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Islanders’ Bailey calls his own number, scores overtime-winner on great solo effort

Josh Bailey decided to take matters into his own hands during Sunday’s overtime between the Islanders and Ducks, lifting New York to their first win of the season.
via NHL

via NHL

Two games into the regular season, the New York Islanders were left searching for their first win of the season, but all it took to put the first win on the board was a little bit of home cooking and a pretty spectacular solo effort from winger Josh Bailey.

In their home-opener Sunday, the Islanders registered their first win of the campaign thanks to Bailey’s bit of overtime magic. After New York and Anaheim battled to a 2-2 draw through regulation — the Islanders got goals from Brock Nelson and John Tavares, while the Ducks answered back with markers from Cam Fowler and Ryan Getzlaf — Bailey managed to put the game to bed just 54 seconds into the extra frame.

Cutting into the Anaheim zone, Bailey received a pass from defenseman Nick Leddy and continued back in the direction the pass had come from. Bailey used the space he was given by Corey Perry to cut to the outside and picked up speed as he saw a hole open in the defense. After making a quick move by Andrew Cogliano, Bailey found himself alone against John Gibson before deking the netminder and slipping the puck into the empty net:

The combination of speed and hands made Bailey’s effort so special and a memorable way for the Islanders to wrap up their home-opener, and it was made that much better by WWE’s Daniel Bryan leading the Islanders in a post-win “Yes!” chant, a celebration that the club has adopted from the wrestler.

Beyond Bailey scoring the winner, though, the game was notable in that Islanders coach Jack Capuano so clearly saw something in the 27-year-old winger Sunday night. He skated 23:30 in the contest — a full 6:30 more than his second-highest ice time this season — and mustered four shots on goal.

If Bailey can keep up his performances during this season, which should be a prime year of his career, he could set new career highs. Bailey’s previous career-best mark was a 15-goal, 41-point season over 70 games in 2014-15. He struggled to the tune of 12 goals and 32 points in 81 games in 2015-16.

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