The Upshot: Isles end four-game winless streak with 2-1 win over Montreal

Jan 14, 2023; Elmont, New York, USA;  New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) looks for the
Jan 14, 2023; Elmont, New York, USA; New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) looks for the / Thomas Salus-USA TODAY Sports
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Final. 1. 152. 2. 106

HOW IT HAPPENED

Casey Cizikas and Anthony Beauvillier each scored first-period goals, and Ilya Sorokin made 22 saves as the New York Islanders snapped a four-game losing streak (0-3-1) with a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens at UBS Arena on Saturday. Nick Suzuki scored in the third to bring the Canadiens within one, and Sam Montembeault made 36 saves for Montreal (17-23-3).

WHAT WENT RIGHT

The Islanders started out fast with two goals in the first 6:03 of the first period - and if it felt like that hasn't happened often, you're right. Per Eric Hornick, the two goals were the Isles' earliest in UBS Arena history and earliest anywhere since last Feb 9 in Vancouver. It was also the first time the team had a 2-0 lead since Dec. 16 in Arizona, a game they lost 5-4.

"We wanted to get back the way we want to play and get back to the way we we've had success," Beauvillier said. "It comes with having a good forecheck and D throwing pucks to the net and us crashing to the net. We got two goals like that and it ended up winning us the game."

WHAT WENT WRONG

Montreal came in averaging 5.13 goals against per game in their last eight games and the Isles looked primed for a much-needed offensive explosion. But the Isles were unable to score in the final 54 minutes of the game against a team that has now lost eight of 10 and is 3-11-1 since Dec. 12.

A win is a win, and two points were desperately needed, but the team hasn't scored more than two goals since their 6-2 win in Vancouver - a span of five games. It felt like this was a game where players like Brock Nelson, Noah Dobson, and others could break through after some long goalless droughts,

STATS OF THE GAME

Per Eric Hornick in The Skinny, Ilya Sorokin has allowed seven goals in the last six home games (4-1-1, 1.15, .953); both the goals-against average and save percentage are the best in the NHL over that span. The 27-year-old Russian goalie improved to 15-14-2 this season.

SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME

The Islander honored Mike Bossy last night and the artwork of his eldest daughter Josiane was on display and available for purchase.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Islanders welcome Alexander Ovechkin and Washington Capitals to UBS Arena on Monday night for the first matchup of the season between the two teams. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.

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