Mathew Barzal is at it again.
After recording seven points (three goals, four assists) in three games last week, including his fourth career hat trick during the Islanders’ 8-4 victory over the Washington Capitals, Barzal was named the NHL’s “First Star” of the week.
This was the first time in the 23-year-old’s career he had received such an honor.
“I wouldn’t say that I dwell on it for a bit, but it’s nice to be recognized for having a good week,” Barzal, who received such an honor for the first time in his career, said. “Every week I get to see on Instagram or Twitter the three stars and highlights. I haven’t been the first star in my career but it’s pretty cool. Nothing crazy, but it’s a nice feather in the cap.”
During the Isles’ matchup with the Caps last week, Barzal put on an astounding performance tallying five points on the night.
Within minutes of the first period, he collected the puck from and blasted his turbo engines flying down the ice, weaving his way in and out of a crowd of Washington players. Barzal finished that dazzling display successfully ripping one top shelf past Capitals’ netminder Vitek Vaneck with a jaw-dropping shot.
🤯 WHAT EVEN BARZAL 🤯 pic.twitter.com/bikXSos0XC
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) April 1, 2021
Following the Isles’ strong victory last Thursday evening, the stud center kept his momentum going. On Saturday night, Barzal recorded an assist and helped the Isles earn a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers by scoring the game-winning goal in a shootout.
Riding on a four-game point streak with four goals and five assists, he became the fifth Islander in franchise history with at least four five-point games, and is the first to do so in the 21st century since Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier. He is also the first Islander to record a five-point game with a plus-5 rating since 1996 (Niklas Andersson).
As the Islanders are racing to hold the MassMutual East Division, Barzal proved himself as a critical asset. The Coquitlam, BC native leads the Islanders in points (34) and co-leads the team in goals (13) through 38 games this season. He currently leads the East division in plus-minus rating (plus-17) and even-strength points (28).
The Islanders continue their race for the Mass Mutual East division with a matchup against the Capitals again on Tuesday, followed by matchups with the Flyers and rival New York Rangers later in the week.
It should be fun to see what Barzal has in store for an encore following his star-rewarding performance.
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