It's been an uneven year for the Islanders' young forwards, but they stepped up in a big way in the team's Game 1 win over the Panthers on Thursday.
Brock Nelson scored on a breakaway off a Ryan Strome feed to get the Isles even at 1. Then, with the Isles up 4-3 in the third, Alan Quine made a great rush and flipped a shot on net that created a rebound that Strome cashed in.
"I thought we were opportunistic tonight," Kyle Okposo told reporters after the game. "Guys really stepped up, Quiner made a terrific play on the last goal, Stromie was good. We got the job done."
Strome finished the night with a goal and an assist, one of four Islanders to have multi-point games.
The Isles' youngsters seemed determined to show the hockey world that the Panthers aren't the only team in this series with good, young talent, and they came through when they needed to. I thought Strome was a revelation. He had been much better in the closing week of the season, and his Game 1 performance was a continuation of that effort. Nelson put himself in a nice position offensively, and finishing off that breakaway was much needed at that point in the game. I'd like to see him be a little more aggressive along the boards in his own zone. And Quine was so impressive. For a guy who was never even expected to contribute to the club this year, his speed and skill have certainly been a welcome addition.
This is exactly the kind of effort New York needs from its secondary lines. If the Isles can get this kind of production from their second and third units, they're in great shape to take this series. Let's see what they can do for an encore on Friday.