New players in tow, it was the same results the New York Islanders had against the Philadelphia Flyers in their last matchup.
Less than a week ago, the two teams went to a shootout with the Islanders edging Philadelphia, 3-2. On Thursday night, the score and how it ended were identical.
Let’s take a look at what went right and wrong for the Islanders’ in this latest shootout victory.
Sorokin’s sharp shootout
With the game tied after 65 minutes, the Islanders needed their netminder to come up large in the skills competition. He did so, and then some.
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) April 9, 2021
Sorokin stopped all five Philadelphia attempts, and whether it was with the glove or with his sprawled out pads, he looked in the zone and was unfazed by the moment. Over the last two shootouts against Philadelphia, Sorokin has stopped all nine shots he’s faced.
Sorokin was mostly sharp in net for the night, stopping 25 of 27 chances, including three with Philadelphia on the power play. After a disastrous game in Pittsburgh on March 27, Sorokin has answered the bell in his last two starts.
“His confidence, especially against Philly, has been really good,” Barry Trotz said of the goaltender. “I think his confidence every time he goes in the net is growing and we’re fortunate we have two goaltenders.”
Nelson stays hot
After scoring the first and only goal in last game against Washington, Nelson came back and stayed on a roll Thursday. He got the scoring opened 6:10 in the first period off a great feed from Ryan Pulock.
And with the shootout deadlocked headed into the fifth round, Nelson scored what proved to be the game winner past Carter Hart. It was his first shootout attempt of the season, and he banged it in off the left post and into the net and a quick, high wrister.
Nelson’s 15 goals now leads the team and his 24 points are tied for fourth. Since March he has 14 points and has been a key cog in the Islanders offense.
2 angles of Brock’s BEAUTIFUL shootout winner! 🥳 pic.twitter.com/JZJo8Wnu9n
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) April 9, 2021
“We always throw up videos of the shootouts, different tendencies,” Nelson said. “Didn’t want to try anything too fancy, just wanted to get a shot and it beat [Hart].”
The Islanders came out swinging in the first 20 minutes, getting consecutive goals from Nelson and Jordan Eberle. Against a team that’s had a consistently poor defense over the last month, it was the exact start the Islanders wanted.
In terms of good looks, they generated four high danger chances in the period, the most they hand in any frame in this game. It was also the first period for new Islanders Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac, though they were both kept off the scoresheet in this one.
Wasting a major and squandering a good first
There was a golden opportunity to bury the game in the first period when Samuel Morin took a 5-minute major and game misconduct for a hit on Casey Cizikas.
On the ensuing power play, the Islanders didn’t generate much and the Flyers had multiple odd-man rushes while shorthanded. It was a rough scene and New York failed to capitalize on what could have been something that ended the game before it go to the second period.
“I thought we had a good start, thought we came out flying,” Trotz said. “When they took the 5-minute major, I thought our power play gave them a lot of momentum. They had a couple of 2-on-1s, a breakaway. After that point, they got a lot of momentum. … Overall our game wasn’t very good after the 5-minute major.”
The Flyers pretty much took control from there, holding the shot and attempts edge for most of regulation. A lot of the issues came once the Islanders went on this fateful power play.