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Islanders News: Barzal, Wotherspoon enjoy home cooking

The Islanders overcame a briefly determined opponent to get their road trip back on track.

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New York Islanders v Vancouver Canucks
Celebrate the good times, never know how long they’ll last.
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

The Islanders overcame a slow start to do what they needed to do, ultimately dispatching the turnover-addicted Canucks comfortably in Vancouver. An entertaining line shuffle — Casey Cizikas streaking down Mat Barzal’s wing to snipe one was the late-game icing on the cake — and a goal from the power play helped spark them, while local boys Barzal (three points) and Parker Wotherspoon (first NHL point) had memorable nights in front of family; more on those below.

Now the trip moves on to Alberta for a difficult back-to-back against the Oilers and Flames, tomorrow and Friday.

Islanders News

  • Big night for J-G Pageau, Casey Cizikas and Ilya Sorokin, who was huge in the first, meanwhile Barzal’s goal streak continued with a perfectly placed shot. [Newsday]
  • The Isles overcame a rough, Seattle-reminiscent start to take control. [LHH]
  • Wotherspoon relished getting to visit Vancouver as an NHLer. [Newsday]
  • More from Wotherspoon: “It’s been exciting. I mean, this is one of the best times of my life.” [Isles]
  • Three Takeaways: A nice bounceback effort from the Isles, even if it took 20 extra minutes to ignite. [Isles]
  • It’s a career-best four-game goal streak for Barzal. [NYI Skinny]
  • The Islanders went into the game with Lane Lambert hoping to see specific issues corrected after the loss in Seattle. [Post]
  • View from the other side: “For the first 20 minutes, the Canucks looked like a changed team.” [Pass it to Bulis] “Nucks are not a hockey team.” [Nucks Misconduct]
  • Ilya Sorokin shook off his personal losing sleep to help right the ship with Semyon Varlamov’s injury. “Oh yes, I like playing. I don’t like (when) Semyon is hurt but I like (playing games). I have fun every game.” Lane Lambert says he’s shown he can handle a heavy workload. [Athletic]
  • Prospect Report: Isaiah George and Matt Maggio finish off 2023 strong. [Isles]


Last night’s other NHL scores included Tage Thompson scoring a hat trick to beat the Capitals in OT, the Smurfs beating the Hurricanes in regulation, and the Leafs losing in a shootout (teehee).

  • The Oilers should be good and motivated to face the Isles after they “took the night off” with their fifth home loss in a row, due to familiar issues. Went up 2-0, then chilled. “There is a general malaise around this team that sets in as soon as they find a modicum of success.” [Sportsnet]
  • Wayne Gretzky is wowed by Alex Ovechkin’s chase of his goal record. [NHL]
  • Jakub Vrana came out of the NHL/NHLPA rehabilitation program only to be put on waivers by the Red Wings, who need to make room for Robbie Fabbri returning from injury. He’s a bigger cap hit and hasn’t played in a while, so maybe he’ll clear? [Athletic]
  • Forty minutes with Phil Bourque, who had quite the AHL career. [32 Thoughts podcast]
  • Well, at least Canucks fans can start dreaming about Bedard? [Sportsnet]