KANATA, Ontario—For the second time this week, Jaroslav Halak had the same unusual experience. The Islanders’ No. 1 goalie started a game following standout work by his backup.
Thomas Greiss was outstanding in a 2-1 victory over the Blues in Brooklyn Friday, having been chosen as the No. 2 star. That occurred after Halak had been similarly strong against the Rangers Wednesday, after Greiss had given the Islanders a big boost by winning the previous two games.
There is no question in the Islanders’ universe about who is the No. 1 goalie. As Jack Capuano said earlier this week, “He’s our guy.” But on other nights, the team has no problem with Greiss being The Man. If they both remain hot — entering Saturday night, Greiss had not allowed more than three goals in any of his 13 starts, Halak had allowed four in only one of his 14 — it could be tricky finding work for both. But it will be a good problem to have. And it is not a problem now.
“It’s what I expect, to be honest with you,” the coach said. “You sign guys to be an impact on your team. Both guys work hard and you expect them to play well and they’ve done that.”
Halak, whose goals against average entering Saturday night was 1.93 and ranked second in the NHL, said the other day, “I would say that you need two goalies for a season. Obviously Greiss has been playing well for us and that’s what we need, to keep getting points. No matter who’s in the nets, we need to keep getting points.”
Frans Neilsen’s deciding shootout goal Friday put him into the all-time NHL lead in two categories, statistician Eric Hornick said: 41 shootout goals and 17 game-winning shootout goals . . . Senators captain Erik Karlsson is the most notable critic of three-on-three overtime, having called it “kind of boring,” but he made a thrilling play that led to the overtime winner against the Blackhawks Thursday.