The New York Islanders beat the New York Rangers in the Battle of New York on Wednesday by a score of 3-0. It was a brilliant performance by Ilya Sorokin of Mezhdurechensk, Russia, who made 41 saves in the three-goal shutout win. This was the third most saves Sorokin has made in recording a shutout. Last year Sorokin had 42 saves in a 2-0 Islanders win over the Vegas Golden Knights on October 24, 2021, and then had 44 saves in a 3-0 Islanders win over the Montreal Canadiens on April 15, 2022.
Why does Sorokin need to be great?
Well, the answer to the previous subheading is simple. Over the last couple of seasons, the Islanders simply have not scored much. Last year they scored 231 goals, the fifth least in the Eastern Conference. This season, they have scored only 22 goals, once again the fifth least in the East. So in order for the Islanders to be competitive in the Conference, strong goaltending is a must.
However on Wednesday the Islanders scored enough to get the win. Kyle Palmieri of Smithtown, New York scored twice, while Jean-Gabriel Pageau of Ottawa, Ontario, and Adam Pelech of Toronto, Ontario each had a multi-point game as they had two assists each. The other Islanders goal scorer was Josh Bailey of Bowmanville, Ontario.
So far in 2022-23, Sorokin has a record of two wins and three losses, with a goals against average of 2.26 and a save percentage of .931. Sorokin’s other win this season came on October 15, as he made 21 saves on 22 shot attempts in a 7-1 Islanders thumping over the Anaheim Ducks. Interestingly, the Islanders have scored 22 goals in seven contests, but seven goals came in one game. That means they have only scored 15 goals in their other six games.
In 79 career games, Sorokin has a record of 41 wins, 27 regulation losses, and 11 losses in extra time. He has a goals against average of 2.33, a save percentage of .924 and 11 shutouts. Seven of Sorokin’s shutouts came last season.