Islanders Edge: Wild affair in Jersey results in Isles victory, win streak grows to nine
photo credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Without their captain, Anders Lee, the New York Islanders were also without major pieces Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Noah Dobson due to COVID-19 protocol. Dobson took warmups but could not play. He was replaced in the lineup by Sebastian Aho, which took some time to get sorted out. The game was delayed for a few minutes but eventually got underway.
Just 4:18 into the game, it was the Isles who drew first blood. Kieffer Bellows stayed hot and now has three goals in his last two games. Aho (1) and Jordan Eberle (10) were credited assists. 4:55 in, former Devil Andy Greene was sent to the penalty box for delay of game. Just twenty-seven seconds into the power-play, Janne Kuokkanen continued his recent dominance against the Isles, tallying his fifth goal of the season. The goal game 5:12 into the first, with Kyle Palmieri (8) and Damon Severson (7) getting assists. New York outshot the Devils 15-6 in the first period, and Brock Nelson beat the buzzer with less than two seconds remaining, picking up his twelfth goal of the season. Nick Leddy (17) and Josh Bailey (12) got assists.
The second period was evenly matched, but New Jersey ended up outshooting the Isles 12-10. It came as no surprise that they also would score the lone goal of the period. 18:04 into the period, Yegor Sharangovich sniped one past Isles goaltender Ilya Sorokin, who was screened. PK Subban (10) and Dmitry Kulikov (2) were awarded assists. This play started on an Aho turnover, and as we advance, those types of turnovers are unacceptable.
The third period was scoreless. Both goalies kept their teams in the game. Shots were 10-9 in favor of the Devils.
Less than a minute into overtime, PK Subban blasted one past Sorokin. After video review, the play was determined offside. The Isles still had life.
2:36 into overtime, Nelson was called for hooking Sharangovich. Barry Trotz’s Isles came up huge, with Sorokin making key saves, one of which he did stickless. New York did not record a shot in overtime, and the game went to a shootout.
In the first round of the shootout, Nikita Gusev beat Sorokin. Devils goaltender Scott Wedgewood rejected Eberle. To make this game even crazier, the goal light behind Sorokin would not turn off before the second round.
In the second round, Sorokin shut down Jesper Bratt. Mathew Barzal was unable to score, and the Devils had a chance to grab the two-points at stake.
Sorokin came up huge, robbing Pavel Zacha and keeping his team in the game. With the game on the line, Anthony Beauviller beat Wedgewood and extended the shootout.
In the extra round, Sorokin denied Jack Hughes. With a chance to win it for the blue and orange, Oliver Wahlstrom rifled one past Wedgewood. A crazy game filled with COVID issues, technical difficulty, and a significant video review culminated in an Isles victory. The boys have now won nine straight games and are riding a twelve-game point streak.
The next-man-up mentality is serving the Isles well, and they look to continue this play with their captain out long term (announced Sunday morning by the team). By no means will it be easy, but Isles hockey gets the job done. Looking to win their tenth straight game, the Islanders travel to Washington to take on the Capitals on Tuesday. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM Eastern Time.