The defense-first New York Islanders will hope Sunday's results repeat themselves Tuesday night, when they host the Edmonton Oilers at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.
The Islanders were off Monday following a 4-1 win over the visiting Winnipeg Jets. The Oilers last played Saturday, when they completed a two-game season-opening homestand with a chaotic 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
The Oilers overcame four one-goal deficits Saturday night to beat the Kings. Darnell Nurse and James Neal capped the final comeback by scoring within a four-minute span just beyond the midway point of the third period.
It was the second straight win in which the Oilers completed a comeback by scoring twice in the final 10 minutes of the third. Edmonton edged the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 last Wednesday.
While the Oilers know they're not going to win many games 6-5, outlasting the Kings provided a boost of confidence to a team that has missed the playoffs in 12 of the last 13 seasons but has a chance Tuesday to open 3-0-0 for the first time since 2008-09.
"It builds our belief in winning that we can win games different ways," Neal told reporters Saturday night. "It wasn't the prettiest, we made more than a few mistakes out there, kind of shot ourselves in the foot a few times. But we found ways to get big goals at big times."
The Islanders, who are completing a season-opening three-game homestand Tuesday, used their familiar grinding defensive style to stymie the Jets on Sunday. In its previous game last Friday, Winnipeg overcame a four-goal deficit for just the second time in franchise history in a 5-4 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils.
But the Jets found little room to move Sunday, when goalie Thomas Greiss made 35 saves in his season debut. Winnipeg scored its lone goal on a semi-breakaway by star Patrik Laine.
Greiss picked up where he left off last season, when he started 39 games while splitting time in the pipes with Robin Lehner as the Islanders allowed the fewest goals in the NHL (196). Head coach Barry Trotz expects another even-time share this season with Greiss and Semyon Varlamov, who replaced Lehner after the latter signed with the Chicago Blackhawks.
"The great thing about both of those guys is there's not a selfish bone in their bodies," Trotz told reporters Sunday night. "Both of them. I can guarantee you that coming in there, 'Varly' is just as happy for 'Greisser' as 'Greisser' would be for 'Varly.' They have a great relationship and it's one that will continue to grow."
Mike Smith has started both games in goal for the Oilers. He made 27 saves against the Kings on Saturday. First-year head coach Dave Tippett said backup goalie Mikko Koskinen will draw at least one start during a four-game road trip that begins Tuesday, though Tippett didn't indicate who would appear in net Tuesday.
--Field Level Media