The excitement around this game between the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers was beyond belief. Just under 24 hours before, the Islanders made a trade acquiring Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac. Tonight, both Palmieri and Zajac debuted for the orange and blue. But, this game definitely wasn’t just about the two of them. Ilya Sorokin stole the show in net for the Islanders. The team didn’t have their best night, but they were completely bailed out by their goaltender. Sorokin was the main reason the Islanders took 2 points. With these 2 points, the Islanders gain control of 1st place in the East division.
Islanders take an early 2-0 lead
Coming right out of the gate, the Islanders came out firing with the excitement in the air. Just 6 minutes and 10 seconds in, Ryan Pulock set up Brock Nelson with a feed that he shot right past Carter Hart. Getting on the board first has been something the Islanders strive to do every game, and they did that tonight. Following Nelson’s goal, New York added to their lead. Leo Komarov assisted Jordan Eberle to make it 2-0. With the way, the Islanders were playing and Sorokin in the net, it seemed like they were going to be able to stroll to an easy victory.
A failed 5-minute power-play shifted momentum
12 seconds after the second Islanders goal was scored, Samuel Morin took a 5-minute major penalty for hitting Casey Cizikas hard into the boards. It was reviewed and confirmed, Morin’s hit was dirty and he deserved the ejection. Despite being on a 5-minute power play, the Islanders looked awful. The Flyers had better-shorthanded chances, that were stopped by Sorokin. The Islanders’ power-play was abysmal all night, they gave up more offense on the power play than they had. The Flyers gained momentum for the horrible 5 minute Islanders’ power-play.
The Flyers get a flukey one, and another to tie it
Nicolas Aube-Kubel shot the puck at Sorokin which he originally saved with his blocker. Then, the puck hit the top of his stick and went right in the net. To say the least, it was a very unlucky break for Sorokin and the Islanders. The first period ended at 2-1 New York, but Philadelphia tied it early in the second period. Jakub Voracek took a filthy shot and beat Sorokin. The Russian goalie didn’t really have a chance to save it, but a goal is a goal and it was knotted up at 2. Sorokin really couldn’t be blamed for either goal and truthfully had an outstanding night.
After a long period of silence, the game heads to OT
For the rest of the second and the entire third, neither team could muster a goal. There were some really prominent scoring chances, but nothing got past either Sorokin or Hart. The Islanders weren’t playing their best, neither was the Flyers. This game was destined to go past 60 minutes, and there it went.
Flyers kill an important overtime penalty
The start of overtime was mostly dominated by the Flyers. Sorokin came up big to stop anything the Flyers threw at him. Just with under 2 minutes left in overtime Kevin Hayes tripped Ryan Pulock, sending Hayes to the penalty box. The recurring theme continued, the Islanders were undoubtedly not good on the power play and the flyers killed it with ease. That meant this game was heading to the shootout.
Sorokin shines in the shootout, prevailing the Isles to victory
Despite what the Flyers sent his way, Ilya Sorokin was a brick wall. He stopped all five flyers shooters on the way to victory. With the 5 shooters New York sent up, Brock Nelson was the lone scorer. But, that was all the Islanders needed as they win in the shootout 3-2.
The Islanders will play again tomorrow, April 9th against the New York Rangers. It should be a fun night as it’s the first of a two-game series between the two at the Coliseum. It’s also the Rangers’ first game there since Mika Zibanejad’s overtime winner in February of 2020.