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Home » Ilya Sorokin shuts down Jets as Islanders get some cushion in standings

Ilya Sorokin shuts down Jets as Islanders get some cushion in standings

by admin

Right here is how unusual and unpredictable the playoff race has been for the Islanders:

Lower than per week in the past, the Islanders entered the third interval of a must-win recreation needing a comeback that didn’t look probably. Now, after their 2-1 win over the Jets on Wednesday evening, with Ilya Sorokin outdueling Connor Hellebuyck in a battle of Vezina Trophy-contending goaltenders, they’ve gained three of 4 and occupy the primary wild-card spot within the Japanese Convention with a three-point cushion. The most important information for the Islanders between then and now was an damage to maybe their finest offensive participant.

Attempt to determine that one out. Or simply sit again and revel in it.

On paper, it didn’t appear to be the most effective spot for the Islanders, however Mathew Barzal out of the lineup with a lower-body damage, few video games do. However for the second straight recreation with out Barzal, they discovered a manner.

Coming into the third interval tied 1-1, the Islanders have been on their heels and appeared to be much more so after a catastrophic energy play wherein they failed to finish a zone entry. However Simon Holmstrom — who was demoted from the highest line on Monday earlier than discovering himself again there midgame Wednesday — jumped on a feed from Bo Horvat and fired a wrister previous Hellebuyck on the 9:57 mark to present the Islanders a 2-1 lead.

From there, it was a matter of bearing down and defending, one thing that even a depleted Islanders squad can do with the most effective of them.

Throughout a primary interval wherein Sorokin bailed out the Islanders a lot of instances, they managed to capitalize when the Jets made an unforced error. Mason Appleton turned the puck over, resulting in a two-on-one breakaway wherein Sebastian Aho pounced on Brock Nelson’s rebound to open a 1-0 lead for the Islanders.

It didn’t final, nevertheless. Nikolaj Ehlers capitalized, after Casey Cizikas was referred to as for tripping early within the second interval, uncorking a wrist shot that beat Sorokin clear from the left circle on the 4:30 mark.

Sorokin, not at his all-world sharpest, was nonetheless sometimes stalwart in web, letting the Islanders keep in it via lengthy stretches of play embedded in their very own defensive zone. That’s the type of benefit he can and should convey each evening with Barzal out.

And it’s the type of benefit the Islanders acquired Wednesday.

Video games in hand stay the most important enemy for the Islanders, however with every win they decide up, the maths will get incrementally higher. After their 61st recreation of the season on Wednesday, the Islanders have performed greater than each different crew within the wild-card race, however they’ve a three-point lead on the Panthers, who’re proper behind them within the standings.

The subsequent three video games earlier than the commerce deadline subsequent Friday — with the Kings visiting on Friday and the Islanders taking part in at Winnipeg on Sunday and Minnesota on Tuesday — might go a good distance towards figuring out how viable a playoff push can be.

And the Islanders are off to the fitting begin.

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