The Isles needed a savior after their sluggish first period in Columbus, and Anders Lee was happy to play the part with his game-tying goal in the third.
With the Isles on the power play, Frans Nielsen made a strong play on the puck to keep possession in the zone. He found Kyle Okposo, who sent a crisp cross ice feed down low to Lee. Lee deked to his backhand and slipped the puck in between Cam Atkinson's pads to tie the game at two.
Lee's goal was one of 15 Islanders' shots in the third, compared to Columbus' five. For the game, New York outshot the Jackets 46-31.
"The last 10 games or so, we've really been focusing on the getting pucks to the net and outworking their penalty kill," Lee said.
Things are really clicking for Lee now, as he just keeps using his big frame to get good position down low to give himself an opportunity to score. I really liked what Anders did on this goal, because he started out in front trying to shield Atkinson. But instead of just staying parked there, he recognized Nielsen's puck handling had created some space, so he eased back toward the corner and got himself open. When Okposo found him with the pass, he had room to come in and make a move, which he cashed in with precision.
That's the best thing about Lee's game. He's this big, ex-football player on skates, but he has the hands of a scorer. It really makes for a lethal combination. In spite of the fact that this was only his eighth goal of the season, it's been a strong year for Lee, and now that he's finding himself on the scoresheet, the Isles could be ready to take off.