The Upshot: After slow start, NY Islanders bounce back with 6-2 win over Vancouver

Jan 3, 2023; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; New York Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin (30) and
Jan 3, 2023; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; New York Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin (30) and / Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
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6. 106. 2. 104. Final

HOW IT HAPPENED

Mathew Barzal had a goal and two assists as the Islanders bounced back from their performance on Sunday night and topped the Vancouver Canucks 6-2 on Tuesday night at Rogers Arena. JG Pageau scored a power play and shorthanded goal, the latter into an empty net. Aatu Räty scored his second of the year early in the second period to tie the game at 1-1.

Anders Lee and Casey Cizikas also scored for the Isles (22-15-2). Ilya Sorokin stopped 24 shots in his 14th win. Bo Horvat scored twice, and Spencer Martin made 23 saves for the Canucks (16-18-3), who have lost three in a row.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Playing in his hometown always brings out the best in Mathew Barzal, although he is scoring wherever he is skating in recent games. Barzal now has a team-leading 10 goals over the last 21 games and is on a career-best four-game goal streak. Accoridng to Eric Hornick in The Skinny, he is the first player born in British Columbia to record points in his first eight games against the Canucks (2-10-12)

WHAT WENT WRONG

The start of the game was bad, a recurring theme that keeps just on happening. The Islanders didn't record their first shot until after the five minute mark of the opening period and allowed a goal to Vancouver captain Bo Horvat to go into the dressing room trailing 1-0. “We came in after the first [period] not very satisfied,” Mathew Barzal said after the game. “We thought we got dominated a little bit in the first. We found our game in the second.”

Lane Lambert shook up three of the four lines heading into the second and that seemed to ignite the group and grab their attention as they scored three unanswered en route to the 6-2 win.

STATS OF THE GAME

Per NHL PR, Barzal (10-30—40 in 39 GP), with points in every game against his hometown Canucks (2-10—12 in 8 GP), became the second Islanders player in the past 28 years to record 30 assists in fewer than 40 games in a season. The other: Josh Bailey (31 GP in 2017-18).

SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME

Parker Wotherspoon grew up a die-hard Vancouver Canucks fan, having attended hundreds of games at Rogers Arena. That made last night extra special for the defensive who has waited so long for an opportunity at the NHL before this season.

During the game, MSG Networks' Shannon Hogan spoke to his parents about what it means to watch their son at the arena they came to so often as a family. To make things sweeter, Wortherspoon would register his first NHL point, a secondary assist later in the game.

WHAT'S NEXT

After a day off on Wednesday, the Islanders are back in action on Thursday night as they take on Connor McDavid and the high-powereed Edmonton Oilers. Face-off is at 9:00PM EST.

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