Before the Islanders back-to-back against the Rangers and Hurricanes, there would have been no rationale behind predicting that the team would come out on the other side with a pair of high-save shutouts. Between two goalies, nonetheless.
But that's exactly what happened. On Friday night against the Hurricanes, Thomas Greiss saved all 45 of Carolina's shots en route to a crucial 3-0 win. It was the perfect encore to Jaroslav Halak's 50-save shutout against the Rangers the night prior.
"He was outstanding," head coach Doug Weight said of Greiss, via Cory Wright of the Islanders official site. "He was just a big piece of that win. And on the team's behalf, I thought we had the best effort in front of Thomas we've had in the last six weeks."
The pair of shutouts were highly imrpobable. The Islanders have conceded the most goals in the NHL and, prior to Friday's game, Greiss was 44th out of 44 eligible goalies in save percentage and average goals against this season. Halak is 39th in average goals against, even after his shutout.
Greiss' misfortunes this season aren't singularly his fault, according to Anthony Beauvillier. The forward says the skaters deserve some of the blame too.
"We owed him at least one good game in front of him and he was really good tonight," Beauvillier said. "The last two starts he had, we left him by himself. I'm sure it feels good for him, it feels good for us and we have to keep pushing that way. It was a great win for us."
The win vaulted the Islanders into the final Wild Card place in the East, jumping ahead of the Hurricanes and the Blue Jackets.
"It was a four-point game for us," Beauvillier said. "It was a playoff game. It means a lot right now, we're in a great spot and we need to keep pushing."
The Islanders are next in action on Monday at 1 p.m. against the Wild.