5 Takeaways From Islanders’ 3-2 Win vs Maple Leafs – 11/21/22

The New York Islanders were desperate for a win to end their four-game road trip on a high note. After back-to-back losses where they lost 5-4 to the Nashville Predators and 5-2 to the Dallas Stars, they stepped up against the Toronto Maple Leafs and defeated them 3-2 in overtime.

Related: 4 Takeaways From Islanders’ 5-2 Loss vs Stars – 11/19/22

The Islanders were outplayed for the majority of the game with the Maple Leafs controlling the pace of play and creating more scoring chances. However, they managed to come back from another game late and earn a much-needed win, splitting the four-game road trip.

The Islanders are now 12-8 on the season giving them the second-best record in the Metropolitan Division. In addition, they are 3-0 in overtime with the recent game-winning goal coming from a big shot from a player who made his mark in overtime earlier in his career.

Beauvillier’s Overtime Winner

Anthony Beauvillier’s most iconic moment in his career, possibly one of the greatest moments in Islanders’ recent history, was his game-winning goal in overtime in Game 6 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Semifinal. His top-shelf shot not only forced a Game 7 against the Tampa Bay Lightning but also closed out the Nassau Coliseum in style.

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Against the Maple Leafs, Beauvillier won the game with his shot going to the top corner of the net. With the Islanders skating on the rush, Brock Nelson gave him space with a drop pass, allowing him enough room for an open shot. Beauvillier not only quickly fired the puck on goal, but his accurate shot zipped past Maple Leafs’ goaltender Erik Kallgren to end the game.

With the goal, Beauvillier now has four goals and four assists on the season. While he’s not having a breakout year, he’s putting together a respectable bounce-back season where he is an integral part of the top six. The recent game was a reminder that he might not be the most valuable player on the team or the best forward but is still one that can contribute to the offense.

Bailey’s Big Goal

With only 179 goals and 381 assists in his career, Josh Bailey is known more for his passing and not his goal-scoring. However, off a turnover and a mistake from the Maple Leafs, he took advantage and gave the Islanders a jolt late in the game. Kallgren poorly played the puck near his net and Bailey quickly fired it on goal to tie the game with only three minutes left in the third period, leading to the overtime victory.

Josh Bailey New York Islanders
Josh Bailey, New York Islanders (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

In a game where they looked hopeless, the Islanders needed a break and more importantly, needed to take advantage of a miscue. They did just that and sent the game to overtime to secure at least a point from the game. Bailey’s goal not only swung the momentum but also helped his team rebound from a rough stretch that started earlier in the road trip.

Sorokin’s Strong Night

The Islanders didn’t help out their starting goaltender from the first-period puck drop. They allowed the first seven shots on the goal and forced Ilya Sorokin to make crucial saves to keep the game scoreless. He stepped up in the first period and throughout the game to once again lead the team to a victory.

Sorokin saved 30 of the 32 shots he faced and only allowed one even-strength goal. The Maple Leafs applied pressure throughout the game and created plenty of opportunities that could have put the game out of reach, but he kept the puck out of the net and helped keep the game a low-scoring one.

Ilya Sorokin New York Islanders
Ilya Sorokin, New York Islanders (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The last two starts were rough for Sorokin as he allowed five goals against the Nashville Predators and three goals in the 4-3 overtime win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. In the recent game, the Islanders were reminded why he is an elite goaltender as he made multiple remarkable saves to give them a chance to come back and win the game.

Dobson Continues Great Season

Noah Dobson’s shot from the point started the scoring for the Islanders. Granted, the puck deflected off a Maple Leafs’ skater but it was the good shot that created chaos near the goal. He put the Islanders on the scoreboard and in a game where they were struggling, they suddenly had an early lead.

Noah Dobson New York Islanders
Noah Dobson, New York Islanders (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Along with the goal, Dobson also assisted on Beauvillier’s game-winning goal. With six goals and eight assists this season, both of which lead the defensive unit, Dobson is helping provide a much-needed offensive boost from the blue line. Against the Maple Leafs, he also played alongside Sebastian Aho for the first time this season and helped give the Islanders a fast-skating defensive pairing that can turn defense into instant offense.

Maple Leafs Stars Show Up

The Maple Leafs scored both their goals on the backs of two of their best players. John Tavares, who notably left the Islanders in the 2018 offseason to sign with his hometown team, scored in the second period on the power play with an open shot from the slot. Later in the same period, Auston Matthews re-directed the puck into the back of the net, scoring the second goal for the Maple Leafs and giving them a 2-1 lead.

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

This game was a contrast of two rosters that are built differently. The Maple Leafs are a top-heavy team and are carried by their elite players. The Islanders, however, have a roster built around depth and often need the entire team to step up to win. The Islanders put together a strong performance throughout the lineup which ultimately propelled them to a 3-2 win against a Maple Leafs team that struggled when their star players weren’t on the ice.

Other Takeaways from the Islanders’ Win

  • Mathew Barzal added another assist to his helper-happy year. He has 20 assists and 22 points on the season, both of which lead the team.
  • Head coach Lane Lambert shuffled up the forward lines and defensive pairings for the game. While the moves worked out, the defensive pairings led to some confusion in the defensive zone and a handful of easy scoring chances for the Maple Leafs.
  • The Islanders dominated the hits category. They managed to generate 51 hits compared to the 21 the Maple Leafs had. Cal Clutterbuck led the team with nine in the game and interestingly, set the NHL record for the most hits, passing Dustin Brown in the game.

What’s Next for the Islanders

The Islanders now head back home to face the Edmonton Oilers who are in the middle of their New York road trip. The Oilers are coming off a rough 5-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils but with a 10-9 record, are one of the best teams in the league led by two of the best players in the game, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

The Islanders are having a strong start to the season and the recent win helped them snap out of their slump. However, they need to stay on track and handle the upcoming games which will test them in a multitude of ways. Furthermore, they are looking to close out the month strong and remain near the top of a competitive Metropolitan Division.

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