Before the game started, the Islanders gave us a little scare. Anders Lee was scratched from warmups, which led to a few minutes of panic before we learned that it was a non-COVID illness that was keeping him out.
When the game got underway, it was another brutal start for the New York Islanders in Chicago. The Blackhawks came flying out of the gate and were producing a ton of shots. The lone difference, the play in net for the Islanders from Ilya Sorokin.
The Blackhawks had a couple of power plays in the first period but even at 5v5 were bleeding shots. Chicago finished the period with 18 but were unable to get one past the brick wall of Sorokin in the first.
To start the second period, the Islanders finished off the kill of the Scott Mayfield penalty that carried over and began to get some momentum. At 4:08 into the period, Anthony Beauvillier got the Islanders on the board.
First, how about Oliver Wahlstrom! He was tremendous tonight for the Islanders and here he was playing with Anthony Beauvillier and Brock Nelson making a play leading to an Anthony Beauvillier goal.
Oliver Wahlstrom finished with eight (8!) shots and ended up seeing some top-six action. As for Kieffer Bellows, well it wasn’t pretty. He looked lost tonight and saw a demotion off the top line rather quickly.
Before the end of the period, the Islanders would have another power play opportunity but Noah Dobson, who also struggled tonight, was bailed out by Ilya Sorokin off his turnover.
Just 48 seconds into the third period, Oliver Wahlstrom finally was able to get his well-deserved goal:
It was on his seventh shot of the night. Besides Sorokin, he’s absolutely the co-star of the game. He wasn’t done. Just eight minutes later, Wahlstrom would add his second goal to make it a 3-0 game.
The Islanders third line was downright phenomenal tonight. JG Pageau and Zach Parise teaming up with Oliver Wahlstrom was by far the best line for the Isles tonight.
To add the cherry on top, Cal Clutterbuck went bardown on Marc-Andre Fleury to make it 4-0. It didn’t start pretty for New York but good goalie play kept them in it until a monster third period.
With just 26 seconds left, the Blackhawks got on the board. MacKenzie Entwistle scored on a beautiful feed from Kirby Dach. Sorokin just missed the shutout by mere seconds. Barry Trotz challenged but to no prevail.
A .974 save percentage on 38 saves will have to do for Sorokin tonight. It wasn’t a perfect performance for New York but they’re on the board with a win. Their next game is on Thursday in Columbus.