ELMONT, NY– Backed by Ilya Sorokin’s 25 saves and a Simon Holmstrom snipe in the third, the New York Islanders defeated the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 for their second straight win.
The Islanders are now 20-24-7 and have a three-point lead separating them and the second wild-card spot.
Anders Lee-Bo Horvat-Matt Martin
Zach Parise-Brock Nelson-Kyle Palmieri
Arnaud Durandeau-Casey Cizikas-Hudson Fasching
Ross Johnston-otto Koivula-Simon Holmstrom
Adam Pelech-Scott Mayfield
Alexander Romanov-Ryan Pulock
Sebastian Aho-Noah Dobson
Sebastian Aho gave the New York Islanders a 1-0 lead at 17:35 of the first period as he buried a rebound on an odd-man rush following a Brock Nelson wrist shot. Nelson was credited with the lone assist on Aho’s fifth of the season.
Nikolaj Ehlers sniped Ilya Sorokin short side on the power play at 4:30 of the second period. His fifth of the season was assisted by Josh Morrissey and Kyle Connor.
Simon Holmstrom beat Connor Hellebuyck high blocker side at 9:57 of the third period for his fourth of the season as he finished off a quick feed from Bo Horvat. Martin Martin
Holmstrom Bounces Back
However, he struggled mightily against the Sidney Crosby line and quickly found himself on the fourth line.
He slotted in on the fourth line against the Jets and raised his game.
In the third period, he came through in a big way as he scored his fourth goal of the season via a snipe after taking a hard hit from Jets defenseman Dylan DeMelo:
— Isles on MSGSN (@IslesMSGN) February 23, 2023
“It was good forechecking from our line,” Holmstrom said. “We got the puck back a couple of times, and I got the puck from Bo (Horvat), and I was just trying to find a lane and pick a corner.”
As for the hit he took before the goal: “It’s hockey. You gotta take a hit to make a play, right?”
Holmstrom had gone six games without a goal, and if anyone needed a bounce-back game, it was him. He ended his night on the top line, playing 7:18 minutes.
“It’s greatly satisfying, and I’m happy for him,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. “There isn’t a player that doesn’t want to do well or isn’t trying to do well.
“He had a good night tonight, and let’s hope he continues going, but I’m, I’m pretty happy with his game tonight, and I’m happy with his response.”
Shaky Second Period, Strong Third
The New York Islanders were feeling strong about their start, as they owned a 1-0 le after one period of play.
But the second period wasn’t their best as they were outshot 13-4 in the middle frame, failing to register a shot on goal until the clock read 10:55.
Their first two shots of the period came on the power play.
Regarding special teams, the Islanders went 0-for-2, while the Jets went 1-for-2, scoring on the power play with Casey Cizikas in the box.
It was not a period that the Islanders wanted to mimic in the third, or they would be in trouble.
However, the third period was much like the third period we saw against the Penguins, as they allowed just five shots on goal and locked it down for another critical two points once they got the lead halfway through.
Lambert Shakes Up D-Pairs
Pelech skated with Scott Mayfield, who had a strong game, while Pulock skated alongside Alexander Romanov. Pelech and Pulock were back together at times, but that was just situational, on-the-fly changes.
Mayfield and Pelech seemed to have some strong chemistry early, while Romanov stepped up in critical times with Pulock on his line. The Islanders’ backend had not been good enough lately, with multiple pairings struggling, which forced Lambert’s hand.
“Winnipeg’s got a heavy team,” Lambert said. “They’ve got some big forwards, and I thought that the shuffle that we did was well warranted, and I thought they played well.”
UP NEXT: The New York hosts the Los Angeles Kings at 7 PM ET on Friday.