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5 Takeaways: Islanders Outlast Flyers in Shootout

Mathew Barzal scores shootout winner as Islanders beat Flyers 3-2 at Coliseum

by Cory Wright @WrightsWay / NewYorkIslanders.com

Mathew Barzal scored the shootout winner, as the New York Islanders outlasted the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum. 

Barzal's game-decider was the lone goal in a four-round shootout, as the Islanders picked up their second-straight win to open a six-game homestand. 

Anthony Beauvillier and Claude Giroux each scored twice in regulation, while Ilya Sorokin made 30 saves in his first game in a week. Carter Hart stopped 22-of-24 shots in the loss. 

Here are five takeaways from a Saturday night win at the Coliseum. 

Video: Beauvillier, Barzal help Isles top Flyers in shootout


ISLES FIND A WAY VS FLYERS:

The Islanders were expecting a feisty Flyers squad on Saturday night and got just that, a physical, chippy and motivated Philadelphia team fresh off a loss to the Buffalo Sabres and two days off. 

Philadelphia pushed the pace early, outshooting the Islanders 10-3 in the opening frame, but the Isles found their way onto the scoreboard first, with Beauvillier netting a power-play goal at 12:01. 

The goal was set up by a nifty pass from Matt Martin, who sent a no-look backhander to Beauvillier at the back door. The assist was Martin's second power-play point in three games. 

"It means a lot," Martin said of being on the power play. "Obviously, in a perfect world we'd still have [Anders] Lee. He's one of the best net front guys in the league. Without him, it's a big hole to fill. I've gotten the opportunity as of late to play on it [PP]. There's a lot of communication from the guys in practices working on it. I'm thankful and happy that we were able to capitalize on it."

Beauvillier's icebreaker marked the first time in six games the Islanders opened the scoring. The second period followed a similar script, with the Flyers outshooting the Islanders 11-7, but the Islanders opened up a two- goal lead, as Beauvillier netted a feed from Barzal. The Islanders, who were outshot 21-10 through two periods didn't have a lot of shots, but were able to get quality opportunities. 

The game was far from over, as the Flyers applied pressure in the third period, with Giroux scoring two goals 3:54 apart. The Flyers' captain threaded a backhander high short side over Sorokin's shoulder at 6:38 to get his team on the board and tied the score 3:54 later, as he found space alone in the slot and beat a screened Sorokin at 10:32.

The Islanders had a chance to break up Giroux's two-goal effort, but Hart denied Barzal on a partial breakaway. From there, the Islanders had to hang on, going nearly 10 minutes without a shot on net. 

"We didn't have the puck probably as much as we would like to tonight but we were playing good defense and making it tough," Barzal said. "Sometimes that's just the way it goes with how we play. But you saw us, when we did get a chance, we were attacking the net and trying to find a play."

Both teams felt each other out in OT, seeming content to get the game to a shootout. Both goalies were strong in the bonus round, with only Barzal's low blocker shot finding the back of the net.  

"It was kind of a weird game, the way it played out," Beauvillier said. "We did a good job at kind of just sticking with the process at the end there. It's never easy when you lead and come back and have a push. Thought we did a good job just kind of grinding the game at the end. Huge two points for us."


Video: PHI@NYI: Barzal, Sorokin lead Isles to shootout win 

SOROKIN STRONG IN RETURN:

Ilya Sorokin was the backbone of Saturday's win, as the goaltender stopped 30-of-32 shots in his first game since being pulled a week prior in Pittsburgh. 

The rookie showed no signs of rust from the layoff, or any carryover from his first early exit, keeping a clean sheet as the Flyers outshot the Islanders 21-10 in the first two periods. 

Sorokin had some good moments early, as laid out on his stomach to rob Nolan Patrick with a minute to play in the first period, and had his best moments in the shootout. Sorokin stopped Giroux with the game on the line in the third round of the shootout and sealed it with a stop on Jakub Voracek.

"I liked his performance a lot," Trotz said. "He made some key saves at key times. When they got it tied 2-2, they had a couple of really good looks and he looked really calm. He didn't get small by the moment. In the shootout he was outstanding. I knew - his pedigree and his track record over his professional career - he's usually been a guy who bounces back. He's got a really good temperament and obviously, he's got a good skillset."

With the win, Sorokin improved to 3-0-1 against the Flyers this season, with three wins in his last three starts vs Philadelphia. Sorokin is also 9-1-0 in his last 10 games and 6-0-0 at Nassau Coliseum. 


Video: PHI@NYI: Beauvillier blasts dish for his second goal

BEAUVILLIER SCORES TWICE: 

Beauvillier scored the first two Islanders goals on Saturday, netting his seventh and eighth scores of the season.

Saturday marked the 11th-career two-goal game for Beauvillier, who now has eight points (6G, 2A) in his last seven games.

"[Beauvillier] played a heck of a game tonight," Barzal said of Beauvillier. "It's always fun watching him score, just a big smile when he's scoring and playing well. Big boost for our team."

With an assist on Beauvillier's second goal, Barzal extended his point streak to four games with nine points (4G, 5A) over that span. 


Video: NYI 3 vs PHI 2 (SO): Barry Trotz
LEDDY PLAYS 500TH GAME AS AN ISLANDER:

Nick Leddy appeared in his 500th game for the Islanders on Saturday night, becoming the seventh active Islander to play 500 games with the club. 

Acquired from Chicago on Oct. 4, 2014, on the same day as Johnny Boychuk, Leddy is the seventh defenseman to play 500 games with the Islanders. None of players who were traded to Blackhawks by the Islanders in the Leddy deal - TJ Brennan, Anders Nilsson, Kent Simpson and Ville Pokka - played a game for Chicago. 

Leddy has 237 points (44G, 193A) in 500 games for the Islanders. He has 25 points (1G, 24A) this season.

Video: PHI@NYI: Martin, Beauvillier team up on power play


JOHNSTON LEAVES GAME:

Ross Johnston left Saturday's game in the first period and did not return. 

The 6'5, 235 lbs. forward fought Philadelphia's Sam Morin early in the game and took one more shift before leaving the contest. 

Johnston finished the game with 1:20 TOI with one hit and one fight. Trotz did not have an update after the game. 


BONUS TAKEAWAY: ALAN FUEHRING MAKES RADIO DEBUT:

While there were no changes to the Islanders skaters, there was a new face in the radio booth, as Bridgeport Sound Tigers play-by-play voice Alan Fuehring made his NHL debut, calling the game in place of Chris King. 

Fuehring has been the Sound Tigers play-by-play voice for the past five seasons and also serves as the team's PR Director. Fuehring also writes the weekly Bridgeport Report on the Islanders and Sound Tigers websites. 

Congrats Alan on living out a life-long dream. 


NEXT GAME:

The Islanders take on the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night at the Coliseum. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. 

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