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Islanders 4, Penguins 2 (EN): Sorokin’s 45 saves set the stage for comeback win

Ilya Sorokin committed robbery in Pittsburgh, and goals from Brock Nelson, Bo Horvat, and Anders Lee rewarded him for his efforts.

New York Islanders v Pittsburgh Penguins
Spotted: Penguins just moments before wetting their diapers.
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

No Barzal. No Pageau. No Bailey. And yet the Islanders found a way tonight, defeating the loathsome Pittsburgh Penguins in their own building.

Ilya Sorokin, of course, was sensational, outright robbing the Penguins multiple times, keeping the Islanders in it while down 1-0 and 2-1.

And there was the fighting, which will get all the attention. These teams just flat out don’t like each other, and are playing in some very tense games, and it’s been fun to see Pittsburgh just fold, time and time again, under the slightest bit of pressure.

But on the scoresheet, goals from Brock Nelson (plus an empty netter), Bo Horvat, and Anders Lee would lead the Islanders to another important regulation win over the Penguins.

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

First Period

Pittsburgh dominated the first period, with 19 shots to the Islanders’ 7.

Tristan Jarry saved an Anders Lee shot, and play went the other way, as Jake Guentzel put the Penguins up 1-0. The Islanders played some pretty bad defense on that rush, and with the way the period was going, you’d be forgiven if you, like me, thought this was going to be another disaster game like the one in Boston.

But Ilya Sorokin, as mentioned above, is fantastic, and he made big saves on Bryan Rust and Evgeni Malkin, and was a major asset on the penalty kill, keeping the game close.

Second Period

The Penguins went to the power play when Hudson Fasching was called for tripping, and the Islanders killed that penalty, with help from Alexander Romanov’s tremendous goal line save.

Shortly after that, Brock Nelson tied the game, sniping the puck past Jarry on a 2 on 1 with Kyle Palmieri, set up by Zach Parise.

Then, Parise had a backhand shot saved by Jarry.

The Islanders went to the PK, with Parise called for tripping, and Jason Zucker restored Pittsburgh’s one goal lead on the man advantage.

The Islanders got a power play of their own, with Brock McGinn called for hooking, but they wouldn’t be able to convert.

After Sorokin robbed Kris Letang with a paddle save, some after-the-whistle extracurriculars broke out, with Ross Johnston and Evgeni Malkin and Matt Martin and Jason Zucker all coming together. That expanded into just about everyone pairing up, throwing punches or otherwise getting involved, and all ten skaters on the ice were assessed penalties. Johnston and Zucker both received ten minute misconduct penalties, as well.

Adam Pelech went to the locker room after his ankle got tied up with Rickard Rakell against the boards, but he’d return for the start of the third.

With 1:17 left in the period, Brock McGinn joined his many teammates in a very full penalty box after he was called for a second hooking minor.

Third Period

The Islanders nearly gave up a shorthanded goal, but that was saved. Scott Mayfield and Jake Guentzel picked up simultaneous penalties, Mayfield earning two for interference and roughing, and Guentzel just one for holding the stick.

Bo Horvat nearly scored shorthanded, with a shot that stung Jarry up high. He seemed to be okay, but things shifted after that...

Back at even strength, Hudson Fasching jumped up to keep the puck in the zone, and got it to Bo Horvat, who took a shot at a weird angle and scored to tie the game at 2-2.

Then, less than two minutes later, Anders Lee would score after Jarry gave the puck away to Horvat, who passed it off to Matt Martin (yes, he was on the top line!) and found Lee to give the Islanders the 3-2 lead.

Rookie debutant Arnaud Durandeau, who had a pretty solid game, drew his second penalty, sending Kris Letang to the box for interference, but the Islanders couldn’t capitalize on that.

With a little over a minute left, the Penguins pulled Jarry for the extra skater, but Zach Parise would set up Brock Nelson’s empty netter to seal the extremely important regulation win.

Up Next

Next, the New York Islanders head back to UBS Arena to take on the Winnipeg Jets. They’re coming off an equally impressive goalie performance, getting 50 saves from Connor Hellebuyck to beat the Rangers 4-1. The Islanders will have to hope that doesn’t happen to them, as they continue to claw their way back into a secure playoff position.