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Rapid Reaction: New York Islanders Poached by Penguins in 1-0 Loss



New York Islanders

ELMONT, N.Y. — Eight isn’t so great for the New York Islanders, who dropped their eighth game in a row on Friday night. They fell to the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0 at UBS Arena and dropped to 5-10-2.

How it Happened: Ilya Sorokin did just about all he could for the New York Islanders on Friday night, but it was Kasperi Kapanen’s goal at 16:41 that proved to be too much for New York to overcome. The lone goal came off an odd-man rush with Thomas Hickey as the lone defender back to try and stop things.

Sidney Crosby moved the puck over to Kapanen for the 2-on-1 rush and Kapanen fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Sorokin to put Pittsburgh ahead 1-0. Friday was the second time in less than a week that the Islanders were shut out on home ice.

Where is the Power?: The New York Islanders held off some of the boos during their second power play of the night, which briefly ignited some energy into UBS Arena, but it was another night of failing to capitalize on the man-advantage. The Islanders struggled to establish an offensive presence during their first power play of the night and had a hard time getting the puck into the zone.

The boos were loud as the time expired on a Jake Guentzel tripping call. New York Registered zero shots on goal during the two-minute stretch. The second go-around, which came in the third period, fared a bit better when New York created a pair of chances in the waning minute.

The Islanders have scored just one power-play goal in 29 opportunities in the month of November.

Islanders Look Outmatched: The New York Islanders roster featured six players that would have been in Bridgeport had it not been for the high number of players still in COVID protocol. Robin Salo may be the lone exception, but the Islanders looked outgunned on Friday night.

New York was outshot 23-14 in the first 40 minutes and outchanced 29-12 in the first two periods, according to Natural Stat Trick. The Islanders shot selection also looked questionable at times and the team as a whole has lacked cohesion during their current stretch.

Ilya Sorokin: The New York Islanders best player was the one in between the pipes on Friday. Ilya Sorokin made a number of saves to hold off the Pittsburgh onslaught and keep the Isles within one. One of his biggest saves of the night came on Sidney Crosby in the first period.

Sorokin’s effort the entire night was worthy of a win that he didn’t get. Sorokin made 29 saves in the Islanders’ latest loss and hasn’t been in net for a win since he shut out Winnipeg on Nov. 6. Friday’s performance was deserving of a much better result.

Quotables:  The New York Islanders frustration was evident on their faces after the latest loss. Below is some of what they Had to say:

“It’s not ideal for sure, but we have to find a way as a group and it’s not coming easy. We have to find it in our locker room. Nobody is going to take it easy on us or anything. It is what it is at this point and we just have to fight through it and keep grinding. It’s obviously a big challenge, but we have the pieces in the locker room to get out of it and we just have to keep fighting. — Anthony Beauvillier on the frustration in the locker room. 

“I just think the main thing is to try not to get frustrated, so obviously it’s easier said than done but just sticking with it. I mean just keep going. I think the guys are competing hard and hopefully, eventually, we’re going to get rewarded with one.” — Noah Dobson on the lack of scoring.

“I think the weight of it should fall on the veteran guys. I think the young guys have come up and done a great job playing inside themselves and gaining confidence along the way. You can’t expect any of these guys to carry the load for us right out of the gates. They’re learning on the fly. Probably some quicker than the organization would have liked, but they’re doing a good job for us. It’s up to us as the veterans to find that next level and power us through. It certainly does fall more on us than them.” — Matt Martin on the veterans needing to step up. 

“Probably from a standpoint (that) we’ve got to generate that from what we have. (Anatolii Golyshev) hasn’t proven at this level, I guess. I felt that other people are a little bit ahead of him. That’s really my choice I would think. Just don’t feel that he’s quite there. That’s all. Coach’s choice.” — Barry Trotz on not playing Golyshev.

Up Next: The New York Islanders travel down the LIE and into Manhattan to face the New York Rangers on Sunday night. 

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