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Islanders’ Tavares nets hat trick against Devils

Feb 16, 2013, 11:16 PM EDT

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It’s gone perhaps a little bit under the radar, but John Tavares is closing in a goal-a-game pace.

The 22-year-old New York Islanders center scored three times in a 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils Saturday night.

He now has 11 goals in 14 games, and is up to 20 points.

“I tried getting back to some things over the summer shooting-the-puck wise that I wanted to work on,” Tavares told NHL.com following the game.

“Not that I go out there thinking about leading the League in goals, but when I get opportunities, I want to capitalize.”

And to think Tavares went without a goal through the first four games of the season.

He now has at least a goal in each of his last five games.

“I think any great player puts a lot of responsibility on (themselves) because they want to lead (their) team,” Islanders head coach Jack Capuano told Associated Press.

“To me, an elite player is someone you watch night in and night out, and your coaches prepare for in your pre-scout. You’re looking at 91 (Tavares).”

The Islanders have now won back-to-back games, against their arch rivals, the New York Rangers, and the Devils.

“Not only are they doing the right things at the right times, but they’re playing physical,” Capuano said to NHL.com.

“That’s exactly what we want them to do. Hopefully that’ll continue for us. I would say that’s something that we were missing last year.”

  1. bcisleman - Feb 16, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    JT getting the hat & GWG is huge but Matt also had a 4 point night & Visnovsky has 4 points in 4 games.

  2. alexb64 - Feb 16, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    Can’t lie, not even remotely an Islanders fan but Tavares is the guy in the NHL right now that I’d most classify as “can’t miss” when he’s playing.

  3. kappy32 - Feb 17, 2013 at 3:31 AM

    I was there tonight, two rows off the ice, and I really liked what I saw from the Islanders. The Islanders played very physical & dictated the pace of the game. I think it should be said that Brodeur didn’t play tonight, but with Nabokov stopping 30/31 shots & JT on fire, it didn’t matter if both Hedberg and Marty were goaltending together – the Islanders were going to win. The past few years when the Islanders go on 4-5 game skids, they have gotten down on themselves & extended that skid into a season-ending free fall. However, they have showed maturity, heart & determination to not let their most recent 4 game skid turn into a hole they couldn’t dig themselves out of. After losing 3 in a row they played Buffalo & outshot them 3:1, and dictated the gameplay, but they lost due to a hot Ryan Miller & ice-cold performance from Nabby that night. With the losing skid at 4 & facing a 2-0 deficit to the Rangers, they turned it around & out scored them 3-1 over the final 2 periods & squeaked out a road win via shootout. Then comes tonight… Tonight was a perfect hockey game played by the Islanders and they completely dominated the reigning Eastern Conference Champions. During their 4 game skid, the Isle’s powerplay unit was a freezing cold 0-24. I’m not sure what they did against the NYR, but tonight they were 3-4 on the powerplay, 2 scored by 91. Tavares is really becoming one of the premier stars in the NHL & for at least tonight, his supporting cast did a great job. When the Islanders play like they did tonight, and have for the past 5 periods, there isn’t a team in the league that they couldn’t go toe-to-toe with.

  4. kaptaanamerica - Feb 17, 2013 at 4:14 AM

    Personally I’m looking forward to Tavares leading team Canada in the Olympics.hopefully he is named captain of that team.I’d rather have him than any other Canadian including toes or Crosby in charge.he doesn’t go whining to the refs every shift. Glad that the Isles are becoming a team to cheer for Going forward and finally getting out from under the long term damage done by crazy mike mulberry.

    • misterchainbluelightning - Feb 17, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      Ya and that’s not happening, JT isn’t even Captain of his own team yet here’s going to be Captain over Crosby, Perry, Toews, or Weber? LOL come on stop being like Flyer fans

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