Connect with us

New York Islanders

Islanders Steamroll Sharks For Fifth Straight Win



AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

It wasn’t the cleanest of games for the New York Islanders.

But when facing the league’s worst San Jose Sharks, a team can afford an off night and still come away with a win.

Despite allowing San Jose to pull within a goal twice on Thursday night, the Islanders eventually pulled away, steamrolling the Sharks 7-2 for their fifth win in a row to establish their longest winning streak of the season.

“The best chances we gave them was in the third period, which is normal,” head coach Patrick Roy told reporters in San Jose. “I mean, you’re up by five goals, so those things happen. But I felt like we kept working, and we kept going at them. We could have been a little faster on our forecheck or quicker on our breakout, but overall, it’s a beautiful win for us.”

The small crowd of just over 10,000 at SAP Center had barely settled in when Noah Dobson scored 19 seconds into the first period.

Trying to thread the needle with a pass to Anders Lee at the doorstep, Dobson’s feed from the point rattled off a few players in the middle of the ice and instead wound up in the back of the net for his eighth goal of the season.

Alexander Romanov made it 2-0 Islanders when he hammered a one-timer from the blue line at 18:31 of the first off assists from Bo Horvat and Brock Nelson for his seventh goal of the season.

“The ceiling for him is pretty high, in my opinion,” Roy said of Romanov. “He’s been playing better and better and with confidence since we put him with [Ryan] Pulock. It’s been a great fit for both of them… I think it makes us a much better hockey team.”

Sebastian Aho potted his second goal of the season, giving the Islanders three goals from defensemen against the Sharks. The last time the Islanders’ blue line contributed that much on offense was back at the beginning of last season, on Oct. 15, 2022, against the Anaheim Ducks.

“They’re a big part of our offense,” Roy said. “That’s the way we play. When I say a unit of five, that includes the defenseman. We want to make sure that our forwards are covering for our D. Our D has been feeling good about themselves, supporting the rush, moving the puck and going deep in the O-zone, knowing that they have been covered.”

Aho’s tally capped off a four-goal explosion from the Islanders in the second period.

Thomas Bordeleau converted on the power play for the Sharks to start the middle frame.

But halfway through the period, Horvat notched his 24th goal of the year, pushing the Islanders’ lead back to two and kickstarting a flurry of goals in the process.

In a matter of 40 seconds, the scoreboard changed twice as Mike Hoffman drew San Jose back to within one, only for Islanders rookie Kyle MacLean to respond 15 seconds later to make it 4-2.

With goals from Mathew Barzal and Aho before the horn sounded, the Islanders held a commanding four-goal advantage entering the second intermission.

“When they got that power-play goal, we were sitting back and just kind of letting them take it to us,” Horvat said. “We had a really good push there in the second half of the second. It’s definitely something we wanted to work on, and have been doing really well as of late. So, again, you got to keep that going.”

Lee tacked on a goal midway through the third period. His 17th was the seventh of the night for the Islanders, tying a single-game high for the team this season.

In total, 13 players had at least a point in the win for the Islanders, with Horvat and Nelson tied for the lead with three. Ilya Sorokin made his sixth straight start in goal, stopping 23 of the 25 shots he faced.

Since the beginning of last week, the Islanders have gained 10 points in the standings and sit just two back of a playoff spot.

At 28-20-14, the Islanders have a few days off before a back-to-back set against the Ducks and Los Angeles Kings on Sunday and Monday.

The NHL’s trade deadline comes in the middle of that break, Friday at 3 p.m. EST.

It’s the time of year when contenders buy, and those who will likely miss the postseason sell off spare parts. With each win, the Islanders look more and more like the former.




Enter your email address to get all of our articles delivered directly to your inbox.

NYI Team & Cap Info