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FAN-TASTIC: Islanders Defeat Devils with Fans in Attendance for First Time in 2021



New York Islanders celebrate

The New York Islanders thanked the 1,000 frontline workers at the Nassau Coliseum the only way they know how to, with a win.

The Islanders held off the New Jersey Devils on Thursday and came away with a 5-3 win. Five different Islanders players scored in the win and rookie netminder Ilya Sorokin picked up his fifth win of the year.

The victory extended the Islanders’ winning streak to seven games, which is the longest active streak in the NHL, and continued their impressive run on home ice that has yet to see them lose in regulation. Thursday was the first of three games that the Islanders play against New Jersey over a four-day span.

The New York Islanders maintained control of first place in the East Division and remained two points ahead of the Washington Capitals.

Thursday was the first time that fans were back at the Nassau Coliseum to watch an Islanders game since March 7, 2020. Season ticket holders return to the stands next Thursday when the islanders face the Philadelphia Flyers.

The only thing that dampened the mood on Thursday was the injury Anders Lee suffered in the first period. The Islanders captain got tangled up with a New Jersey player and suffered an apparent right leg injury.

Islanders head coach Barry Trotz did not have an update on his status after the game.

The Islanders jumped to an early lead thanks to Matt Martin’s fifth goal of the season. The Islanders fourth-liner sent the puck on net 3:15 into the opening period and beat New Jersey starter Mackenzie Blackwood.

New York extended their lead to 2-0 at 9:54 of the first period when Adam Pelech beat Blackwood with a shot from the point. Noah Dobson pushed the Islanders ahead 3-0 with a goal at 14:05 of the third period.

Josh Bailey made it a 4-0 game with his third goal of the year at 17:13 of the second period.

New Jersey rallied to cut the Islanders lead to two with a pair of quick goals to start the third period. Janne Kuokkanen and Mikhail Maltsev each scored for New Jersey, but Brock Nelson halted their momentum when found the back of the net at 4:44.

Jack Hughes scored 15:52 into the third to cut the Islanders’ lead back down to two.


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