It’s not often that a team has to go on the penalty kill eight times in a game and then wins that game in regulation, but the New York Islanders managed to do just that last night against the Ottawa Senators. They took seven penalties in the second period alone, which just so happened to be the period in which Ottawa erased a 2-0 deficit. But much like Opening Night against the Buffalo Sabres, the Islanders got a third-period goal and held on to win 3-2 in regulation.
Noah Dobson, who Michael Leboff described as “playing with his cell phone in his pocket” for most of last season, has looked excellent since his hiccups in the first game, and he deserved the First Star honors for scoring the game-winner and generally dominating. And what more can be said about Ilya Sorokin?
About last night:
- The win snapped a three-game skid for the Islanders, who got goals from Dobson, as well as Cal Clutterbuck and Bo Horvat. However, there remains concern for Ottawa’s Erik Brannstrom, who took a hard but clean check from Clutterbuck and landed on his head; he had to be stretchered off and taken to the hospital, but the Sens tweeted that he was alert and had full mobility. [LHH]
- It was a special teams showdown with all the penalties on both sides. [3 Takeaways]
- The Isles led 2-0 after one period and let Ottawa tie it in the second, but they recovered. [NHL]
- With all the penalties and shots against, it wasn’t a pretty game. But a win’s a win, especially one in regulation. [NY Post]
- The Brannstrom injury overshadowed the game, though. I was there last night, and UBS Arena fell silent. His convulsion was frightening. [Newsday | NY Post]
- Dobson and Sorokin were the top performers last night. [THN] With all the penalties, Sorokin had to make 45 saves. [THN]
- Old friend Travis Hamonic, now with Ottawa, played in his 800th NHL game last night against his first club. [THN]
- Both Dobson and Mathew Barzal have five-game point streaks. [NYI Skinny]
Beyond last night:
- Before the game, Dobson sat down with Stefen Rosner to discuss his confidence levels—he wants it to be consistent. [THN]
- Simon Holmstrom has a wicked shot when he wants to use it, scoring a pretty goal against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night. He’s been working on it. [Islanders]
- Josh Bailey joined the party, as I believe he is still traveling with the Sens. But the Isles were disappointed they didn’t get a chance to play against him. [Newsday]
- No practice today before heading off to Columbus.
Last night’s NHL scores include both Boston and Colorado suffering their first losses of the season to the Ducks and Penguins, respectively.
- The big news from yesterday was that the Sens’ unsigned RFA, Long Island native Shane Pinto, was suspended 41 games for violating sports wagering rules. The league’s statement indicated that it did not find evidence that he bet on hockey. [Sportsnet | Ottawa Sun]
- On one hand, there’s no reason to even take that risk as a pro athlete. But on the other hand, it’s a little difficult to square when sports gambling has become so pervasive. And Pierre LeBrun thinks the issue will probably be bigger than just Pinto. [The Athletic]
- Zack Kassian announced his retirement from the NHL. [NHL]
- Old friend Doug Weight, along with Charlie Huddy, was inducted into the Edmonton Oilers Hall of Fame last night in a pregame ceremony. [NHL]