It’s been a tough day for the Islanders family with the news early today that Mike Bossy had passed away due to his fight with lung cancer. It’s already been a tough year on and off the ice, with the Islanders failing to fulfill the expectations set upon them for this season and the loss of now two Islanders legends and two members of the dynasty Isles’ famed top line.
It only seemed fitting that the Islanders were scheduled to be in Montreal tonight, giving the teams representative of two communities that meant so much to Mike Bossy a chance to both mourn his passing and celebrate his life and unparalleled NHL career. All of our thoughts are with his family and friends.
The Islanders started the game out sluggish, indicative of the tough day and somber mood around the game and the reality of a back to back and three games in four days with travel.
Ilya Sorokin had a scary moment early on, accidentally giving the puck away, but Montreal couldn’t take advantage.
Anders Lee went to the box for slashing Joel Armia, and the penalty kill just barely survived an onslaught from Montreal, with Sorokin saving some great shots from Nick Suzuki and Armia.
Anders Lee had the only good chance of the period for the Islanders, and even it wasn’t all that dangerous, as the Islanders struggled to get any offense going.
Brendan Gallagher had a shot tipped dangerously but Ryan Pulock was able to get it away from the crease in time.
The Isles were slightly better early in the second, and Carey Price made a save on a JG Pageau shot.
Sorokin saved a Gallagher shot and a chance from Cole Caufield, and was called upon again and again to keep the Islanders in the game.
Grant Hutton made a couple of good defensive plays on Mike Hoffman and Dobson blocked an Armia shot.
Mat Barzal made a bad turnover and then took a penalty in the same shift, sending Montreal back to the power play.
Zdeno Chara blocked a shot and then limped to the bench, and the penalty kill had some shorthanded chances as the Isles headed back to even strength.
Lee and Michael Pezzetta went to the box at the end of the period for roughing and slashing, respectively.
The Canadiens missed on two strong chances early in the period, and then Sorokin saved a shot from Armia that helped turn play the other way, setting up first a 2 on 0 with Zach Parise and Kieffer Bellows, and then Barzal turned on the jets to catch up and make it a 3 on 0. Parise passed the puck to Barzal and Barzal went back to Parise who scored to give the Islanders the lead.
Parise and Barzal are ELECTRIC ⚡ pic.twitter.com/wtkEIUuvF4— Isles on MSG+ (@IslesMSGN) April 16, 2022
Less than two minutes later, Noah Dobson ripped one past Price to make it 2-0.
Sorokin made a big save on Jake Evans off a great pass that nearly left him with an open net. It was really all Montreal after the Dobson goal, and Sorokin stopped puck after puck to keep the Isles up by two.
Casey Cizikas collided with Price, drawing ire from Montreal fans when there was no penalty call, and then Rem Pitlick hit the post at the other end.
The Islanders went to the power play after Pitlick tripped Bellows behind the Montreal net, but they didn’t accomplish much on the man advantage.
Caufield took a shot that went off of Sorokin’s mask.
With around two and a half minutes left, the Canadiens pulled Price after an Isles icing, but Brock Nelson eventually put the puck into the empty net to make it 3-0, sealing the win.
With 42 seconds left, Matt Martin and Joel Edmunson got tangled up with each other and both were given fighting majors.
- Ilya Sorokin picked up his 7th shutout of the year, tying the franchise record for most in a single season. Pretty cool stuff, and there’s still time for him to break the record.
- Noah Dobson scored his 11th goal of the season, and no Islanders defenseman has scored more goals since Mark Streit had 16 in the 2008-09 season. Still time for him to get his 12th, too!
- Be sure to take a look at the fantastic tribute to Mike Bossy in Montreal:
Mike Bossy is honored with a moment of silence at the Bell Centre in Montreal pic.twitter.com/ApvZw7PN3l— Isles on MSG+ (@IslesMSGN) April 15, 2022
Next, the Islanders head to Toronto on Sunday to take on the Maple Leafs and close out the road trip.