HOW IT HAPPENED
The NY Islanders came into this game after an impressive comeback against the defending champion Colorado Avalanche, coming back from 3-0 down to win 5-4 at UBS Arena, and looked to win their fourth straight against a much less threatening Chicago Blackhawks for the first game of a three-game road trip. They did just that by winning 3-1 in a tension-filled game that was played a lot on special teams for both sides.
Anders Lee continued his terrific start to the season by scoring on the power play near the end of the first period, tapping in a loose rebound just as you would expect. Brocktober may have come to an end, but Brock Nelson was still the Islanders' first star of the game, registering the game-winning goal along with an assist on Lee's tally. Zach Parise had many great shot attempts and was hungry for a goal all game, and he would be rewarded with an empty netter to put the game away.
Ilya Sorokin played spectacularly once again, stopping 21 of 22 shots. He only allowed one goal that came in the third period, which is also the only goal he has allowed in his last seven periods of hockey.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
The Islanders did a great job all night of controlling the tempo of the game and didn't allow Chicago to gain a step on them. Kyle Palmieri did a great job of this along with Anthony Beauvillier, Parise and JG Pageau, maintaining possession in the offensive zone and spending most of the game there. The Islanders also got plenty of high-danger scoring chances, ten to be exact, and put many shots on goaltender Arvid Soderblom after starter Alex Stalock left the game due to injury. Nelson had five shots on goal and Lee would have six, and both of them were able to put one past Soderblom. Palmieri and Parise would have four shots each. Pageau also was not afraid to throw his body around today, being credited with six hits.
The best shift of the game came on Nelson's game-winner. After being pinned in their own zone and a few players laying out to block shots in front of Sorokin, the Islanders were rewarded for their bravery. Nelson was able to catch up to the clear out of the defensive zone, move in on his off-wing and rip a wrister top shelf to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Penalties were a momentum killer all game for both teams, but it all started in the first period when Casey Cizikas received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for goalie interference against Stalock. Cizikas, who has been skating with passion all season long, collided with Stalock as he came out to challenge him, causing Stalock to leave the game and the referees deemed the collision to be enough to end Cizikas' night early. The Islanders were able to kill off the five-minute major but ended up allowing their second power-play goal of the season off of a Jonathan Toews redirection.
STATS OF THE GAME
- According to Eric Hornick in The Skinny, The Isles have outscored their opponents 11-2 in the third period of their last four games. A reminder also that they have won four straight.
- Ilya Sorokin has stopped 95 of his last 98 shots. In other words, he has only allowed three goals in his last three games.
- The Isles have improved to 6-4-0 on the season. They did not earn their sixth win last season until December 7th, when they would stand at the bottom of the standings with a record of 6-10-5.
- The Islanders now are tied with the New Jersey Devils for sixth in the NHL in goals per game, averaging 3.60. They previously ranked fourth in the league before tonight's game.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
Ross Johnston played in place of Matt Martin on the fourth line in this game and the reason why was broken by Shannon Hogan during the broadcast. Martin was not there so he can be with his wife Sydney giving birth to the newest edition to the Martin family. Johnston would get an assist in the win as well, so everybody is happy.
The Islanders will continue their road trip in the west to take on the St. Louis Blues in search of their 5th straight victory. Puck drop is at 8 PM EST.