SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Thomas Greiss guided the New York Islanders on a night when they played it a little bit too safe.
Greiss stopped 40 shots, Brock Nelson scored a tiebreaking goal in the second period and the New York Islanders rallied to beat the slumping San Jose Sharks 3-1 on Saturday.
The Islanders improved to 1-1 on their three-game, five-day West Coast trip. The Sharks are 1-3 on their season-opening five-game homestand.
Nelson made it 2-1 at 13:33 of the second period, capitalizing on an open look in front of the goal after Joshua Ho-Sang’s pass from behind the net.
”After we got the lead we just kind of held on, we bent but we didn’t break and we needed some big saves from Thomas,” Islanders coach Doug Weight said.
”These teams, when they’re down, they’re gonna push. … You don’t want to sit back but I think it’s human nature. We have to get it out of our heads. We want to play aggressive and we want to put the puck in good spots. We started making some shoddy decisions, our feet stopped moving for a while, but give (the Sharks) credit, they made a good push. Tommy was great.”
The Sharks led after Kevin Labanc’s power-play goal at 4:16 of the first. Labanc was in the left circle when he rebounded a deflection and fired a wrist shot that slipped through Greiss’ pads.
The Islanders tied it when Anders Lee tipped one in at 17:02 of the first.
Cal Clutterbuck scored an empty-net goal at with 1:10 left in the game.
”It’s nice, first road win of the year, a good bounce back,” Nelson said, referencing a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.
”I thought we did some good things in Anaheim and weren’t rewarded. It’s nice to come out on top here.”
The Islanders failed to score on three power plays. The Sharks penalty killing unit hasn’t allowed a power-play goal in 12 chances over its last three games.
The Sharks had a short-handed scoring chance after Joakim Ryan was called for holding at 14:33 in the third period, when Greiss turned away Chris Tierney’s shot in front of the goal.
Greiss survived relentless pressure in a third period in which the Sharks had 15 shots on goal.
”It felt like it was going to break, it just never did,” Sharks center Joe Pavelski said. ”A little bit of credit to Greisser over there, but with us, we’ve got to keep pushing and find a way.
”I thought we were going to tie it, but encouraging to see the way guys played for a second straight game here. Wanted a better result, for sure, but guys played hard.”
NOTES: Islanders C Alan Quine (wrist) is with the team on its West Coast trip and has been practicing. He’ll likely go to Bridgeport of the AHL on a conditioning assignment if he’s ready when the team returns home on Monday. … RW Clutterbuck (hip) was in Saturday’s lineup after missing the last three games and C Jordan Eberle was on the ice a day after missing Friday’s practice with an injury he suffered in practice the previous day. … Sharks D Paul Martin missed a second straight game with a lower body injury. Coach Pete DeBoer said the injury is day-to-day.
Islanders: At the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night.
Sharks: Host the Montreal Canadians on Tuesday night.
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