Thomas Hickey bailed the Islanders out for the second time in a week.
Hickey scored with just 7:05 remaining in regulation to give the Isles a lead they barely clung to, improving New York to 4-1 on their seven-game road trip. The Islanders were held to just two shots on goal in the first period, and were outshot 33-24 for the game.
"Not really a good night for us.," Hickey told reporters after the game. "The positive thing is you end up winning it, but to a man in here I think we all understand that's not going to win too many hockey games. Our goalie sort of bailed us out there and we got lucky."
Hickey, who also assisted on Anders Lee's second period tally, has three points in his last three games.
Even after proving himself as a steady third pairing defenseman, there was a lot of moaning among Islanders fans about Hickey being signed to an extension this offseason. But with his strong play, particularly over the last week or so, Hickey has really silenced his critics. No, Hickey will never be the biggest defender on the ice, and it doesn't matter one bit.
Hickey's possession metrics have been solid this year, coming in at third among the Isles' d-men in Individual Fenwick and Corsi per 60 minutes. And now he's showing more poise in jumping up into the play to create some offensive opportunities (as we saw with his equalizer in Calgary), it's making the Islanders' defensemen more of an offensive factor. On Tuesday, I credit Hickey with just getting a shot to the net, something the Isles struggled with all night. He received a fortuitous carom off a Vancouver stick, and it was enough to get the Isles past the Canucks.