Pageau scores 2, Sorokin shuts out Oilers with 50 saves in Islanders’ 3-0 win

Ilya Sorokin (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
AP Photos

Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored a power-play and short-handed goal while Ilya Sorokin stoned the Edmonton Oilers with a career-high 50 saves to will the New York Islanders (13-8-0) to a 3-0 victory on Wednesday night at UBS Arena.

Pageau became the 18th different player in Islanders history to score a power-play goal and shorthanded goal and the first since Zach Parise last season on April 12 against the Pittsburgh Penguins to do so. 

“It’s definitely fun to help the team offensively,” Pageau, who entered Wednesday night with three goals in his first 20 games this season, said. “We showed up tonight. We came in knowing we had a big challenge.”

As for Sorokin, the career night resulted in his second shutout of the season and already the 12th of his young career  — tying him for fifth in franchise history with Jaroslav Halak.

“It was certainly a tremendous game from him,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said of Sorokin. “He’s focused, he’s dialed in, and he’s quick — and he made some big saves for us.”

After an Anthony Beauvillier slashing penalty put the Islanders a man down 4:11 into the second period, a turnover sparked a short-handed rush led by Parise down the left wing with Pageau surging down the middle. Parise found the tape of Pageau just inches in front of the crease, creating an easy tap-in for the center. 

“He made a hell of a pass,” Pageau said of Parise’s helper. “I just had to put it in. It’s always been fun to play with him. He’s been helping me out as a player and he makes it easy for me.”

Just 2:06 later — and on the power play after Cal Clutterbuck was dragged down by Tyson Barrie to avoid another short-handed break — Pageau got his second when he cut down to the right goal line and sent a centering pass for Anders Lee in front. Instead, it deflected off the stick of Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard’s stick and under goalie Jack Campbell. 

It headlined a three-goal second period, which was capped off by defenseman Sebastian Aho’s second goal of the season as he one-timed a pass that came from behind the net by Oliver Wahlstrom, finding him near the left post. 

It was more than enough for Sorokin as he continues to maintain his Vezina-caliber throughout the early portion of the season. He was awfully busy, too, against an Oilers team that had an abundance of chances thanks to five Islanders penalties committed — a dangerous recipe to work with when opposing the likes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. 

The Islanders got particularly loose in the third period, taking three penalties in the final 20 minutes of action to supplement a final Oilers push. Sorokin stood tall, however, making a total of 14 saves against the Edmonton power play on Wednesday night with 23 of them coming in the third period.

His 50 saves were also the third-most in a shutout in franchise history.

“You don’t really think of how many shots,” Sorokin said. “I watched after the game. It’s good for a goalie. It keeps you in shape.”

NOTES: Simon Holmstrom made his NHL debut for the Islanders on Wednesday — the 21-year-old winger slotting in for Kyle Palmieri, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.  He was on the ice for 11:11 and was a +1.

“I found right after morning skate in Bridgeport [the Islanders’ AHL affiliate],” Holmstrom said of his whirlwind Wednesday. “I took a car service [to Long Island]. It was a very big surprise and I was very happy and excited to be here.”

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