The Upshot: NY Islanders pick up a point in thrilling matinee versus rival NY Rangers

New York Islanders v New York Rangers
New York Islanders v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages


In a thrilling matinee at Madison Square Garden, Artemi Panarin tied the game at 15:43 of the third period off a face-off, and the New York Rangers went on to defeat the New York Islanders 3-2 in a shootout on Saturday afternoon. Panarin and Vincent Trocheck had the shootout goals, and Igor Shesterkin made 33 saves for the Rangers (54-23-4), who set a franchise record for the win in a season and extended their lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for first in the Metro and the East to three points. Brock Nelson had a pair of goals, while Kyle Palmieri and Hudson Fasching each had a pair of assists for the Islanders (37-27-16), who are 6-0-1 in their last seven games. Ilya Sorokin made 41 saves in the loss.


This was simply an outstanding hockey game.

We had to wait over a calendar year for these two teams to meet and they have delivered a quartet of memorable games in the second half of the season. Those without an allegiance will root for the two teams to meet for the first time in 30 years while fans may find it too hard for their hearts to handle.

Brock Nelson
New York Islanders v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Sorokin looked like Sorokin. We don't know in which direction Patrick Roy will go on Monday, but Sorokin looked like the goaltender of last year throughout the game. His problems in the shootouts persist, but he was excellent. Per Natural Stat Trick, the Rangers had 5.31 expected goals on the afternoon and there was little Sorokin could've done different on the two goals allowed.


The Islanders were without defenseman Noah Dobson and it was expected for that to have an impact on their power-play, though it was a lot worse than that. The power-play went 0-for-5 and allowed a short-handed goal in the second period as well. The unit, which started the year off so well, has struggled for weeks now and the issues are more pronounced without their quarterback. "I'm sure it had an effect, but we didn't make good decisions.," Patrick Roy said about the loss of Dobson on the power-play. :There were some options and we didn't see them. We're going to keep working at it and make sure that it's going to be part of our solution."

For the second straight game against the Rangers, the Islanders were awarded a penalty shot and for the second straight game, Shesterkin made the save. This time, it was on defenseman Adam Pelech who found himself on a breakaway before being interfered with by Panarin. Then, in the shootout, Palmeiri hit the post and Nelson was stopped as well.


Per NHL PR, Brock Nelson scored his 272nd and 273rd career goals to surpass John Tavares on the Islanders’ all-time list. Nelson trails Mike Bossy (573), Bryan Trottier (500), Denis Potvin (310), Clark Gillies (304), Pat LaFontaine (287) and Brent Sutter (287). Kyle Palmieri collected an assist on Brock Nelson’s game-opening goal to record the fourth 50-point season of his career and the first since 2018-19 (27-23—50 in 74 GP w/ NJD).


The NHL on ESPN roller-coaster animation that captures the Islanders up and down season.


The Islanders are in Newark on Monday night to battle the New Jersey Devils. Depending on the outcome of Saturday night's games, the Isles could be playing for a playoff spot or seeding in the first round of the playoffs.

Face-off is set for 7:00 PM EDT.