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Rapid Recap: Islanders Sleepwalk Against Devils, Lose 4-1

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New York Islanders

ELMONT, NY–  The New York Islanders came out as flat as we have seen in a very long time as they fell 4-1 to the New Jersey Devils to end their season-opening homestand. The Islanders are now 2-2-0 on the season.

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SCORING

Jack Hughes gave the New Jersey Devils a 1-0 lead at 1:39 of the second period as he got behind the New York Islanders defense before he beat Ilya Sorokin under the right pad for his first of the season. Damon Severson was credited with the lone assist.

Ondrej Palat scored his second goal in as many games to give the Devils a 2-0 lead at 8:09 of the second period. He beat Sorokin from the slot after a defensive zone turnover. Jesper Bratt and Nico Hirschier were credited with the assists.

Palat scored his second of the game, third of the season at 15:28 of the third period to give the Devils a 3-0 lead. He finished off a strong feed from Bratt, with the secondary assist going to Hischier.

Anders Lee scored his second goal of the season to get the Islanders on the board at 16:44 of the third period as he pushed the puck through a sprawled Blackwood. Kyle Palmieri and Mathew Barzal were credited with the assists.

Hischier potted the empty-net goal with 35 seconds to play in the third.

A SLOW START SANK ISLANDERS

The New York Islanders did not seem ready to go when the puck was dropped to start the first period. The New Jersey Devils were firing shots at New York Islanders netminder Ilya Sorokin from everywhere. It took the New York Islanders 16:53 minutes before they registered their first shot on goal.

The Islanders ended the first frame with a total of three shots, as they were hearing it from the fan base.

The Islanders found themselves down 1-0 less than two minutes into the second period and just never found their game.

“We didn’t start the game well. We weren’t as ready as New Jersey was,” Robin Salo said. “They came quick right from the start, and we just weren’t ready to answer that.”

TURNOVERS, TURNOVERS, and MORE TURNOVERS

What had stopped the New York Islanders from truly breaking away from the San Jose Sharks back on Tuesday was their turnovers. Against the Anaheim Ducks, the Islanders were able to rely on their offense to mask this issue, and if it wasn’t for the Florida Panthers missing a handful of prime scoring chances in the season-opener last Thursday, the Islanders would not have been as in that game as they were.

Against the New Jersey Devils, the New York Islanders committed 10 turnovers, but that number seems off…by a lot. I would say more like 20.

In the first period, the Islanders were credited with three giveaways in the period, but that count seems a bit off. Their decision-making and lack of accuracy pinned them in their own zone and allowed the New Jersey Devils quality scoring chances, but Sorokin was able to bail them out.

In the second period, the New Jersey Devils scored two goals, both coming off defensive mistakes.

The first one came after an aggressive Alexander Romanov got caught flat-footed, which allowed Jack Hughes to get behind him and eventually beat Sorokin.

The Devils’ second goal came off a Brock Nelson turnover which led to an easy goal for first-year Devil Ondrej Palat.

The Islanders committed three giveaways in the second frame and four in the third, according to the statisticians.

“Certainly, we’ll look at it. I thought we got caught early on a couple 2-on-1, things like that,” Lambert said. “It’s not our identity, and it’s not a recipe for success for sure.

SOROKIN GAVE ISLANDERS A SHOT

Without Ilya Sorokin, the New Jersey Devils would have walked all over the New York Islanders early.

In the first period, the Islanders were outshot 15 to three, with Sorokin having to stand on his head to keep the game tied through the first twenty minutes. He was the Islanders’ best penalty killer, turning aside five while the Islanders were shorthanded. He made four high-danger saves, and seven mid-danger saves.

Although the Islanders played a bit better in the second period, Sorokin was diving left and right to keep the Islanders within one goal and then two.

He turned aside seven of the nine shots he faced in the second period, the two goals coming off two high-danger shots.

In the third period, Sorokin stopped 15 of 16 in the third period, seven more high-danger chances.

When the game was over, Sorokin had turned aside 37 of 40, with all of the goals against coming from high-danger chances.

“Wow, he was outstanding. Genuinely just like amazing,” Mathew Barzal said. “Probably could have been three nothing after the first, and he made some spectacular saves. Yeah, it could have gotten ugly early on, and he was there for us.”

Up Next: The New York Islanders are in Tampa, as they play the Lightning on Saturday. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM.

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