The Upshot: NY Islanders win third straight; dominate Bruins from start to finish

The Islanders finally play a complete game, dismantling the Bruins on Saturday Night at UBS Arena.

Boston Bruins v New York Islanders
Boston Bruins v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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HOW IT HAPPENED

The NY Islanders played arguably their best game of the season Saturday night at UBS Arena, destroying the Boston Bruins by a 5-1 score. If anything, that score does not do the Isles justice. From the opening puck drop all the way through to the final horn, the Islanders outplayed the Bruins. The Islanders' penalty kill was 3-for-3 on the night, the power play resulted in a goal, and Ilya Sorokin won three games in a row for the first time this season.

The Islanders got the party started immediately, with Kyle Palmieri scoring three and a half minutes into the first period. Less than two minutes later, Palmieri scored again, this time on the power play after James Van Riemsdyk went to the box for holding. And of course, at 12:19 of the first, Palmieri would finish the hat trick to put the Isles up 3-0. With three goals in the first 12:19 of the game, Palmieri completed the earliest hat trick in Islanders history.

After taking the 3-0 lead to the locker room after the first, the second period started off much the same way. Less than a minute into the period, captain Anders Lee scored his 16th goal of the season, with an assist to Palmieri, who could seemingly do nothing wrong in this game. Ten minutes later, Brock Nelson, who has seen his name pop up in trade rumors recently, scored his team-leading 28th goal of the season to put the Islanders up 5-0. Marc McLaughlin would break the shutout for the Bruins with his first goal of the season, but the Islanders took a comfortable 5-1 lead into the second intermission.

The third period was a scoreless affair, with the Islanders maintaining their aggressive play and earning multiple odd-man rushes. This frustrated the Bruins, who grew increasingly hostile as the period went on. But the Islanders were unfazed by this, as they stayed composed and finished off the impressive 5-1 victory in what was arguably their most complete performance of the season.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Mostly everything tonight. Ilya Sorokin was a Marc McLaughlin goal away from a shutout, as he was at the top of his game between the pipes. The Isles' defense limited the Bruins to that single goal and only 24 shots on goal, and the penalty kill had a perfect night, killing off all three Bruins power plays. Offensively, the Isles scored 5 goals, including a power play goal. Simply put, the Islanders were firing on all cylinders in this game.

WHAT WENT WRONG

About the only thing that went wrong in my eyes was Kyle Palmieri not scoring a fourth goal. The Islanders were a complete team tonight, and hopefully they bring this type of effort consistently the rest of the season.

STATS OF THE GAME

- With Mathew Barzal's 46th assist of the season, he is now up to 64 points on the season. That's the highest scoring season of Barzal's career outside of his Calder Trophy-winning 85 points performance in 2017-18.

- Ilya Sorokin has now won 20 games in three straight seasons, becoming the first Islanders goaltender with three straight 20-win seasons since Rick DiPietro had four straight 20-win seasons from 2003-04 to 2007-08 (note that there was no 2004-05 NHL season due to a work stoppage).

- The Islanders won 61.5% of faceoffs tonight. The Isles are at their best- as most NHL teams are- when they dominate in the faceoff circle, as it allows them to push the play more aggressively against their opponents.

- The one area in which the Bruins succeeded tonight was in hits, as they outhit the Isles 36-6. Notably, the Islanders remained composed throughout this game, and it worked wonders as they came out on top where it really matters.

SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME

Islanders fans were downright giddy at Kyle Palmieri's first period hat trick, which set the tone for the evening. After Palmieri's natural hat trick in the first 12 minutes of the game, the Isles never looked back, locking this one down early.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Islanders host the St. Louis Blues Tuesday night at UBS Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 PM ET.