Islanders Edge: Islanders Scoring Non-Existent, Shut Out by Devils 2-0
photo credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
As crazy as this thought may seem, life was once normal. New York Islanders vs. New Jersey Devils would be played in front of actual fans, with real crowd noise and no tarps over the seats. This would be a standard Metropolitan Division matchup that occurs four times a season in New Jersey and twice a year on Long Island. Instead, these teams will meet eight times this year, and if that’s the case - both sides should be excited about the competition and quite nervous. For the Islanders, Sunday night was exactly what the Devils felt on Thursday and different in many ways. Highly touted goaltender Ilya Sorokin got his second start of the year, but on many levels, his first real start, as his debut against the Rangers was not in any way imagined or ideal. For the young Russian goaltender, a lot has changed in the past few months on and off the ice. Perhaps the most significant change on the ice is the different styles of play and different rink dimensions. For the most part, Sorokin played an excellent game for the Islanders, stopping 22 of 24 shots faced.
As the game got underway, things looked pretty evenly matched. Early in the first, Sorokin made a great save on Miles wood, moving post to post very quickly to stop a puck that ended up on Wood’s stick after a ricochet off the backboards. It wasn’t until late into the first period that the Devils went to the power play. At 17:00 into the first frame, 2019 first overall pick Jack Hughes picked the top left corner of the net, giving New Jersey a 1-0 lead. Ty Smith picked up his fourth assist of the year, and Long Island native Kyle Palmieri picked up his third. Two minutes later, Pavel Zacha cleaned up a rebound in front of the net and put it home for his first goal of the season. Nikita Gusev and Ty Smith were both granted assists. This would be it for scoring on the night. New Jersey goaltender Scott Wedgewood recorded his third career shutout. The Isles just ultimately failed to get a spark. It was one of those nights. Noah Dobson continues to impress, and despite not scoring, the top line did look like they were clicking and creating opportunities. After a tie-up with Nathan Bastian, Anthony Beauvillier left the game and did not return. There is not yet an update on the status of his injury.
The Isles travel to our Nation’s capital to take on a depleted Washington Capitals team on Tuesday and Thursday. Puck drop times are set for 7:00 PM Eastern Time.