Mathew Barzal of the Islanders ends a scoring drought

Mathew Barzal of the Islanders ends a scoring drought

DALLAS — Mike Barzal, Mathew’s father, has a goal of visiting all 31 NHL road arenas. As the Islanders completed their four-game tour through Nashville and Dallas, he opted to cross those two cities off his list.

Thus, Mike had to be present when Barzal scored two goals in the Islanders’ 5-2 loss to the Stars on Saturday, ending his goalless streak.

Mike isn’t heading to Toronto with the team — Barzal said there are still “quite a few” road towns left for his father to see — but if there’s one good to take away from Saturday’s loss, it’s the center scoring a goal.

“It’s always good to score,” Barzal remarked, “whether it’s your first goal or your thirty-first.” It never bothered me in any way. It made no difference to me at all. It is only about making an impression.”

Even though he did not score in the Islanders’ first 18 games, nobody can deny that Barzal had a significant influence. He has been their greatest player on occasion, averaging one assist per game with 19 total assists as of Saturday. This is the type of performance the Islanders would have expected from their star before to the season.

Mathew Barzal celebrates after scoring one of his two goals during the Islanders’ 5-2 loss against the Stars in the second period.
AP

Barzal was grinning from ear-to-ear after redirecting Alexander Romanov’s shot into the Dallas net at 1:30 of the second period. Prior to that, he had not scored a goal. At 14:59, he scored his second goal of the period with a wrist shot from the slot on the penalty play.

The Islanders lost a game they might have won, and Barzal was largely responsible for one of the Stars’ goals by allowing Jamie Benn to handle the ball through him at the conclusion of a 2:26 shift, which led to Radek Faksa tying the game at 1-1.

“It was great to see him score,” said coach Lane Lambert. “We require that he do it. Certainly, I felt he was rather fatigued on that play. Tonight he was better, and we anticipate that he will continue to drive our team offensively.

Barzal and his teammates had earlier minimized the scoring drought by emphasizing his outstanding performance in other areas, and the same was true when the scoring drought ended.

“We all saw it coming,” remarked Anders Lee. “He had already received those glances and those touches. We can stop worrying about it, as we are beginning to observe him doing it more frequently. I don’t believe it was as significant as it was made out to be.”

Bailey returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the previous two games, skating 14:48 with a shot on goal.

Saturday was the 700th NHL game for Kyle Palmieri and the 400th for Adam Pelech.

 

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