It wasn’t pretty, but the Islanders get the win against the Flyers in their last meeting of the season.
The New York Islanders entered Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers on a two-game losing streak. They hadn’t been looking their best and fell to third in the standings.
In hopes of reinvigorating the team, head coach Barry Trotz decided to make some alterations. He changed up the defensive group for the first time all season.
• Noah Dobson out, Braydon Coburn in
• Ilya Sorokin in net
Trotz’s decision to sit Dobson for Coburn was interesting. Dobson hasn’t been noticeably terrible lately and Coburn hasn’t been a good defenseman for some time.
He also has a similar skill-set to Andy Greene, who would be his partner in this one. Benching Dobson for a worse player isn’t ideal, but maybe Trotz knows best.
1st period: Not how you win
The first period of this game was uneventful. A total of 12 shots were taken (eight by the Flyers and four by the Islanders), no goals were scored, and no penalties were committed.
Both teams were scoreless heading into the second, but this wasn’t a great period for the Islanders. They were sloppy, had trouble controlling the puck, and displayed poor puck management.
Mathew Barzal had a particularly bad period. The Islanders would need someone to step up moving forward in this one.
2nd period: Sorokin the savior
The second period was especially bad for the Islanders, who were bailed out by their goaltender. It’s miraculous that the Flyers didn’t score in these 20 minutes and the Islanders owe Sorokin a much better third period.
The rookie made an impressive 15 saves to keep his team in the game. This was the Islanders’ worst period of the game, by far, and what Sorokin did to keep the Flyers off the board can’t be understated.
3rd period: To OT, again
The Islanders looked best in the third, but couldn’t do enough to score. They were gifted two power plays, but struggled on the man-advantage. They did outshoot their opponents 13-6, but those four minutes with an extra man didn’t go well.
The Islanders looked much better offensively in the third, but it was Brian Elliott’s time to shine. He came up with some huge saves to keep this game scoreless.
This would be the sixth game of this series to go to overtime.
Overtime: Big goal for the big win
Nick Leddy put an end to the Islanders’ scoring drought to give his team the win. He showed off his offensive ability here and the Islanders were lucky that the puck deflected off of Travis Sanheim to get past Elliott.
This wasn’t the prettiest of games for the Islanders by any means, but a win is a win. They’ve been in a poor run of form lately and needed to come away with a victory.
The hope is that Leddy’s goal reignited the offensive potential of this team as they head into a crucial stretch of their schedule.
Key Moment: Sorokin’s saves to end the first
Sorokin made multiple sequences of outstanding saves in the first, especially late in the period, when his teammates left him out to dry. As Trotz said, the Islanders wouldn’t have won this game had it not been for Sorokin’s sharpness in the first period.
— NHL (@NHL) April 19, 2021
Player of the game: Ilya Sorokin
Without Sorokin, the Islanders don’t get to overtime, never mind winning the game. For that reason, he’s the player of the game.
He had a 30-save shutout in which he had a 2.17 xGA and 2.17 Game Score. Sorokin continues to prove that he’s the real deal. The future is bright for the Islanders in net.