NEW YORK (AP) – Mathew Barzal put on a passing clinic for the New York Islanders.
Barzal had a franchise-rookie record five assists in the Islanders’ 6-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday night.
“It’s pretty cool I didn’t know,” Barzal said about the record. “Actually (Jordan Eberle) was saying maybe six would be a record, but we were just joking around. I had no idea, so that’s a pretty cool thing to do.”
Barzal becoming just the sixth player in Islanders’ history with five assists in a game, joining Mike Bossy, Denis Potvin, Stefan Persson, Brent Sutter and Pat LaFontaine.
Bossy set the team record of six assists in 1981. Barzal also tied a franchise-rookie record with five points in a game.
Eberle and Nick Leddy scored twice for New York, and Johnny Boychuk and Scott Mayfield also contributed goals. Thomas Greiss made 31 saves.
“It’s fun to play with him,” Eberle said about Barzal. “His speed is his number one attribute. I just want to create space for him.”
Alexander Kerfoot scored twice for Colorado, and Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog also connected.
The Islanders won for the sixth time in eight games and ended Colorado’s three-game winning streak. Sunday night was also the first time this season that three defensemen scored in a single game.
The wild night on the ice was nearly overshadowed off of it when Matt Duchene was traded from Colorado to Ottawa in deal that involved the Nashville Predators. Duchene stealthy left the ice when team trainers were helping injured Avs forward Blake Comeau off the ice in the middle of the first period.
Trade rumors had been swirling around Duchene since the start of the season and reports over the weekend suggested a trade between the three teams nearly took place prior to Sunday night.
“It’s very weird,” Duchene said. “Obviously, being pulled in a game then to be playing my first two games against my old team is gonna be pretty strange, but it was something I half expected. I have nothing but good things to say about my time here and my teammates. It’s been an absolute blast.”
Duchene left the arena in the middle of the second period, briefly speaking with reporters, before jumping into a black SUV waiting outside the Barclays Center.
The Islanders scored less than five minutes into the first period on a fluky goal from Mayfield. The defenseman skated from the point down to the side of the net, where Sven Andrighetto tried to sweep the puck away but inadvertently pushed it past his own goaltender.
Bailey was credited with the primary assist on the goal and extended his points streak to nine games.
Eberle gave the Islanders a 2-0 lead when he finished off a good feed from Barzal. The goal was Eberle’s third as an Islanders and the assist extended Barzal’s points streak to five games.
MacKinnon scored 40 seconds into the second period, briefly pulling Colorado within one goal. Leddy scored less than a minute later to put the Islanders back in front by two goals.
Leddy scored again moments later to give the Islanders a 4-1 lead. Boychuk scored off a shot from the point at 9:46 of the second period and Eberle scored his second of the game 1:23 into the third period.
Landeskog scored Colorado’s second goal at 13:02 of the second period on a scramble in front of the net. MacKinnon recorded an assist on the game extending his multi-point game streak to four.
Kerfoot scored the Avalanche’s third and fourth goals in the final minute of the game pulling them within two goals.
“They had some fortunate bounces, but that’s how sometimes the game works,” Erik Johnson said. “Minus the result, we were happy with the way we played. You never want to come up on the losing end, but as a group we played a pretty solid game.”
NOTES: The Islanders held a moment of silence before Sunday night’s game to honor the victims of the terror attack in New York City as well the victims in Sunday’s church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. … The Islanders scratched defensemen Thomas Hickey and Adam Pelech against Colorado. Alan Quine was also listed as a scratch for New York. The Avalanche scratched defenseman Andrei Mironov. … Sunday’s game against the Islanders was Colorado’s final one before leaving for Sweden. The Avalanche will play two games against the Ottawa Senators in Stockholm as part of the SAP NHL Global Series.
Avalanche: Face Ottawa on Friday night in Stockholm.
Islanders: Host Edmonton on Tuesday night.
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