The Upshot: NY Islanders take down San Jose Sharks in 5-2 win

San Jose Sharks v New York Islanders
San Jose Sharks v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

2. 120. 5. 106. Final


Oliver Wahlstrom continued his strong start to the season by scoring two goals as the New York Islanders down the San Jose Sharks, winning their second straight game to improve to 2-1-0 on the season. The Islanders after going down 1-0 after the first period would outshoot San Jose 21-8 in the second period, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Noah Dobson had two assists on the night and has gotten a point in every Islanders game so far. Anders Lee and Zach Parise scored their first goals of the season on redirections, with Lee's being especially impressive. Cal Clutterbuck sealed the win for the Isles with an empty netter, giving Adam Pelech his second assist of the night. Brock Nelson quietly had two assists as well. Semyon Varlamov made his first start of the season and made 26 saves on 28 shots.


As shown on the scoresheet, the Islanders never let up in the shot department. They had 46 shots on the day, with 21 coming in the second period alone. The Islanders also got more scoring from their forwards compared to the first two games. No defensemen hit the back of the net for the Isles, however, they were still very involved offensively, as shown by Pelech and Dobson each having two assists. The Islanders' first two goals came directly from a point shot from Pelech that got perfectly deflected by Lee and with a perfect shot-pass from Dobson looking for Parise in front and finding him on the doorstep.

The Islanders' penalty kill continues to stop teams in their tracks through the first three games of the season, going a perfect 3-for-3 on the night and standing at 12-for-12 all season. They only allowed four shots from the Sharks on the man advantage, and did a great job of keeping those shots to the outside and for Varlamov to see and easily stop. Casey Cizikas was a huge part in that, along with being a driving force throughout this game, going 11-for-19 on face-offs and blocking four shots.

I certainly liked his jump and I thought he was really moving tonight. That line again, full marks. He was using his speed there's no question about and hunting pucks down and the penalty kill was good again.
Head Coach Lane Lambert on Cizikas

And of course, Oliver Wahlstrom has looked very good to start the season. He has three goals in only two games played, scoring two of those against San Jose. Both of them were snapshots that were too fast for James Reimer to stop, and it looks like Lane Lambert is giving Wahlstrom a bit more freedom to create shot opportunities in the offensive zone. Lambert even kept him on the ice for the last minute and a half of the game to give him a chance at scoring three, which he came close to doing twice on that shift.


The Islanders' penalty kill may be red hot to start the season, but their power play has been ice-cold. They went 0-for-3 on the power play, identical to the Sharks, and have only scored one power-play goal in ten opportunities during their first three games. Their closest chance came on their first man-advantage of the game late in the first period, but Lee missed a wide-open cage to the left of Reimer. Their play wasn't necessarily bad with the looks they had, but nevertheless, they weren't able to bury any of their five shots on goal on the power play.

While many on the team had a very impactful game, the Islanders' second line coming into the game centered by Mat Barzal did not. Kyle Palmieri and Anthony Beauvillier did not have their best games either, with nobody on that line registering a point in a game where the Isles scored five goals. Everyone on this line also finished with a negative plus-minus and goals above expected, and just simply looked like the least efficient line, likely part of the reason why Lambert shuffled the lines up after the first period. They'll look to bounce back next game, as this was Barzal's first game without a point in the Isles' first three, while Palmieri is still looking for his first point of the season.


  • Per Eric Hornick in The Skinny, the Isles are 5-1-3 in their last nine games against San Jose and are 6-1-1 in their last eight games at home against the Sharks.
  • Noah Dobson's three-game point streak to begin a season ties a club record for defensemen, also held by Denis Potvin.
  • Alexander Romanov, who had two blocks against the Sharks, currently leads the Isles with 14 blocked shots. The next closest on the team is Ryan Pulock with five blocked shots.
  • J.G. Pageau finished 10-for-12 on faceoffs on the night, winning 83% of face-offs taken. Casey Cizikas went 58% at the dot, and Brock Nelson went 47%.


Shannon Hogan was able to ask a lighthearted question to Wahlstrom after the game about MSG color commentator Butch Goring mispronouncing his name on the broadcast. Luckily for him, seems like "Ollie Watherson" had a pretty productive game anyways. Still waiting on the first "Mark Barzal" liner of the season from Butchie.


The Islanders will host the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night. Face-off is at 7:30 PM.