NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, October 26, 2015, 9:48 PM
Mikhail Grabovski nets a goal for a second straight game, opening the score Monday vs. the Flames.
Teammates and coaches have lauded Islanders forward Mikhail Grabovski this season for his solid puck possession, willingness to work in the “dirty areas” and aptitude in the faceoff circle.
But for the second straight game Monday night, Grabovski contributed in a much more tangible way: by finding the back of the net.
Two days after scoring in overtime at St. Louis, Grabovski finished off another game-winner Monday, this time slotting a power-play goal in the second period to lead the Islanders to a 4-0 win over the Flames before 11,582 at Barclays Center.
Grabovski got his chance with an extra man after the Islanders’ No. 1 power play unit fizzled in two chances. A Brandon Bollig interference penalty gave the Isles their first opportunity of the night just less than halfway through the second period, but John Tavares and company failed to cause any danger and mustered just one puck on net in the two minutes.
The Islanders score three goals – one courtesy of Frans Nielsen (51) – in the third period.
A similar trend unfolded about three minutes later, when Dougie Hamilton was called for a delay of game and the Isles went up a man again. After a stagnant minute, though, Jack Capuano sent Grabovski onto the ice with Josh Bailey and Johnny Boychuck, among others, and was rewarded.
Approaching the 14-minute mark of the second period, Boychuck flicked a pass around the boards and behind the net that Bailey collected in the far corner. Bailey jabbed the puck off the boards and centered to an open Grabovski in the slot. The Belarusian center settled the puck off his right skate and snapped a lefty shot past the glove of goaltender Joni Orto to break the scoreless tie.
For Grabovski, it was a prettier goal than Saturday against the Blues, when he displayed his scrappier nature and tussled for position in front of net before putting home a rebound for his first tally of the season.
Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan (l.) sacrifices his body to block a shot.
“When he’s healthy, he’s an effective player for us,” Capuano said of Grabovski, who only played 51 games for the Isles last year because of injury. “He utilizes his speed and deception really well.”
Frans Nielsen added insurance for New York early in the third period. He carried the puck into the offensive zone on his left side and fired a wrist shot that deflected off Orto’s blocker and in. Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Okposo then tacked on goals inside 10 minutes to seal the Islanders’ second win in a row.
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