The New York Islanders played another solid game under new coach Patrick Roy, putting up over 40 shots against the defending Stanley Cup champions, but a couple of weak goals and bad turnovers would result in the first loss of the Roy era.
Brock Nelson picked up his 500th NHL point and 21st goal this season, but the Isles struggled to get their shots past Adin Hill, who was playing in his first NHL game in over a month after dealing with an injury.
Lots to take away from this one, and lots to improve, but it definitely feels like there’s some renewed energy in the team.
Kyle MacLean nearly picked up his first NHL goal early, but his shot went off the post.
Vegas opened the scoring first, when Ivan Barbashev tipped an Alex Pietrangelo shot that came off a bad giveaway from Adam Pelech. The Islanders had been mostly dominating play to that point.
Matt Martin drew a penalty when Zach Whitecloud took him down, but the Islanders would score on the delayed penalty, with Brock Nelson picking up his 500th NHL point to tie the game.
5️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ points for Brock Nelson! pic.twitter.com/QQjH1adQv5— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 24, 2024
Later, Pelech took a shot that led to Mark Stone breakaway the other way, and Anders Lee hustled to get back to help break it up and Ilya Sorokin cleaned up the rest. Sorokin also made a big save on Barbashev out in front of the crease.
However, Scott Mayfield would take a holding penalty, and Sheldon Rempal picked up his first NHL goal to make it 2-1 Vegas.
Noah Dobson hit the post on one of his shots, and Nicholas Roy made it 3-1 off an Isles turnover.
The Islanders did push back, but Adin Hill made some solid saves to keep it 3-1 Vegas. Both Sebastian Aho and Kyle Palmieri drew penalties nearly one after another, but the Golden Knights killed those.
Matt Martin took a holding penalty about midway through the third period, and JG Pageau scored shorthanded to make it 3-2.
Sorokin made a big save on Jonathan Marchessault to keep the Isles within one, and Aho drew another penalty, sending Barbashev to the box for holding. But the Isles wouldn’t get much done, and Mat Barzal took a tripping penalty in the final 30 seconds of the power play.
The Isles would pull Sorokin for an extra skater (not too early, due to the Barzal penalty) but couldn’t get the puck past Hill a third time, and would drop the game 3-2.
Next, the Islanders head to Montreal on Thursday to take on the Canadiens. I assume we’re going to see every Canadian media member there given it’ll be a big return for Patrick Roy. And hopefully the Islanders can pick up a nice two points.