The Islanders completed a sweep of their three-game homestand with a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night. New York also defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins and Florida Panthers during the stretch, allowing just one goal in each game.
Captain Anders Lee told reporters postgame that he’s been happy with the way the team has played defensively over the past few games.
“Our structures been really good and the guys coming in have played really solid defensively," he said. "We’ve done a good job of slowing the puck down in our defensive zone, pinning guys to the wall, and being able to double a little more frequently.. We’ve been able to stop plays a little bit earlier.”
After Thursday’s win, the Islanders now head out to play the Seattle Kraken on Sunday followed by the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. The winger said it’s great that they've been able to turn things around at home before heading out on the road trip.
“It’s nice to find your game at home, especially with the few game homestand out of the break and the game before," Lee said. "Really it’s just building our game, getting that consistency. Our goal is obviously to take it into the road trip and have a good game out west.”
As far as that road trip, Lee said it’s definitely always a bit of a challenge being so far from home, but he’s confident the team will be ready to roll.
“It’s tough," Lee said. "You’re going out west, it’s a decent amount of travel and you have to adjust a little bit and get your body going and find your legs. The first ones kind of, in some regard, a little bit tougher and then you get used to it.”
He added: “It is what is is. We deal with it all the time, it’s what we do. Our boys, we’ll be ready. But yeah it’s tough, you’re a long way from home and some of those buildings are tough to play in with some good hockey teams. It’s gonna be a tough trip. If we continue to play like this we’ll give ourselves a great chance every night.”