NEW YORK — On a scale of weird, with 1 being normal and 10 being a night out with Miley Cyrus, Wednesday’s Golden Knights game ranked somewhere around a 12.
Not only was the announced crowd of 9,182 at Barclays Center eerily silent most of the night, there was a 16-minute delay at the start of the third period when a bank of lights failed to illuminate the ice.
“It’s kind of hard playing here, but it’s no excuse. It’s the same thing for both teams,” Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault said. “There’s nights like that, but at the end of the day we found a way to get two points, and that’s the most important thing.”
Despite the unusual setting, the Knights rallied from a goal down in the second period and earned a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders to kick off a four-game road trip.
Tomas Nosek banged home the go-ahead goal at 3:32 of the third period, as the Knights beat the Islanders for the first time in franchise history after losing both games last season.
William Karlsson scored for the second consecutive game, and Marchessault added his team-high 12th goal on a power play in the opening minute of the first period.
“We come out to get two points. We don’t come out to put a show on the road,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “It wasn’t a pretty game by either team, by no means. But it’s a solid win.”
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made his 11th consecutive start and finished with 23 saves to earn his league-leading 18th victory.
The Knights have won two straight and are 11-4 since Nov. 12, which is the most wins among any Western Conference club during that span.
“It’s been going better lately, the last few weeks,” Fleury said. “We had some ups and downs, but I think we’re playing more like ourselves lately.”
Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey called the delay at the start of the third period “amateur hour,” but it didn’t seem to affect the Knights.
Nosek broke the tie when he pounced on a rebound after Oscar Lindberg’s initial shot was stopped by Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner.
Nosek lifted Hickey’s stick during a scramble in front and jammed the puck past Lehner for his third goal.
“I saw the puck was loose, so I just tried to go under his stick,” Nosek said. “It’s been great to get some goals and get some confidence. It’s good for our line chemistry, for sure.”
Karlsson tied the game 2-2 with 3:29 remaining in the second period after the Islanders failed to clear their own zone despite little pressure from the Knights’ forecheck.
Karlsson intercepted the puck along the right-wing wall and snapped a shot past Lehner on the short side for his 11th goal and sixth in the past nine games.
Marchessault opened the scoring after New York’s Casey Cizikas was whistled for high-sticking 19 seconds into the game. He wired a shot from the right faceoff dot into the upper corner at the 34-second mark.
Anthony Beauvillier and Adam Pelech scored for the Islanders and Mathew Barzal added two assists.
“It wasn’t the most interesting game,” Fleury said. “It was defensive on both sides, I feel like a bit. But sometimes throughout the game we controlled play a lot, and in the third, we got that third goal and didn’t give them much after that.”