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New York Islanders

Sorokin & Dobson Stay Sharp; Elevate Islanders Over Sens To Snap Losing Streak



AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Elmont, NY– Ilya Sorokin and Noah Dobson are two of the few players who haven’t dropped off throughout the New York Islanders’ recent struggles.

On Thursday night, the Islanders desperately needed both in order to survive another otherwise rough performance and beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 at UBS Arena, snapping a three-game losing streak.

After facing well over 30 shots in his last two starts, Sorokin was given another heavy workload in net against Ottawa, turning away 45 of 47 attempts.

Meanwhile, Dobson also kept up his strong play of late, playing a career-high 27:42 on Thursday.

“He’s playing in every key situation right now,” Bo Horvat said of Dobson. “He’s penalty killing, he’s on the power play and playing big minutes five on five against the other team’s top line. He’s kind of doing it all right now. I think it’s just bringing the best out of him.”

With a chance off the rush, a pair of passes by Horvat and Mathew Barzal beautifully set up Dobson to blast a slapshot past Senators goalie Joonas Korpisalo 6:45 into the third period for the deciding goal.

“I wasn’t thinking about passing that one, that’s for sure,” Dobson said. “Barzal put it right in the wheelhouse when I was walking down. It was a good goal and a big win.”

Dobson factored into the game’s opening score as well. In the first period, he fired a shot from the point that Korpisalo couldn’t handle, allowing Horvat to score on the power play for his third goal of the season. With two points against Ottawa, Dobson now has seven points in his last five games.

The Islanders doubled their lead when a strong effort on the forecheck by Casey Cizikas helped him make a quick feed from behind the net to a hard-charging Cal Clutterbuck, who scored his second goal in as many games.

The strong start the Islanders put together was washed away when they ran into penalty trouble, which has become a theme of late. The Islanders were called for a combined nine penalties, with seven coming in the second period alone.

However, this time, the penalty-killing unit held its own. The Senators capitalized on one of their eight power play opportunities with a score from Claude Giroux that cut the Islanders’ lead in half at 6:52 into the second.

“I thought our penalty killing did a great job all night long,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. “That was that was basically the reason we won the hockey game.”

Jakob Chychrun drew the game even later in the period with his fourth goal this season.

That instance, though, came after the game developed into a scary scene.

Play immediately stopped midway through the second as trainers from both teams loaded Senators defenseman Erik Brannstrom onto a stretcher. Brannstrom laid unresponsive after hitting his head on the ice following a check from Clutterbuck.

“I turned around, and everyone was yelling,” Clutterbuck said. “You just hate to see it. I’m sick to my stomach about it. I was then, and I still am now. We’re all human beings here.”

The Senators later announced that Brannstrom was transported to a local hospital where he was alert and had use of his extremities.

The Islanders improved to 3-2-1 with the victory, picking up a pair of crucial points over another team that should challenge for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Islanders travel to Columbus to play the Blue Jackets on Saturday.




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