It only took nearly the entire season, but the New York Islanders finally won a game in the shootout!!
This was a pretty boring game for the first two periods, but the action picked up in the third and especially in overtime. Pierre Engvall scored the only regulation goal for the Islanders, and Ilya Sorokin was once again stellar, keeping the Islanders in it as the Capitals mostly controlled the game for the first forty minutes.
There’s some concern to be had for Adam Pelech, who took a hard hit from Alex Ovechkin that left him in a lot of pain, but he took an overtime shift so we’ll see how that plays out in the coming days.
An Alex Ovechkin shot went off the crossbar in one of the scariest attempts of the first period. There was some on-broadcast debate about whether or not Sorokin got his glove on it, but it cleanly hit the crossbar.
Sorokin also saved shots from Martin Fehervary and Nicolas Aube-Kubel to keep the game scoreless.
Casey Cizikas nearly set up Matt Martin for a goal, but he couldn’t quite get the handle on it.
Against the play, Engvall opened the scoring. His shot hit off Nick Jensen’s stick and went past Darcy Kuemper to give the Islanders the lead.
The Isles get the first goal of the game on a shot that sneaks through pic.twitter.com/bt3lkiFMuS— NHLonTNT (@NHL_On_TNT) March 30, 2023
The lead would be short-lived though, as Conor Sheary tied the game a few minutes later.
Ilya Sorokin had to make another big save when a shot was deflected on goal by Alex Romanov’s skate, as the Capitals continued to outshoot the Islanders.
The Islanders woke up in the third period, however, with shots from Zach Parise and Alex Romanov forcing Kuemper to make some saves. Noah Dobson took a shot that caused a scramble in front of Kuemper, but the Islanders couldn’t take advantage.
Kyle Palmieri hit the outside of the post on a 2 on 1.
The first penalties of the night came when Scott Mayfield delivered a big hit on Sheary that was later called boarding, and that hit led Aube-Kubel to go after Mayfield in retaliation. Mayfield and Aube-Kubel both picked up two minute minors (boarding and roughing, respectively) and the 4 on 4 opened up the ice with Kuemper having to make a save on Parise, while Sorokin had to stop Kuznetsov.
Romanov lost his stick at one point, which gave the Caps some zone time, and Sorokin made a big save on a shot from Alexei Protas.
Alex Ovechkin delivered a big hit on Adam Pelech against the boards, which seemed to catch him at an awkward angle. Pelech was immediately bent over in pain, but stayed on the bench and took an overtime shift, so fingers crossed it was just some initial soreness.
OT + SO
The overtime period was a ton of fun, with some real back and forth action. Bo Horvat put a shot off Kuemper’s mask, Sorokin needed to stop a few TJ Oshie attempts and an Ovechkin shot, Kuemper made some big saves on Dobson and Horvat again, and then Sorokin made a big 2 on 1 save before Tom Wilson was called for tripping Palmieri.
The Islanders had about 30 seconds of power play time, and couldn’t convert on the 4 on 3.
In the shootout, though, a miracle happened. Horvat and Palmieri converted both their tries, while Sorokin made saves on Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom, giving the Islanders their first shootout win of the season, in 6 attempts (!!) and in game 76 of the season. Big two points, giving the Islanders a 6 point cushion over Florida with one extra game played.
Next, the Islanders head to Tampa Bay to take on the Lightning, who just snapped a four game losing streak with a win over the Carolina Hurricanes. At this point, you all know the drill. Two points would be huge.