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Brocktober saves the day in Islanders’ OT win in Columbus

The New York Islanders haven’t been world beaters, but as their four game winning streak indicates, they’re finding ways to get victories, no matter how long it takes. Three of their last four games have gone at least to overtime (the game against Florida was won in a shootout) and Saturday night’s game was no different.

The Islanders controlled the first period for really the first time all season, collecting a 2-1 lead after a nifty Mathew Barzal goal and a Michael Dal Colle poke-in that was aided by the great play of Anthony Beauvillier. The Islanders were feeling good going into the second period for the first time in a while.

Unfortunately, the lead didn’t last as Thomas Greiss misplayed a shot towards the end of the period that bounced off his glove and right onto the stick of Boone Jenner. Jenner buried the chance up front and the game was tied with little time left in the second.

The third was a push back and forth, with each team getting a few minutes of sustained zone time. Unfortunately, the Islanders looked overmatched towards the end of the third period and were lucky to make it out of Columbus with a point. Thomas Greiss made 34 of 36 saves, but the best was a reach back with his stick to just save a puck from going over the goal line in the third.

Overtime began and it didn’t take the Islanders much time to get the game winner. A Nick Leddy rush led to a loose puck that was poke-checked back to Leddy, who fed Brock Nelson up front for an easy snapshot.

The Islanders keep rolling and it was an impressive victory for a team that usually struggles when playing in Columbus. Their next game isn’t until Thursday so they have a little time to lick their wounds and hopefully get Jordan Eberle and Casey Cizikas back.

In the absence of Eberle, Cizikas and a sick Leo Komarov, two players stuck out once again for the Isles. The first was Oliver Wahlstrom, who played a hell of a game once again and who has shot the puck from every angle possible. Wahlstrom just missed on a pass from Josh Bailey and on a shot that rang off the crossbar.

The other was Cole Bardreau, who made his NHL debut on Saturday night. Bardreau played well in his limited time on the ice, and although he wasn’t going to be the one controlling the play, stepped right in to the role he was given.

Bardreau’s story is inspirational. He’s an undrafted free agent who has worked his craft in the AHL but was unable to ever be called up due to a long history of injuries. His number was finally called and he took advantage of the opportunity. It’s not known how long he’ll be up for, but he still got his first taste of the NHL.

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