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Flyers 1*, Islanders 0 (*SO): Win streak ends, points streak extends, OT actually not dull

The Islanders made do for another night with their depleted blueline, with a health dose of help from Ilya Sorokin.

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders
No overtime satisfaction for you.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

So many things about Saturday’s rematch with the Flyers were made possible by the NHL’s bizarre “The People Demand a Winner*” era:

  • No one scored, yet the Flyers got two points, a win and even a “goal for” in the standings.
  • There were eight or so uncontested the shootout, of course. Only one conversion.
  • Despite that conversion, Ilya Sorokin got a shutout; he also lost.
  • In fact, both goalies got a shutout, but nobody tied, because ties can’t exist anymore, because it would break the space-time continuum even if two teams play to a tie score, so something else must be done to make it look like there was a winner.

To that last point, however, overtime was refreshingly — and shockingly — entertaining. Neither team did the constant drop and regroup to their own zone maneuver, and it was almost as if both teams agreed beforehand that they’d actually go for it. There were end-to-end rushes both ways. Counterattacks. Good hustles back to break up rushes. A few point-blank chances on both sides, with Bo Horvat and Cam Atkinsons each denied.

In the end, Tyson Foerster was the only player to beat a goalie on the night, though it doesn’t count as a “goal” for him, because shootout. That “two points for them, one point for us” was probably the just result, however, as Sorokin was good and in form all night, and the Islanders couldn’t hit much, including in their shootout attempts on Samuel Ersson.

So the Islanders’ modest three-game win streak came to an end, but — again, thanks to the deceptive NHL scoring system that has now existed for a generation so I should just get used to it already — the Isles are on a six-game points streak, at 3-0-3.

[NHL Gamecenter | Game Summary | Event Summary | Natural Stat Trick]

Notes That Aren’t Shootout Complaints

  • Both teams were playing the second end of a post-Thanksgiving back-to-back, though the Isles played later and farther away last night. They got off to the quicker start, logging the first five shots on goal; then they ended up outshot 12-6 in the first period and 40-25 overall in the game.
  • With new waiver claimant not yet available, Grant Hutton was recalled from AHL Bridgeport, and Samuel Bolduc also returned to the lineup as they replaced the injured Adam Pelech and Sebastian Aho. Both logged just a ration of ice time, with Hutton at 10:11 and Bolduc at 12:44, including some time on PP2.
  • An unforced lineup change: Julien Gauthier in for Hudson Fasching.
  • Before the game, and presumably because of an acquisition and some not-minor injuries, GM Lou Lamoriello came down from the mountain for one of his periodic press availabilities. Matt Martin should be back soon, Aho should be back before Pelech, and more is expected of Mat Barzal and Bo Horvat, but in a nice “they’re good and we know they can be even better” kind of way.
  • It probably helped that the Islanders mostly stayed out of the box, with just one call, in the third period. On their own three power plays, they did not threaten much and gave up a couple of scary shorthanded looks.

Cal Clutterbuck Tribute

Saluting the Isles’ sincere banger and conscience for reaching 1,000 games, this was some good stuff:

Love that his adorable kids all have his same resting “Don’t B.S. me” face.

Up Next

The Isles have a couple days to reset before visiting the Devils in Newark on Tuesday.