The New York Islanders were shutout by the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-0 on Saturday night. The result of the game wasn’t overly shocking considering the Lightning closed as -155 favorites, but the Islanders were expected to put up a solid fight considering their playoff lives were at stake.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stone walled the islanders and saved 38 of 38 shots. Sorokin was pulled about halfway through the game and was only able to manage 17 saves on 21 shots against. Semyon Varlamov provided a solid relief effort saving 10 of the 11 shots he faced.
The Islanders were taking plenty of shots on Saturday, but very few were from high scoring areas. Moneypuck.com projected that based on the volume and locations from which the Islanders took their shots, they deserved to score 2.28 goals based on game simulations. That effort, however, wouldn’t have been enough to compete in the game or even come close to covering the +1.5 puck line in the 5-0 defeat.
The Islanders followed up their performance in Tampa Bay with another abysmal effort in North Carolina when they faced the Hurricanes on Sunday. The islanders got off to a hot start, scoring the game’s first goal. The islanders took a 1-0 lead into the locker room after the first and looked to be in good position to secure at least a point.
The Islanders proceeded to slow down on the offensive side like they typically do when leading games. As the offensive push slowed for New York, the Hurricanes were firing away at goalie Ilya Sorokin.
Sorokin: Standing on His Head
Sorokin held the Hurricanes off for as long as he could, but Jesperi Kotkaniemi found the back of the net in the middle of the second period. The teams would remain tied heading into the third, where James Martinook of the Hurricanes would score the game winning goal 2:31 into the third period. The islanders only put up 22 total shots on Carolina while the hurricanes fired 35 total on Sorokin.
Sorokin gave the Islanders exactly what they needed out of their star goalie, but the offense couldn’t get anything going. In the most crucial weekend of the season for the New York Islanders, the team managed to put up one total goal.
The Islanders have a break until Thursday night when they return home to play the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Islanders play 3 of their final 4 games at home and need to muster up some offense if they want to keep themselves in a playoff position, especially if they want to keep pace with the Lightning on Thursday.