Player and Team Impressions
The Islanders controlled the pace of the game for the first half of the period. The majority of the time was spent in the Buffalo zone. Adam Pelech, who is widely regarded as the Islanders’ best defenceman, played rather poorly tonight. Pelech had multiple stick infraction penalties, he looked undisciplined. I cannot get over how good Ilya Sorokin played, making 20 saves. Sorokin had multiple highlight-reel saves, he looked like the KHL version fans got excited about.
Michael Dal-Colle continues to be an impact player showing incredible defensive ability. Along with him, Oliver Wahlstrom shows that he is deserving of a permanent spot on the NHL roster with his strong 2-way game. Anders Lee has found his scoring touch once again as he pots two goals, granted one of them was on an empty net, a goal is a goal. Lee’s season total for goals is currently at 7. Overall, the Islanders looked a bit sluggish, the Casey Cizikas line didn’t forecheck as hard as they have. The Brock Nelson line, now featuring Jordan Eberle, has been struggling as of late.
New York Islanders Goals
The Islanders showed the league their speed tonight, with both earned goals coming on breakouts. In the first, a pass by Josh Bailey set up a two-on-one for Noah Dobson and Anders Lee. Dobson dished a pass across the crease for a streaking Lee who buried the puck past Carter Hutton. Making the score 1-0 for the Islanders at 4:43 into the first.
Later in the first period, a defensive possession by Nick Leddy was passed to Ryan Pulock, who saw a blazing Jean-Gabriel Pageau breaking towards the Buffalo blue line all alone. Pulock dumped it out to Pageau who barreled into the Buffalo zone and showed off incredible speed (23.9 MPH) and accuracy as he buried a shot past Hutton to make it 2-0.
Finally, with the Buffalo net empty, Anders Lee, threw it into the open cage to make it 3-0. Lee, who hit the post on an empty net shot last game got a second chance and didn’t miss.
Final Thoughts on New York Islanders Win
In conclusion, the Islanders played Islanders hockey. They took advantage of their scoring chances and played defensive first hockey. Mitch Korn continues to work his magic as Ilya Sorokin shows a flash of his expected greatness. Finally, they got a much-needed win in a tough division.