Lane Lambert made a couple of lineup swaps, Sebastian Aho coming in for Alex Romanov (likely due to a hit he took in the second period last night) and Josh Bailey in for Simon Holmstrom (no reason or speculation on that one). The lineup changes didn’t inspire much in the New York Islanders, who were shutout last night, and followed that up by getting just four high danger chances at 5v5 the entirety of the game, compared to the Hurricanes’ 13.
They just weren’t getting it done offensively tonight at all, minus one goal from JG Pageau that came against the run of play.
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The Islanders had a good start early on, getting a few shots on Frederik Andersen early, but Carolina controlled most of the play.
Paul Stastny went to the box for holding Sebastian Aho (SWE), but as is to be expected at this point, the power play didn’t get much accomplished.
A few minutes later, though, Pierre Engvall would pass the puck off to JG Pageau, who ripped it past Andersen to make it 1-0 and gave the Islanders the lead as the period ended.
Pierre Engvall finds Jean-Gabriel Pageau who opens up the scoring for the #Isles pic.twitter.com/fms4L69STO— Isles on MSGSN (@IslesMSGN) April 2, 2023
About halfway through the second period, Jesperi Kotkaniemi tied the game at one a piece, as the Hurricanes continued to dominate. Brent Burns took a shot that left a big rebound, but Jesse Puljujarvi couldn’t put it past Sorokin on the backhand.
Early in the third, the Hurricanes would take the lead, with Jordan Martinook scoring the go ahead goal. Noah Dobson took a boarding penalty but the Islanders were able to kill it.
The Islanders had a great opportunity to tie the game when Sebastian Aho (FIN) was called for cross-checking Pageau, but they couldn’t convert. Then, as Finnish Aho was coming out of the penalty box, Swedish Aho hooked him, and so the Hurricanes went on the power play to just about close out the game.
The Isles pulled Sorokin for an extra skater while on the penalty kill, but they couldn’t score and the Hurricanes narrowly missed the empty net, hitting the post on one attempt.
Next, the Islanders get a little break as they head back to UBS Arena to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, April 6. Both Florida and Pittsburgh have games between now and then, so the wildcard race could be truly neck and neck by the time Tampa comes to play.