The New York Islanders last night beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 at UBS Arena. After the win, the Isles are now up to 5-1-1 in their last seven games (spread out over an entire month). Meanwhile, Philadelphia has lost eight straight games.
The Islanders and Flyers will do it all over again tonight, this time at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia—you gotta love a good home-and-home. In their last road game before the All-Star break, the Islanders hope to keep both teams’ streaks going.
Last night’s 4-1 win over the Flyers:
- The Islanders played well—better than Saturday against the Capitals—but not perfectly. However, Ilya Sorokin performed, as Mike would say, like a “maestro.” [LHH]
Sorokin pic.twitter.com/zVhbMKSJXA— Michael Leboff (@TheBigLeebowski) January 18, 2022
- Sorokin made the difference. When the Islanders lacked discipline, or got too excited and jumped into the rush, Sorokin was there to bail out his team. The only puck that got past him was a weird deflection of Travis Konecny’s pass off Noah Dobson’s arm. [Newsday]
- Barry Trotz finally returned to the Islanders’ bench, coaching in his first game of 2022. And though the Islanders took four unnecessary penalties, they killed them all. [3 Takeaways]
- Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Anthony Beauvillier, and Matt Martin (empty net) all scored, with the two Identity Line members recording their first goals of the season. [Rapid Recap]
- The loss dropped the Flyers to 0-6-2 in their last eight games. Also, Zdeno Chara played in his 1,636th NHL game, moving him past Scott Stevens for second all-time in games played by a defenseman. Chris Chelios sits in first place, only fifteen contests ahead of Chara at 1,651 games played. [NHL]
- Repeating a common trend for the Islanders under Trotz [NYI Skinny]:
The Isles are 10-2-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 2-11-4 when they do not. Under Barry Trotz, the Isles are 98-11-13 when scoring three or more.
- Never too early to look ahead! The Isles’ team site previewed tonight’s game in Philadelphia. [Islanders]
- Speaking of looking ahead, the Islanders host the Flyers again next Tuesday night, January 25; they will also host a Hat & Glove Drive. [Islanders]
- The Islanders do not feel overwhelmed by looking ahead. They know that they just need to win as many games as they possibly can and hope for the best. [Newsday]
- More on Trotz being back and Chara’s milestone. Also, Mathew Barzal should find out today whether he was voted into the All-Star Game as the Last Man In, and it sounds as though Ryan Pulock needs a few more weeks. [Newsday]
- LISTEN: Our very own Dan Saraceni revisited the Broad Street Hockey podcast to explain what has gone wrong with the Islanders in 2021-22. [“Checking out the competition: Battle of the underachievers”]
- The subhead of this week’s Islanders Prospect Report reads “Alex Jefferies and Jake Pivonka register assists for Merrimack and Notre Dame.” Try to contain your excitement.
- This Day in Isles History: The 4-37-4 expansion Islanders defeated the defending champion Boston Bruins, 9-7, in Boston for their “signature win” (1973); the Islanders again beat Boston, this time in the final home opener at Nassau Coliseum, as J-G Pageau tipped home a puck late in the third for a 1-0 win (2021).
- On Sunday, the Providence Bruins trounced the Bridgeport Islanders, 6-3. The Islanders received goals from Andy Andreoff, Blade Jenkins, and Samuel Bolduc, but it was not enough. [B-Isles]
Beyond Long Island
Yesterday and last night’s NHL scores include the Coyotes topping the Canadiens in the tank battle and the Penguins on the road falling behind 3-0 to the Golden Knights before rattling off five unanswered goals to win.
- Oh, and in the San Jose Sharks’ 6-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings, Timo Meier scored five goals. [NHL] Go deeper inside Meier’s record-setting afternoon in front of the home crowd, who cheered his name throughout the third period. [The Athletic]
- The Montreal Canadiens’ loss to the Arizona Coyotes proves that they don’t even need to tank to be terrible. [Sportsnet]
- But we have some late-breaking news about the Habs this morning: The Canadiens have hired player agent Kent Hughes as their next GM. This hiring was always going to be someone that was willing to play second fiddle to Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Jeff Gorton. [EOTP]
- The Dallas Stars have accelerated the process of trading John Klingberg. Here’s the impact and the potential opportunity cost for six NHL teams looking to acquire him. [The Athletic]
- Mark Spector writes that the Edmonton Oilers “are just too easy to play against.” Their losing has nothing to do with their non-existent bottom-six depth, paper-thin defense, and Swiss cheese goaltending; they’re just not tough enough. Hard-hitting analysis. [Sportsnet]
- Flyers legend and longtime GM Bobby Clarke bashed former Philly GM Ron Hextall for his drafting decisions—namely, choosing second overall in 2017 Nolan Patrick over the scouts’ choice, Cale Makar. Safe to say the scouts were right if Clarke’s story is true. [Philadelphia Inquirer]