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Rapid Reaction: Sorokin Shines as Islanders Fight Off Flyers For 4-1 Win

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New York Islanders after their 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday

ELMONT, N.Y. —The New York Islanders defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 in the first of back-to-back meetings on Monday at UBS Arena. With the win, the Islanders move within three points of the Flyers in the standings. With the win, the Islanders improve to 12-13-6, and 6-6-3 on home ice.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

New York Islanders forward Casey Cizikas scored the eventual game-winner at 14:28 of the second period, which gave the New York Islanders a 2-0 lead. Cal Clutterbuck from behind the net dished the puck to Robin Salo at the point. After a quick hesitation, Salo’s point shot was deflected by Cizikas in the high slot past a screened Martin Jones. Salo and Clutterbuck were credited with the assists on Cizikas’ first goal of the season.

Brock Nelson scored the opening tally of the contest at 11.44 of the second period. Josh Bailey passed Nelson the puck in the slot and Nelson waited before he picked his spot and beat Philadelphia Flyers netminder Martin Jones high glove-side. Bailey and Andy Greene were credited with the assists on Nelson’s 11th of the season.

The Flyers cut the Islanders’ lead to 2-1 after a Travis Konecny pass across the Islanders zone hit off defenseman Noah Dobson before it beat Islanders netminder Ilya Sorokin over his blocker and under the bar. Konecny’s sixth of the season at 17:12 of the second period was assisted by Travis Sanheim and Scott Laughton.

Anthony Beauvillier gave the Islanders a 3-1 lead as he picked up a rebound and beat Jones for his sixth of the season at 4:44 of the third period. After Nelson made a toe-drag move, the puck made its way to Jones who pushed it away. Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim turned the puck over and Beauvillier jumped on the loose puck.

Matt Martin made it a 4-1 lead as he scored on the empty net with less than two minutes to play. Clutterbuck and Adam Pelech were credited with the assists on Martin’s first of the season at 18:37 of the third.

Sorokin Puts on a Show

New York Islanders netminder Ilya Sorokin put together an impressive performance on Monday night as he stopped 26 of 27 in the win.

Per Natural Stat Trick, six of the 27 shots the Flyers took were considered high-danger shots. Sorokin stopped them all.

Early in the second period, Sorokin stopped what looked to be the opening tally of the game off the stick of Scott Laughton.

Sorokin was awarded the first star of the contest.

Second Line Shows Up

The New York Islanders offense was led by the play of the second line. In a reunion, with Josh Bailey back on that line after games alongside Mat Barzal, the line looked rejuvenated.

Brock Nelson’s goal, came off a strong drop pass by Bailey. Nelson had been in and out of the lineup this season due to injuries and COVID-19, but put together one of his stronger efforts in his 22nd game of the season.

Anthony Beauvillier gave the Islanders the all-important two-goal cushion as he scored for the second time in four games and his third in his last six games. He stationed himself in the slot following the puck battle in-tight and wasted no time getting the shot off to beat Jones.

The Islanders have needed some secondary scoring and the reunion of that line did its job to get the Islanders goals and ultimately the win.

Chara Makes History

When Zdeno Chara stepped on the ice for the contest against the Philadelphia Flyers as he passed Scott Stevens for the second-most games played by a defenseman in NHL history with 1,636 under his belt.

Chara was signed by the Islanders this past offseason to help mold 22-year old Noah Dobson into a stronger defenseman.

Although it was not smooth sailing earlier on this season, Dobson has flourished alongside Zdeno Chara as both have become more comfortable with one another.

Chara was drafted by the Islanders back in the third round of the 1996 NHL Entry Level Draft. He played 231 games for the Islanders before being dealt to the Ottawa Senators during the 2001 NHL Entry Level in the acquisition of Alexei Yashin.

After 19 years away from the island, Chara made his return this season and gets the milestone in the place where he got his career started.

Game Notes: 

New York Islanders welcomed head coach Barry Trotz back behind the bench. Trotz was placed in COVID-19 protocol on Jan. 11 and had missed the Islanders last three contests (one for personal reasons). Forward Kyle Palmieri was not on the ice for optional morning skate on Monday and missed his sixth consecutive game.

Up Next: The New York Islanders will be in Philadelphia to take on the Flyers on Tuesday, Jan. 18 at Wells Fargo Center.

Who do you think will win the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals? Check out Fanduel.com’s Stanley Cup betting odds and place a future bet today!

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