Thomas Greiss is a league leader after winning his sixth straight start.
The Islanders goalie made 37 saves in Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Panthers at Barclays Center, giving him an NHL-best save percentage of .942. He lowered his goals-against average to 1.88, second in the league.
“He had Vezina numbers last year and this year he’s been doing the same thing,” center Mathew Barzal said. “Whether it’s him or Varly [Semyon Varlamov] in net, they’ve been great for us. It’s nice to be able to rely on both of our goalies.”
Added right wing Jordan Eberle, “Greisser, I think, was the main reason we won today.”
Greiss’ best save may have been getting to his right to stop Alexsander Barkov’s second-period one-timer.
Eberle was activated off injured reserve and rookie Oliver Wahlstrom was returned to the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport. Wahlstrom played nine games for the Islanders — without a point — so the first season of his entry-level contract will slide to next season if he does not play a 10th NHL game.
After the game, rookie forwards Cole Bardreau and Otto Koivula, who had been recalled earlier on Saturday, were also returned to Bridgeport. Bardreau, 26, who logged 7:25 on Saturday, had a goal and an assist in nine games in his first NHL stint.
Coach Barry Trotz did not have an update on center Casey Cizikas, who logged just 5:45 and did not play in the third period after taking a shot off his left knee in the first period. “I think he’ll be OK,” Trotz said. “He’ll need a day or two…” Center Brock Nelson logged a team-high 24:35 and won 17-of-25 faceoffs (68 percent). Overall, the Islanders won 33-of-56 faceoffs (59 percent)…Rookie defenseman Noah Dobson and Koivula were the healthy scratches… The attendance of 13,100 marked the Islanders’ second-largest home crowd after the season-opening sellout of 13,917 at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum.
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