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Islanders finally lend Lehner a hand

Goalie posts first win since Oct. 30 with 35-save effort in Arizona

December 19, 2018 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Robin Lehner made 35 saves in Arizona on Tuesday night, posting his first win since Oct. 30 and helping the New York Islanders to their third consecutive victory. AP Photo by Ross D. Franklin

Despite yielding three goals or fewer in six of his previous seven starts, including a pair of outings in which he surrendered just one tally, Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner hadn’t tasted victory between the pipes since Oct. 30.

That drought ended Tuesday night as Lehner made 35 saves and got some offensive support in New York’s third straight win, a 3-1 triumph over the Arizona Coyotes in front of 11,640 fans at Glendale’s Gila River Arena.

“We finally got him some goals,” Isles head coach Barry Trotz said after Josh Ho-Sang, Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier lit the lamp against Coyotes netminder Darcy Kuemper.

“[Lehner] made some real key saves today. I was really happy for him.”

Though he gave up a first-period goal to Arizona’s Mario Kempe, Lehner staved off everything else that came his way as the Isles grinded their way to their first three-game winning streak since a season-high five-game run from Oct. 27-Nov. 3.

“Real gutsy back-to-back,” noted Trotz, whose team was coming off Tuesday’s 4-1 victory in Colorado.

“Guys were blocking shots when they needed to and doing what they needed to do to make sure the puck didn’t get into the danger areas… Two goals against in the last two games, we’ll have a chance to win every night.”

Lehner, who ended a personal 0-5-2 skid, was also appreciative of his teammates’ collective effort on a night he stood tall in the net and got the result he deserved.

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“They came out really well. I think they were the better team the first 10 minutes,” Lehner said.

“After that goal, after 10 minutes we started playing better.”

The Isles will continue their four-game road trip Thursday night in Las Vegas before skating into Dallas on Saturday.

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