The New York Islanders fell to the New Jersey Devils, 6-5, in their fourth game of the preseason on Monday night at the Prudential Center in Newark.
But that only tells part of the story, as there’s more to take away from the game than just the final score.
For a team whose identity is built on their defensive structure, it appeared the Islanders forgot who they were against New Jersey.
Too often did the Islanders find themselves scrambling to keep up with the much faster Devils and chasing the puck, especially in the second period.
The Islanders ended the first period with a 2-1 lead but headed into the second intermission down 5-3.
New Jersey finished the game with the advantage in shots on goal 23-20, as the Islanders did a poor job of defending in front of starting goalie Ilya Sorokin.
Not The Best From Sorokin:
Sorokin didn’t have his best of nights either, though.
There were some goals that he had no hope of stopping. Marino’s second of the night only found twine after glancing off the skate of a sliding Grant Hutton.
On the other hand, there were some chances that Sorokin would probably like to have back, as he finished the night by making 13 of 18 saves before being replaced by Ken Appleby to start the third period.
Barzal Continues To Look Strong:
Mathew Barzal has had an impressive performance in practice thus far during training camp, and that translated to a game for the first time on Monday.
Barzal scored the game’s opening goal in the first period by forcing Devils defenseman Colin Miller to turn the puck over at the Islanders’ blue line and then finished the play with an unassisted breakaway goal at the other end.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) October 2, 2023
In the third, Barzal collected a pass from his linemate, Bo Horvat, and fired a quick wrist shot to score his second goal of the evening.
Barzal and Horvat have been attached at the hip throughout the preseason, just as they were when Horvat was traded to the Islanders last year, and have continued to produce positive results thus far.