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Islanders lose to Oilers in first game of back-to-back set

January 6, 2023, 8:50 PM ET [69 Comments]
Ben Shelley
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The New York Islanders dropped the first game of their back-to-back set last night, falling 4-2 to the Edmonton Oilers.

Cal Clutterbuck returned to the Islanders’ lineup, playing his first game since mid-December, while Ross Johnston was a scratch.

The Islanders were caught in their end within the first few minutes of the opening frame, and ended up being forced to kill an early penalty, with the Oilers generating some shots and momentum. Ilya Sorokin had to make his first big save off a rush soon after but the Oilers kept pressing and once again, the Islanders found themselves shorthanded. This time, Edmonton was able to capitalize, with Leon Draisaitl one-timing a shot through Sorokin to open the scoring, midway through the frame. The Islanders barely generated any offense whatsoever in the frame and then when they did get a power play opportunity of their own late in the period, Kailer Yamamoto ended up coming in on a shorthanded rush and beat Sorokin, putting Edmonton up 2-0 through 20 minutes. It continued a stretch of slow starts for the Islanders over this road trip, pretty consistently being flat to open the game and this time, they were outshot 18-4 in the first period.

New York did manage to pull back within one under five minutes into the second period though, with Mathew Barzal beating Jack Campbell to extend his scoring streak to five games. The Islanders had a great chance to tie the game right after with Hudson Fasching hitting the post on a rush, but it was the Oilers who ended up converting again soon after, as Dylan Holloway ripped a shot past Sorokin through traffic. Then later on, Leon Draisaitl sprung Zach Hyman on a breakaway who went to the backhand to score, making it a 4-1 game. Cal Clutterbuck did get one back for New York with a good redirect in the final minute of the frame, but the Islanders were still in a hole.

The Islanders did have an early power play chance in the final frame but couldn’t convert, then weren’t really able to build any sort of sustained pressure through most of the period. They took a couple more penalties and didn’t get a whole lot going, as they fell 4-2.

After a pretty rough first period, the Islanders only managed 22 shots in the game overall. They still seemed to lack intensity and weren’t spending a ton of time in Edmonton’s end.

The Islanders’ power play also continues to struggle in a big way, managing three shots over their three man advantages and allowing a shorthanded goal.

On the bright side, Mathew Barzal continues to score for the Islanders. Barzal has always had a really accurate shot, he’s just been prone to passing up on a ton of great chances to look for a passing lane instead. Now that he’s taking a lot more of those opportunities for himself, he’s becoming a bigger threat.

Hudson Fasching also continues to impress. Every game he seems to be creating chances for himself and no matter where he plays in the lineup, he’s fitting in pretty seamlessly.

Brock Nelson was also named as the Islanders’ representative for the NHL All-Star game. Nelson is in the midst of arguably the best season of his career with the Islanders, but Ilya Sorokin did lose out to Igor Shesterkin for the goaltending spot in the Metropolitan Division.

New York will be right back in action tonight, as they visit the Calgary Flames in the second half of their back-to-back.


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