Blackhawks in OT
By VIN A. CHERWOO
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) Devon Toews picked a great time to get his first NHL goal and keep the New York Islanders' winning streak going.
Toews knocked in the rebound of his own shot at 1:48 of overtime to lift the Islanders past the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 Thursday night for their fifth straight win.
"It feels good to score and to get the two points is huge for our team," said the 24-year-old rookie playing in his fifth career game. "(Josh Bailey) made a nice play over to me and the goalie made a pretty nice save on the first one. I saw he was scrambled so I just put it back five-hole toward the net. It went in."
Mathew Barzal scored twice to keep up his scoring binge and help the Islanders win for the eighth time in nine games. Robin Lehner, making his third straight start, stopped 19 shots as New York moved to 3-0-1 in four games at the Nassau Coliseum this season.
"Robin made a couple of big saves, we got a big power-play goal," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "And Toews getting the game-winner, that's pretty special if it's your first NHL goal in overtime."
Lehner has given up just three goals on 107 shots over his last four games since replacing Thomas Greiss in the second period of the Islanders' 6-3 comeback win against Ottawa last Friday night.
"I've had (good) stints before," Lehner said. "Today was a weird game for me. It was in waves. ... They have high-end skill over there. so when they're in our zone it's pretty dangerous. You try to be on your toes."
Patrick Kane and Dominik Kahun scored for Chicago, which lost for the third time in five games. Delia, making his third start of the season and sixth of his career, finished with a career-high 47 saves.
Kane tied the score with on a one-timer that he didn't hit cleanly and the puck fluttered off the post and in past Lehner for his 23rd at 5:01 of the third.
"We didn't play very well tonight, that was pretty evident," Kane said. "I think we'd be happy taking a point, especially when we play like that."
Barzal put New York ahead with a power-play goal late in the second, putting in the rebound of Nick Leddy's shot in front for his 12th with 1:04 left. After extending his point streak to six games with his first goal, Barzal - selected for his first All-Star appearance a day earlier - now has eight goals and 11 points in that stretch.
The reigning Calder Trophy winner as the league's top rookie acknowledged he has a high level of confidence in his game right now, having totaled nine goals and 17 points in his last 12 games.
"(It) comes from working hard, doing the extra stuff and just playing with detail," Barzal said. "Been focusing on that a little more and obviously it's been paying off a little bit here."
Cal Clutterbuck nearly gave the Islanders the lead earlier with about 6:20 left in the period as he batted the puck out of the air from the right side. The officials conferred on the ice and initially ruled it a good goal. However, it was overturned after a video review because Clutterbuck's stick was above the height of the crossbar when it hit the puck.
The teams were tied 1-1 after one period, though the Islanders controlled play for most of the first 20 minutes, outshooting the Blackhawks 14-3.
Kahun got Chicago on the scoreboard first. Duncan Keith fired a long shot from the left point and Brandon Saad's deflection in front was stopped by Leher, However, Kahun backhanded the rebound from the right side for his sixth at 3:05.
Barzal tied the score at 6:47 with his 11th. Johnny Boychuk's shot from the right point deflected off Anthony Beauvillier in front, and Barzal batted it out of the air from the left side into the top left corner.
NOTES: The attendance was announced as 13,454, marking the first time it wasn't a sellout in the four games the Islanders have played at the Nassau Coliseum this season. ... The Islanders went 1 for 2 on the power play after coming in 2 for 13 with the man advantage their previous six games. ... The teams conclude their season series Jan. 22 at Chicago. ... Kahun scored for the second straight game and has four points (two goals, two assists) in his last six games. ... Chicago, last in the NHL on the penalty-kill at 73.6 percent coming in, has allowed five power-play goals on 16 chances the last five games.
Blackhawks: At Pittsburgh on Sunday to complete a two-game trip.
Islanders: At St. Louis on Saturday night.
Follow Vin Cherwoo at www.twitter.com/VinCherwooAP
More AP NHL: www.apnews.com/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP-Sports
Updated January 3, 2019