The Upshot: Sorokin can't save Islanders, fall to the Wild 3-1
HOW IT HAPPENED
On Thursday, Jan. 12, NY Islanders welcomed the Minnesota Wild to the UBS Arena. Playing stellar for most of the night, Ilya Sorokin picked up 33 saves, while only allowing two goals. Islanders defenseman, Scott Mayfield, got the Islanders on the board late in the first period, giving them a 1-0 lead. However, a shorthanded goal by Frederick Gaudreau and a goal by Sam Steel would put the Wild in front, 2-1 in the third period. An empty-net goal by Kirill Kaprizov put the game away as the Wild would go on to win, 3-1.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Late in the first period, Islanders defensemen Mayfield scored the first goal of the game, giving the Islanders the 1-0 lead. This was Mayfield's fifth goal on the season, which already matches a career-high for himself. With about half the season left to play, Mayfield is sure to score at least one more goal and give himself a new career-high in a single season.
Sorokin had another incredible game. However, when your team isn't able to get anything going on offense, none of it matters. Sorokin allowed just two goals, and made 33 saves, tallying a .943 save percentage.
The Islanders' penalty kill unit continued its strong play against the Wild. The Islanders' penalty kill unit went five-for-five, as they remained the #1 in the league on home ice.
WHAT WENT WRONG
The Islanders' powerplay unit continued to fall flat on its face against the Wild. While the Islanders only went on the powerplay three times, they were unable to pick up a powerplay goal. The second powerplay of the night garnered a lot of momentum for the Islanders as they had an incredible showing. However, on the third powerplay of the night, they managed to give up a shorthanded goal to the Wild and allowed them to tie the game.
The third period which featured the shorthanded goal for the Wild is where everything for the Islanders really fell apart. In just a minute and 33 seconds, the Wild who didn't score for the first 51 minutes of the hockey game, scored twice to take the lead 2-1.
"“Obviously, Ilya had a hell of a game. We got to try and find some points in that game with his performance.”"- Noah Dobson on Islanders loss
The mixture of the Islanders failing to capitalize on their three powerplays, giving up a shorthanded goal, and a lack of defense, all are why Minnesota walked away with the win.
STATS OF THE GAME
The Islanders had 23 giveaways in this game, and Mat Barzal is responsible for five. The Wild had just five giveaways all game.
Per Eric Hornick of "The Skinny," the Islanders fall to 15-2-0 when leading through the first 40 minutes of the game, losing just their second time tonight after being in the lead for the first two periods.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
While tonight's game had many excited fans in the house, they also had some more stars on their hands. Members of the New York Giants offensive line were in the house to watch the Islanders take on the Wild ahead of their Wildcard showdown on Sunday at 4:40 PM against the Minnesota Vikings.
The Islanders next take the ice on Saturday, Jan. 12 when they welcome the Montreal Canadiens to UBS Arena in their third game out of a five-game homestand. The puck drop is at 7:00 PM.