Three Biggest Moments in The Islanders’ Win Over Canucks

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 09: New York Islanders left wing Matt Martin (17) scores a goal on Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) during their NHL game at Rogers Arena on February 9, 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The New York Islanders beat the Vancouver Canucks 6-3 on Wednesday night. The game was the Islanders’ first since the All-Star break and their first win since beating the Ottawa Senators. The Isles scored three goals within the first four minutes of the game and led 5-1 at the end of the first period. The offensive explosion gives hope for the fanbase that the team can still make a push for the playoffs. Here are the three biggest moments in the Islanders’ win over the Canucks.

Three Goals in 30 Seconds

The Islanders came out firing with five first-period goals. Before the All-Star break, the Isles suffered a disappointing loss to the Seattle Kraken at UBS Arena. Coach Barry Trotz made significant line changes. The Islanders played with absolute desperation in the first, which is likely how they will have to play for the rest of the season.

The first three goals were the marquee moments, as Zach Parise, Brock Nelson, and Anders Lee all scored within 30 seconds. Even more impressive, the goals came from three different lines. Parise was on the third line with Oliver Wahlstrom and J.G. Pageau, Nelson was on the second line with Ross Johnston and Josh Bailey, and Lee was on the top line with Matt Barzal and Cal Clutterbuck.

“It hasn’t been working for us,” Trotz said. “We haven’t had consistent production through our lineup, so it was to put some people in a position where they can add a little more, I’ll say weight, on all the lines, especially what we call our top-two lines and just balance them out with a little more four-line mentality.”

It was the second-fastest three-goal spurt in Islanders franchise history, only trailing the 1983 team, who scored three goals in 27 seconds. The Islanders set the tone and pretty much iced the game after the first period.

Ross Johnston Fight

Following the first goal, Canucks defenseman Luke Schenn dropped the gloves with Ross Johnston. It was Johnston’s second fight of the year, with hockeyfights.com voters giving Johnston the unanimous victory. Schenn recognized that his team didn’t look good after the first goal. The Canucks beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-1 on Tuesday night, and they definitely struggled to keep up with the Islanders in this one.

The fight didn’t change a thing, as the Islanders scored two more goals inside the next minute. Surprisingly, this was the only fight in the game, and both teams laid heavy hits on each other, and there was minimal pushing and shoving after whistles.

This fight marks the 15th of the season for the Islanders. It’s their highest amount of fights in a season since the 2019-20 season, where they had 17. With 42 more games on the schedule, the team is on pace to have 31 fights this year, the most since they had 23 during the 2015-16 season. Fights are far too inconsistent to graph, but the Islanders’ schedule will be condensed in the second half of the season. They have ten back-to-back games and play 42 games in around 80 days. Look for Matt Martin or Johnston to start fights themselves if the Islanders come out flat to start a game in the second half.

Sorokin Gets in The Zone

Even though this game was practically decided in the first period, Ilya Sorokin made 37 saves. I remember a point where the color-commentator beside Brendan Burke on the TNT broadcast said the Canucks had ten third-period shots, and it was eight minutes into the period. In the second period, Sorokin started facing some tough shots as the Canucks became desperate.

His biggest save came while the Canucks were on the powerplay in the second period. Vancouver was cycling around the Islanders’ zone when a cross-ice pass found the stick of Brock Boeser. Sorokin slid across his crease and made a huge save on a one-time shot.

“He made some massive saves,” said Casey Cizikas, who had a goal and an assist. “He’s been doing that all season for us. He proved again why he’s one of the top goalies in the league, and he played like it.”

Sorkin had three goals against, but was under heavy pressure any time the Canucks were in the zone. He looked slightly uncomfortable initially, and the Canucks upped their attack as the Islanders enjoyed a large lead. Both goals in the second period were not his fault entirely, as one went in off a skate and the other went in as Sorokin was screened. Regardless of his performance in Wednesday’s game, Semyon Varlamov will likely start on Friday.

What’s Next?

The Islanders will look to make up some ground in the Eastern Conference and get a winning streak going. They will continue their tour of Canada on Friday, facing the struggling Edmonton Oilers, who just fired their coach. This is the Isles second meeting with the Oilers. Their first meeting was a 3-2 overtime win on New Years Day.

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