Brocktober may be over, but Brock Nelson wanted to keep it going a little while longer. He scored the New York Islanders’ goal of November, added two more in the second period for his third career hat trick, and then hit the empty net for his fourth goal of the night as the Islanders walloped the Montreal Canadiens on the road. Nelson was the first Islander to score four goals in a game since Kyle Okposo on January 16, 2015 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Anthony Beauvillier, one of the Isles’ French Canadians, assisted on the first three of Nelson’s goals in front of friends of family. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, another French Canadian Isle, scored the fifth goal of the game, his first of the season. Oliver Wahlstrom fired a laser for his fifth goal of the year. Zach Parise had two assists for his first two points as an Islander, and Zdeno Chara tallied his first point as an Islander since .
All said, it was a great night for the Islanders. It was nearly perfect, but they struggled to close it out; Ilya Sorokin’s shutout was spoiled when Chara’s stick broke on a late power play. But it was still a big win.
Nelson got the party going early, backhanding Kyle Palmieri’s backhand pass through Habs goalie Jake Allen. Beauvillier found Nelson breaking over the blue line. Nelson dispy-doodled around a Montreal defender and dropped it off for Palmieri. Palmieri flicked it back to Nelson and he put it home.
this entire sequence is "islanders hockey" pic.twitter.com/arpCsCvBaJ— Isles on MSG+ (@IslesMSGN) November 4, 2021
In the middle of the period, Allen robbed Mathew Barzal with the glove, and it seemed to spur on the Canadiens. The Isles killed off a slashing penalty taken by Noah Dobson toward the end of the period, and they went into the dressing room holding a 1-0 lead.
Like they did in the first, the Islanders again scored early in the second period, and then a bunch more after that.
To make it 2-0, the fourth line got the puck deep. Cal Clutterbuck jumped off and onto the ice came Oliver Wahlstrom as Matt Martin led the forecheck. Casey Cizikas grabbed the puck, turned around, and found Wahlstrom for yet another snipe less than four minutes into the period.
I don't care how much protection a goalie has on, if Ollie's shooting it - I'm ducking pic.twitter.com/DAmjXTB8CL— Isles on MSG+ (@IslesMSGN) November 5, 2021
Nelson got his second of the night by knocking in a rebound of a Beauvillier try. Beauvillier entered the zone on a two-on-one, but their chance was stopped by Allen. Josh Anderson tied up Nelson and had taken a penalty in doing so, but Chara followed up and threw the puck toward the net. Beauvillier got a stick on it that Allen saved, but Nelson backhanded the rebound behind the Montreal goalie.
Brock off the rebound! pic.twitter.com/VWxh8eLszW— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) November 5, 2021
The hat trick goal was the result of some excellent work by Beauvillier. He forced a turnover at the Islanders’ blue line and led he and Nelson on a two-on-one. Beauvillier, with a Canadien draped over him, got the puck over to Nelson for yet another backhand.
this is what happens when you don't let Nelson play enough Brocktober games. pic.twitter.com/59fVDtnTuY— Isles on MSG+ (@IslesMSGN) November 5, 2021
But the Islanders weren’t done in the second; Pageau got in on the fun thanks to Parise. It was another delayed call situation, with Parise getting hooked as he went behind the net to set up the goal.
It was the first four-goal period for the Islanders since Barry Trotz’s sixth game into his tenure here.
The Isles chased Allen from the game, and in came Samuel Montembault for the Canadiens. All the Islanders had to do was close out the game, and for the first 15 minutes of the period, they played the way they should. They received two power plays back to back early in the period, but they did not light the lamp.
They ground down Montreal for the next ten minutes, not allowing them much, and then the Canadiens took another penalty. This time, Trotz rolled out non-power play guys, and it unfortunately backfired. Chara’s stick snapped, and Scott Mayfield didn’t get back in time to cover for him, allowing Nick Suzuki to break another Sorokin shutout.
Mayfield was called for a pretty weak interference call right after the goal, and then Clutterbuck took a blatant cross-checking penalty, putting the Habs on a five-on-three for nearly a minute and a half. Of course, they converted. It was Tyler Toffoli, finishing off a pretty play started by Suzuki and helped along by Christian Dvorak.
That got the Canadiens moving and shaking, and they called timeout to try to maximize the remainder of the power play time from Clutterbuck’s minor. They pulled Montembault and tried to get the puck through, but to no avail. With less than twenty seconds left, Parise gained control in the Isles zone and passed across to Nelson, who hit the empty net from distance for his fourth goal of the game.
Notes and Thoughts
- Trotz took a little bit of the blame for Sorokin’s shutout getting spoiled by his not putting experienced power play guys on the last power play, leading to the shorthanded goal against. He thought that he had three lines going tonight.
“I thought we started out really well, we established a little bit of our game. We had pretty good energy. I liked that we scored on secondary plays, we had goals from hard work. Parise did a lot on that play and got it to Pageau.”— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) November 5, 2021
Trotz ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/uZwAo6BkHH
- Nelson had himself a game. Four goals is no easy feat—just ask Joe Thornton how he’d celebrate—but who knows if Nelson even cracked a smile.
- Beauvillier also had a nice game for himself, with two primary assists and a secondary one on a nice stretch pass. Good way to play in front of all your loved ones. Happy for Pageau, too.
- Nice to see the new old guys getting on the board. Parise looked great again, and his two points were a handsome reward. Chara had probably his best game during this second campaign with the Islanders, even though his stick keeps breaking at the worst time.
- I feel for Sorokin. He’s had two shutouts blown in the dying minutes of the game. He should have at least four on the young season.
The Islanders remain in Canada, but they will go further west toward the prairie and the hometown area of Barry Trotz, Ryan Pulock, and Butch Goring. They will play the Winnipeg Jets Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. ET, 6:00 p.m. CT.