The Islanders now have the second-longest winning streak in franchise history at 10 games.
And that might not have been the most noteworthy item to come out of Tuesday night’s 4-1 win over the Senators before a crowd of 11,212 at Barclays Center, their first game of the season in Brooklyn.
Pick from this: Cole Bardreau, the 26-year-old rookie whose career was nearly derailed in college, became the seventh player in NHL history to score his first goal on a penalty shot, capping it with an emotional celebration. Or, Cal Clutterbuck scoring his first goal in 32 games. Or, Casey Cizikas scoring shorthanded for his first goal of the season.
“I think it says that after four extremely mediocre games to the start of the year, it was time for us to kind of look at each other and look in the mirror and decide whether we wanted to give this a go or not,” said Clutterbuck, who tied the game at 1-1 with an extra effort at the crease just 39 seconds after Jean-Gabriel Pageau opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal at 7:44 of the first period. “To a man we did. We want to continue getting better.”
The Islanders (11-3-0), starting a season-high four-game homestand with three straight at Barclays, also got 27 saves from Thomas Greiss, who won his fifth straight start.
“Can’t complain,” Greiss said. “It’s 10 in a row.”
The Islanders surpassed the nine-game winning streak from Dec. 31, 1989 to Jan. 19, 1990, which they equaled with Saturday night’s 1-0 win at Buffalo. The franchise record is a 15-game winning streak from Jan. 21 to Feb. 20, 1982.
Craig Anderson made 28 saves for the Senators (4-9-1), who beat the Rangers, 6-2, at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.
But the Islanders broke open a 2-1 game on two third-period goals within 40 seconds.
First, Clutterbuck fed Cizikas on a rush at 10:00 for the Islanders’ second shorthanded goal this season. Then, Josh Bailey tipped rookie defenseman Noah Dobson’s shot from the right point to make it 4-1 at 10:40.
“I think it was just the way we were playing all game,” said Cizikas, who had a career-high 20 goals last season. “We were playing hard, we were playing smart. We were doing the right things with the puck in the right areas and we got rewarded for it late in the game.”
Bardreau, in his seventh NHL game, was tripped from behind by defenseman Mark Borowiecki after being sprung for a breakaway at 15:34 of the second period for a no-doubt penalty shot.
“I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous,” Bardreau said.
He took the puck at center ice, swung out to his left before bringing the puck to his forehand and heading to the crease, beating Anderson from between the faceoff dots with a wrist shot to the goalie’s stick side.
On the bench, coach Barry Trotz threw his hands up in celebration. Bardreau, releasing years of pent-up emotions, celebrated harder on the ice.
“I almost gave myself a heart attack with how much I tensed up with the celebration,” Bardreau said. “I’ll get some grief for how hard I celebrated. It was just everything.”
Bardreau spent the past five seasons in the Flyers’ organization without being recalled, in part because of injuries, and suffered a broken neck as a Cornell sophomore that left him in danger of being paralyzed.
The Islanders also had a penalty shot goal in their 4-2 win at Ottawa on Oct. 25, that one from now-injured defenseman Nick Leddy, who missed his second game with a lower-body issue. It marked the first time the Islanders have scored two penalty shot goals against the same opponent in one season.
Players who scored their first NHL goal on a penalty shot:
Ralph “Scotty” Bowman, St. Louis, Nov. 13, 1934*
Phil Hoene, Los Angeles, Dec. 11, 1973
Ilkka Sinisalo, Philadelphia, Oct. 11, 1981
Reggie Savage, Washington, Nov. 18, 1992
Jay McClement, St. Louis, Oct. 11, 2005
Andrew Miller, Edmonton, March 27, 2015
Cole Bardreau, Islanders, Nov. 5, 2019
*First penalty shot goal in NHL history.
Source: Elias Sports Bureau