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Islanders Win One For Bossy, Defeat His Hometown Team in Canadiens

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Kieffer Bellows and Michael Pezzetta New York Islanders (Photo- Montreal Canadiens via Twitter)

The New York Islanders (35-30-9, 79 points) defeated the Montreal Canadiens (20-44-11, 51 points) by a score of 4-0. This game was one of just two games on the schedule for the NHL Friday night.

Before the start of the game, The Belle Centre and the Montreal Canadiens organization honored the life of the late Mike Bossy with a moment of silence. Bossy tragically passed away at the age of 65 on Friday after a battle with lung cancer. A Montreal native, Bossy grew up a Canadiens fan.

Friday night also marked the return of Carey Price who played his first game of the season. The home welcomed him back with multiple “Carey, Carey, Carey,” chants and cheered every time the veteran goaltender made a save.

But it was the goaltender at the other end of the ice that stole the show in Ilya Sorokin. After Semyon Varlamov was listed out with a non-COVID-related illness, Sorokin started his second-straight game. He didn’t show any sign of fatigue and was far and above the Islanders’ best player Friday night.

The Canadiens got an early powerplay in the first period with Andres Lee going to the box for a slash. The Habs fired four shots on the powerplay but Sorokin stood tall. The Islanders scrambled defensively for a majority of the game but were constantly bailed out by their goaltender.

The Islander’s offense was the complete opposite with the Canadiens clogging up the neutral zone and limiting the Isles to just two shots through eleven minutes. Noah Dobson and Mat Barzal were the only two players showing any sign of life.

It was an easy first period back for Carey Price, to say the least.

But the second period was more of the same as this monotonous game between two non-playoff teams continued. Sorokin kept making saves, there was a Canadiens powerplay but the Isles killed it, and we headed to the third tied at 0.

Excitement finally emerged in the third period with the Islanders scoring the first goal of the game. A turnover at the blue line from Corey Schueneman sent a trio of Islanders players off on a 3-on-0.

Barzal and Zach Parise played catch up until they had no more runway left and Parise scored his 15th goal of the season.

Just a few shifts later the Islanders added to their lead. Price went out to play the puck and Brock Nelson picked it off on the wall. He fed Dobson who fired home a wrist shot that had eyes. With his first goal in 23 games, Dobson made it 2-0.

 

The Canadiens tried to answer and turned up the heat after both Islander goals. But once again Sorokin stood on his head and shut the door. A couple of chances got behind Sorokin too, but by the grace of the hockey gods, the puck stayed out.

The Islanders then got their first powerplay chance of the night but failed to score. The Canadiens pulled Price and took their timeout.

Nelson scored his 34th goal of the season on the empty net to ice things and the Islanders won the game 3-0.

But before the final buzzer, Joel Edmundsson wanted to dance with 42 seconds left. Matt Martin accepted the offer. It was a slow and meaningless fight but sometimes frustration gets the best of you.

Up next will be the Toronto Maple Leafs on Easter Sunday for the NYI. It will be a 7:30 pm puck drop at Scotiabank Arena.

NYIHN’s Player of the Game: Ilya Sorokin

An easy choice here. The Islanders were sloppy defensively but Sorokin kept them in the game. 44 saves for the 7th shutout this season for Sorokin, a new Islanders record.

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