- Isaac Brendel
Islanders Edge: Sorokin dominant, Isles PP produces in win over Pittsburgh
(PHOTO BY BRUCE BENNETT/GETTY IMAGE)
In a season that reminds many of old-time hockey, each team must have a short memory and be prepared to face off against the same teams many times in a short period. In this case, the New York Islanders saw the Pittsburgh Penguins (a team that has stolen multiple games from them so far this season) two times in less than twenty-four hours at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Sunday night at the Barn was a gritty, tight hockey game. The first five minutes were not what Barry Trotz envisioned, but his team gave the Pens nothing, not even a shot on goal.
New York woke up about seven minutes into the first period, and they started to take control from there on out. Outworking and out-skating Pittsburgh from this point, New York did everything they wanted to do except score. This was until 18:13 into the period when Marcus Pettersson was called for hooking Anthony Beauvillier. The Islanders created chances on the power-play and finally capitalized with twenty-seconds remaining in the period. Young Islanders sniper and former top prospect Oliver Wahlstrom sent a laser top shelf, easily beating Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith. Wahlstrom is now riding a four-game point streak and has three goals and three assists on the year, totaling six points. Nick Leddy (13) and Josh Bailey (9) got assists on the Wahlstrom goal. New York had nine first-period shots.
Important to note: Despite outplaying the Isles in the first few minutes, the Pens did not record a shot on goal until just shy of sixteen-minutes into the period. This was one of only two shots the Penguins recorded in the first twenty minutes of play.
In the second, the Islanders continued to play their game. They outshot the Pens 16-8 and looked like the far better team, which they were. 13:52 in, Jake Guentzel tripped Brock Nelson. 14:56 in, Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored his ninth goal of the season. Josh Bailey picked up his tenth assist, and Wahlstrom picked up another assist and his second point of the game. Wahlstrom now has 5 points in his last four games and seven on the season. The Islanders shut down the Penguins for the rest of the period and only let ten shots through to goaltender Ilya Sorokin.
The third period was no different. Sorokin shined and clinched his second consecutive shutout. He has now not allowed a goal in his last 120-minutes of play. New York’s penalty kill was 2/2, and their power-play was 2/5. The final score was 2-0.
The Isles got the bounce back they needed tonight and finally beat the Penguins. Pageau, Leddy, Wahlstrom, and Sorokin are all red hot and look to continue this play. To secure a playoff spot and make a run, gritty wins and strong defensive-minded play are imperative. The Isles look to continue this play and will play again on Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM Eastern Time.