This was objectively not a good game for the Islanders. They mustered only 20 shots the entire game, 16 in regulation, and gave up 37 shots. But... they prevailed. After falling behind 1-0, Oliver Wahlstrom would tie the game in the third period, and then Anthony Beauvillier would take advantage of a Flyers error in OT to win the game.
Nice to steal some points and hop back into first place.
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Jordan Eberle had a good look early that he shot wide, and it would be arguably the best opportunity for the Isles for the majority of the game.
From there, the period was basically all Flyers, minus a power play opportunity off a Travis Konecny roughing call. The Islanders had a couple of good looks from Eberle and Wahlstrom, but they couldn’t convert on the man advantage, and the anemic offense only could put up 4 shots in the entire period.
This was another “all Flyers” period - Matt Martin was sent to the box early for holding, and the Islanders were able to kill that penalty. Scott Mayfield broke up a 2 on 1 to potentially prevent a goal, the best Isles opportunity was Oliver Wahlstrom hitting the post, and Ryan Pulock made an impressive play when he helped to break up a Flyers 3 on 1.
Justin Braun hit the post, and that was the best Flyers chance after an impressive effort by Ilya Sorokin turned away shot after shot. Unfortunately, he was beaten by a deflection, when Claude Giroux’s shot went off Oskar Lindblom’s skate and between his legs to make it 1-0.
Despite the Islanders only putting up 10 shots thus far, Oliver Wahlstrom made his count when he found the puck loose to the side of Elliott, who thought he had the puck covered and left a ton of space for Wahlstrom to pick the puck up and score to tie the game.
Wahlstrom ties it up at 1!! pic.twitter.com/54CqOMwUhz— Isles on MSG+ (@IslesMSGN) March 23, 2021
The Islanders did their best to hold on to that tie, but with less than 2 minutes remaining in the period, Leddy was called for a weak hooking penalty, sending the Islanders to the penalty kill. With the help of an incredibly sharp Ilya Sorokin, the Isles were able to run out the clock on the third, going to OT with 11 seconds of penalty kill time left.
Those 11 seconds would end up benefiting the Islanders, as it meant that after the kill, the entire overtime period was played at 4 on 4.
Eventually, the Isles would be able to pounce on a Flyers mistake, as Joel Farabee turned the puck over to JG Pageau, who found Anthony Beauvillier out in front, who took the puck around the net and scored on a backhand wraparound to win the game.
BEAUVILLIER with the BEAUTIFUL wraparound to win it!— Isles on MSG+ (@IslesMSGN) March 23, 2021
Wait for the replay pic.twitter.com/6uqfGji8Em
- It looked like the Islanders would squander what was Sorokin’s best game in an Islander uniform, but he kept them in it to be able to take advantage of that OT mistake. Really great encouraging stuff from him
- Beauvillier’s struggled at times, scoring only his 4th of the season in this game, but it’s good to see him still trying moves like the one he made to score the winner.
- And how about Oliver Wahlstrom? Now tied for second in NHL rookie goals, Wahlstrom’s producing at a .58ppg clip. Really solid stuff from the 20 year old who missed out on a chunk of games to start the season.
- Can we end the top line Leo Komarov experiment? Please?
Next, the Islanders have (at least) a few days off because of their postponed game against Boston that would’ve been on Tuesday. Boston is the Islanders’ opponent on Thursday as well, which would be their next game now, but that’s assuming that their COVID situation is all cleared up by then. We’ll see!