Tavares starts Islanders’ 3-goal 1st in 5-2 win over Blues
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The New York Islanders didn’t wait very long to put a bad loss the previous night behind them.
John Tavares scored early to start New York’s three-goal first period, Thomas Greiss stopped 35 shots and the Islanders beat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 Saturday night.
Anders Lee had a goal and an assist, and Casey Cizikas, Jordan Eberle and Joshua Ho-Sang also scored to help the Islanders bounce back from a 5-0 loss at Dallas one night earlier.
“As players we know we’re the ones that go out on the ice and obviously have to do the job and execute,” Tavares said. “The system and the framework that they want us to play with, we weren’t really close to that last night so we just wanted to get out there and be a lot more competitive like we know we can be.”
Greiss won for the third time in his last four starts for New York, which had just one win in its previous four games (1-2-1).
“In the beginning of the season it took a couple of games to get going and feel the puck,” Greiss said. “It always takes a little bit (for me) to get going.”
Tavares was very pleased with his goalie’s performance.
“He made some big saves,” Tavares said. “Any time you see your goalie locked in like that and making some big saves you want to reward him.”
Brayden Schenn and Scottie Upshall scored for the Blues, and Jake Allen had 14 saves before he was pulled after Ho-Sang put the Islanders up 4-0 at 3:35 of the second period. Carter Hutton came on and stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced.
After the Islanders mustered just 14 shots on goal in the loss to the Stars on Friday night, Tavares got them on the scoreboard 3:21 into the game as he came from behind the net and beat Allen from point-blank range.
Cizikas got the rebound of a shot by Nick Leddy and easily beat Allen to double the lead just past the midpoint of the period.
Eberle made it 3-0 as he took a pass from Jason Chimera on a 2-on-1 break and fired it past Allen on the glove side with 6:42 remaining for his sixth of the season and fourth in the last four games.
The Blues, who snapped three-game winning streak and lost for just the second time in their last nine games, had allowed only six first-period goals all season.
“That’s three games in a row now (with poor starts),” Blues coach Mike Yeo said. “We got away with it for two (games) so we’ve been playing with fire.”
Ho-Sang, called up from Bridgeport of the AHL earlier in the day to replace the injured Anthony Beauvillier, then chased Allen early in the second.
The Blues finally got on the board with 8 1/2 left in the second a wrist shot from Schenn. Upshall scored off a scrum in front of Greiss at 6:41 of the third to pull St. Louis to 4-2.
Lee capped the scoring on a deflection with 4 1/2 minutes to go.
“We took advantage of some plays, but we got pucks in,” Islanders coach Doug Weight said. “We were aggressive. We were skating.”
NOTES: The Blues wore camouflage jerseys during pregame warm-ups in honor of Veterans Day with the jerseys scheduled to be auctioned to benefit H.E.R.O.E.S Care and Operation Shower. ... Weight coached in St. Louis for the first time. Weight played parts of six seasons with the Blues. ... The Blues held a moment of silence for Arianna Dougan, the 11-year-old girl who Vladimir Tarasenko befriended last season and who spent time with the team on a road trip while fighting cancer. She passed away earlier in the day. ... Blues F Vladimir Sobotka played in his 400th career NHL game. ... The Islanders improved to 5-0-0 when scoring first this season.
Islanders: Host Carolina on Thursday night.
Blues: At Calgary on Monday night for the start of a three-game road trip.