ANAHEIM– On the second of a back-to-back, the New York Islanders dominated the Anaheim Ducks en route to a 6-3 victory.
The Islanders are now 35-27-8 and tie the top wild-card Pittsburgh Penguins in points with 78 points, having played three more games. New York has a five-point lead over the Florida Panthers, who have played three fewer games.
Anders Lee-Bo Horvat-Hudson Fasching
Pierre Engvall-Brock Nelson-Kyle Palmieri
Zach-Parise-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Simon Holmstrom
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech-Scott Mayfield
Alexander Romanov-Ryan Pulock
Sebastian Aho-Noah Dobson
After allowing four goals on 36 shots against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night in a 5-2 loss, New York Islanders head coach Lane Lambert elected to go back to Ilya Sorokin less than 24 hours later.
“Last night’s game wasn’t too demanding for him. We felt that he could go again tonight. He’s played well lately, so we put him back in,” Lambert said.
When the puck dropped, the New York Islanders were not ready, as the Anaheim Ducks got on the board just 25 seconds into the game as Max Jones was left wide-open in the slot. With time, he fired one just above Ilya Sorokin’s right pad as it hit him and went in. Sorokin was caught way too far back in his crease.
The Islanders did even the score about 12 minutes later as Kyle Palmieri finished off a strong Pierre Engvall feed on an odd-man rush beating John Gibson glove side for his 11th of the season. With that goal, Palmieri snapped a four-game goal drought while Engvall notched his third point in as many games.
Adam Pelech recorded the secondary assist.
However, the Ducks took a 2-1 lead with two and change to play in the opening frame as Trevor Zegras made a highlight-reel play as he did a between-the-leg toe-drag before backhanding a pass to Kevin Shattenkirk cutting to the back post for his third of the season.
The second period was all Islanders as they outshot the Ducks 16-8 and scored two goals to take a 3-2 lead into the third period.
Hudson Fasching scored his third goal in five games as he scored on a three-on-one for his sixth of the season at 9:46 of the second period. Before the middle frame concluded, Brock Nelson rifled a one-timer past the glove of Gibson for his 29th of the season with 23 seconds to play.
Pelech notched his second assist of the game.
Engvall padded the Islanders lead in the third as less than three minutes in, he beat Gibson on the breakaway for his 15th goal of the season and now has goals in three straight.
With 10:58 to play in the third, Nelson scored his second of the game, his 30th of the season, to give the Islanders a 5-2 lead. Zach Parise added a rebound goal with under eight minutes to play as he buried a rebound off a Jean-Gabriel Pageau shot to give the Islanders a 6-2 lead.
The Islanders played a strong road third, despite allowing a power-play goal to Shattenkirk, as they won 6-3.
The Islanders Nelson line had a night, as Palmieri notched a goal and three assists. Engvall recorded a goal and an assist, and Nelson potted two.
For the second time in his career, Nelson has put together back-to-back seasons of at least 30 goals.
Sorokin stopped 20 of 23 in the win.
New York improves to 8-4-1 on the second leg of back-to-backs.
UP NEXT: The New York Islanders finish their California road trip with a Saturday night matchup against the San Jose Sharks at 10:30 PM ET.