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New York Islanders

Islanders’ Special Teams Shine, Shut Down Oilers 3-1

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Elmont, NY– The holidays are a special time of year, so it’s only appropriate the New York Islanders rode their special teams units to a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night in their final game at home before the NHL’s Christmas break.

All three of the Islanders’ goals came by way of their special teams units.

Anders Lee cleaned up a loose rebound on the power play, evening the score at one a side with his eighth goal of the season at 2:39 of the second period.

Minutes later, Bo Horvat extended his career-high point streak to 11 games, sniping his 13th goal with a quick snapshot off assists from Brock Nelson and Noah Dobson on the man advantage to put New York ahead.

All told, the Islanders were two for four on the man advantage against Edmonton, making it the fifth time they’ve scored multiple times on the power play and raising their percentage this season to 27%

However, the more impressive effort came when the Islanders were shorthanded.

The Islanders’ 32nd-ranked penalty kill shut down the league’s fourth-best power play by killing off all five of Edmonton’s power plays, including a five-on-three late in the second period.

Even when it was the Islanders’ turn to kill a penalty, they added to their total.

Simon Holmstrom struck for the fifth time this season with his team shorthanded at 14:10 of the second. Half of his goals this year have come while the Islanders were on the penalty kill.

The explosion by the Islanders in the second period came after they ended the first trailing 1-0.

Leon Draisaitl didn’t let the fans settle in, nor Ilya Sorokin, for that matter, before he opened the scoring.

Off a pass from Warren Foegle at center ice, Draisaitl raced into the attacking and ripped a shot underneath Sorokin’s glove, putting Edmonton on the board 1:23 after the opening draw.

That shot by Draisaitl was the first on goal of the night and the only one that got past Sorokin all night, as he silenced Edmonton the rest of the way by stopping their remaining 30 attempts.

In doing so, Sorokin helped the Islanders put an end to Oilers captain Connor McDavid’s 12-game point streak. It was just the sixth time a team has held McDavid off the score sheet all season.

The Islanders played the final 48:22 of the night with just 11 forwards as Julien Gauthier left the bench early in the second and did not return. His status for their next game is currently unknown.

New York (15-8-8) will play their final two games before Christmas on the road, starting tomorrow night in Washington, D.C., against the Capitals before facing the Hurricanes in Carolina on Saturday.

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