In the third and final game of their season opening homestand, the New York Islanders managed to grab a point in a back and forth affair. It’s hard to say they were the better team at any point, but at even strength, the Islanders outscored the Devils 3-0. It was the special teams that did them in, going 1/5 on the penalty kill and 0/2 on the power play.
Sorokin deserves most of the credit for keeping the Devils at bay at even strength, making some spectacular saves (like the one pictured above.)
Two goals from Brock Nelson and two goals from Bo Horvat (one with an extra skater on the ice) provided enough offense to at least get us to overtime.
The Islanders’ first power play came after Jonas Siegenthaler crosschecked Cal Clutterbuck in retaliation for Clutterbuck’s (clean) hit on Nico Hischier. But despite a couple of decent looks, the power play continues to be pretty cold.
The fourth line got hemmed in the defensive zone to lead to the Devils’ first power play of the night, with Cizikas going off for slashing, but that would be the Islanders’ singular penalty kill for the evening.
Akira Schmid made a big save on Pierre Engvall, but Brock Nelson found the back of the net, continuing the Brocktober tradition and giving the Islanders the lead.
With an assist on the goal, Kyle Palmieri picked up his third point in the first three games.
And then: Ilya Sorokin’s save of the year (so far). A defensive breakdown left Jack Hughes in all alone against Sorokin with plenty of time and space, and Sorokin was able to get the glove out to rob him of what everyone was certainly expecting to be a goal.
Adam Pelech pushed Tyler Toffoli into Sorokin, sending him to the box for interference and giving the Devils their second PP of the night, which Dougie Hamilton scored on to tie the game.
With about 15 seconds left in the period, Cizikas was called for cross checking (his second penalty of the game) sending the Islanders to the kill again. Just 21 seconds into the second period, Toffoli scored to give the Devils a 2-1 lead.
Palmieri got the puck off a Luke Hughes turnover and passed it off to Nelson, who tied the game at two on another nice shot.
Nelson does it again! pic.twitter.com/njL442GwG7— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) October 21, 2023
But not even 30 seconds later, Pelech took his second penalty of the game when he was called for delay of game for sending a puck up over the glass. On that power play, Luke Hughes restored the Devils lead, 3-2.
Bo Horvat picked up his first of the season to tie the game at 3-3. A great pass from Noah Dobson found Horvat at a weird angle on the goal line, and Horvat’s shot banked in off Schmid’s pad.
The fake into the pass by dobson.— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) October 21, 2023
The goal from Horvat.
We love it all! pic.twitter.com/0r94KcOfS5
Shortly after his goal, Horvat gave the puck away to Alexander Holtz, but Sorokin was able to make the save. Sorokin made another fantastic save stopping a Hischier drive to the net, too.
There was some four on four play as Matt Martin and Timo Meier were called for penalties, crosschecking for Martin and roughing for Meier, and despite some chances at both ends, including a great one from Mat Barzal that bounced off Schmid’s glove and off the post, we remained tied at three apiece.
The Islanders took their fifth penalty of the night when Pierre Engvall was called for hooking early on the third, and Jack Hughes gave the Devils a 4-3 lead off that power play.
Nelson had two great chances to pick up a hat trick and tie the game, but one was stopped by Schmid while the other he missed wide.
The Islanders picked up a crucial power play opportunity when Michael McLeod was called for tripping with around 4:30 left in the game, but once again couldn’t convert. With about a minute and a half left, they pulled Sorokin, and at 1:11 remaining, Bo Horvat tied the game, picking up the loose puck and putting it past Schmid.
Near the very end of the period, Cizikas was tripped up, but no call was given before we headed into overtime. Jack Hughes won the game for the Devils, catching the Islanders standing still in the zone, giving him too much time and space.
But, it was nice to see the Islanders’ offense show up to the tune of four goals, and picking up 5 of 6 potential points in this homestand is good work early in the season.
Next, the Islanders hop on a plane to Buffalo to take on the Sabres tomorrow night at 7pm. Slightly earlier start time than these other games!