Thursday, March 4

Sorokin Stops 20 Shots For First NHL Win; Isles Blank Sabers


BUFFALO, NY (AP) The eyes of Islanders goalkeeper Ilya Sorokin lit up and he smiled not needing an interpretation when asked what his favorite memory of his first NHL victory was, and nothing short of a shutout.

“Video review,” said the Russian-born goalkeeper. ” I cancel it ”.

There was more to Sorokin’s 20-save performance in the Islanders’ 3-0 win over the Buffalo Sabers than a goal disallowed Tuesday night. But the 25-year-old rookie understood the great save he received from coach Barry Trotz when he disallowed Victor Olofsson’s goal with 6:59 left.

Rather than the Sabers cutting New York’s lead to 2-1, the review of the offside challenge clearly showed Buffalo captain Jack Eichel entering the zone before the puck 22 seconds earlier. Buffalo never got another shot after that, as the Islanders completed a two-game sweep over the Sabers.

Sorokin improved to 1-2-1 and began to show the potential he displayed to establish himself as one of the best young netminders in the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League. The Islanders’ third-round pick in 2014 won 25 or more games in each of its past four seasons and had a league-leading nine shutouts last year.

His teammates were more than happy to contribute by building a 2-0 lead in the first period.

“I think the last two games we didn’t play very well in front of him and it wasn’t really fair to him,” defender Noah Dobson said. “Just getting a couple of goals early really helped us and he obviously made a ton of saves tonight.”

Anders Lee scored twice, including a blank score, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored to extend his scoring streak to four games.

The Islanders continued what turned into an impressive run by improving to 5-0-3 in their last eight, the team’s longest streak since a franchise-record streak of 15-0-2 in the first two months of the season. 2019-20.

The Sabers went blank one night after failing to record a shot in the third period of a 3-1 loss to the Islanders.

Buffalo has lost three straight games and is 0-2 after a two-week hiatus forced by coronavirus during which up to nine players landed on the NHL’s COVID-19 roster.

Although the Sabers showed more jump by closing with eight shots at the net in the final 20 minutes, the result was all too familiar.

They gave up the first goal for the ninth time in 12 games and lost 2-0 after the first period for the second night in a row.

“As we play more hockey here, it’s important that we don’t go in after first period one, two down,” forward Taylor Hall said. “It is a difficult hill to climb, especially in a season where teams keep it simple. … Teams that get advantages will keep the advantages and that’s a difficult way to play. ”

Hall was stopped by Sorokin on a 12:21 break in the game. Sorokin’s best save came with 9:30 left, when he kicked his right pad to stop a single stopwatch from Sam Reinhart, who was alone at the left post.

Lee opened the score at 4:43 by completing a perfect series of passes. Josh Bailey, on the right boards just outside the blue line, started chipping the puck to hit Dobson in stride. Dobson won the zone and then threw a pass to an open Lee, who broke it on the open left side.

The Islanders then caught the Sabers flat-footed in Pageau’s goal about seven minutes later. Ryan Pulock, from his own side, fed Pageau into the Sabers blue line, where he landed a quick pass over defender Colin Miller. Driving on the left side, Pageau fired a shot that appeared to deflect Miller’s extended stick and hit Hutton on the opposite side.

The Islanders were left blank twice and never led in each of Sorokin’s three previous starts.

“It’s better to start 2-0 than when you start 0-2,” Sorokin said in his bad English. “It’s good for your feelings.”

ISLANDS MILESTONES

Bailey had two assists to bring his career total to 329 and overtake Patrick Flatley for seventh on the Islanders’ list. Nick Leddy’s assist on Pageau’s goal was his 176th, placing him one ahead of Kenny Jonsson for fourth place on the team’s career list among defenders.

ALIGNMENTS

Islanders: LW Anthony Beauvillier returned after missing nine games with a lower body injury, with Leo Komarov being a healthy scratch.

Sabers: The Sabers welcomed defender Jake McCabe to the lineup, while stalwart Rasmus Ristolainen was among the five players removed from the COVID roster. That leaves center Casey Mittelstadt as the only Buffalo player on the roster. F Rasmus Asplund played after being called from the taxi squad.

UNTIL NEXT TIME

Sabers: Four-game open trip, starting at Washington Capitals on Thursday

Islanders: Two-game open series at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports



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