On the national stream, the New York Islanders made a big statement by earning a regulation win over the Edmonton Oilers despite giving up the first goal just over a minute into the game. Of note, the special teams and Ilya Sorokin carried them through. But more importantly, the Islanders did not give up the lead—single or multi-goal—once they got it. And the Oilers have to be one of the most difficult teams to do that against.
Their reward: a flight to the nation’s capital. The Islanders visit the rested Washington Capitals on the second half of a back-to-back. This game is also on national TV, TNT, but at least Brendan Burke will be on the call.
Although no one expected them to still be here, the Capitals remain ensconced in the playoff race. This is a schedule loss for the Islanders, but snagging two points this evening would be a huge coup, especially if they can do it in regulation and prevent Washington from getting any points.
Midweek Hockey.— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 20, 2023
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Game Preview ⬇️
About last night:
- Two power-play goals, another Simon Holmstrom shorty, and Sorokin. [LHH]
- Same story here, those are the three takeaways.
- It was nice to see some defense to lock down the third. Edmonton fired a lot of pucks, but not too much appeared to be from in tight, and there weren’t many second chances. [Newsday]
- It was a good bounce-back after two straight losses. [NY Post]
- Also, Bo Horvat extended his point streak to 11 games with his game-winning goal, and Julien Gauthier left in the second period with an apparent injury. [Newsday]
- Anders Lee had the first power-play goal. [THN]
- Mark Spector says the Oilers tried to get too fancy. [Sportsnet]
- A preview of tonight’s game. On the back-to-back, it will probably be Semyon Varlamov in net.
- Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson have been in contact with Zach Parise and are hopeful he’ll join, but they say they have no indication one way or the other. [amNY]
- Noah Dobson is generating some serious Norris Trophy buzz, but he says he’s just doing his job. [Newsday] And now he can add ending Connor McDavid’s point streak at 11 games to his resume. [The Athletic]
- Dobson and Alex Romanov were scary as a pair last season, so they had to broken up. They were put back together again this year out of necessity, and they have been a revelation. [NY Post]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Flyers and Devils going to overtime because of course they did; Philly got the extra point. Also, the Hurricanes beat the Golden Knights, and the Sabres got thumped 9-4 at home by the Blue Jackets. And the Senators blew a 3-0 third-period lead to the Coyotes to lose 4-3 in regulation in Jacques Martin's debut in his latest stint as an NHL coach.
- D.J. Smith leaves the Ottawa Senators with his head held high. [Ottawa Sun]
- Mikhail Sergachev left the Tampa Bay Lightning’s win over the St. Louis Blues. No status update. [Sportsnet]
- There’s been some discord in the Colorado Avalanche dressing room this season. First, there was the whole thing with Mikko Rantanen and Artturi Lehkonen’s dad. Now, old friend Devon Toews is publicly calling out his teammates’ efforts. [Sportsnet]