Ilya Sorokin stopped a career-best 39 shots and Oliver Wahlstrom scored twice in a three-goal third period to boost the visiting New York Islanders to a 4-1 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.
New York earned its first win of the season despite being outshot 40-29. The Islanders benefitted from Wahlstrom’s first career multi-goal game and a stellar outing from Sorokin, who lost the bid for his fourth career shutout with 26 seconds to play.
The Islanders’ Anthony Beauvillier scored unassisted at 4:08 of the second period, jamming in a loose puck in front of the net.
Chicago has yielded the first goal in each of its four games, picking up just one point so far.
The Islanders maintained the advantage into the second intermission, then steadily built upon it, tallying three goals in the first 11:06 of the third period to seize control. Wahlstrom began the spurt, capitalizing on a Chicago turnover to beat goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury just 48 seconds into the third.
Uneven play from Chicago helped pave the way for the Islanders’ next two goals – Wahlstrom’s tally on a feed from Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Cal Clutterbuck’s unassisted goal off the rush.
The Blackhawks went 0-for-3 on the power play. MacKenzie Entwistle scored the team’s lone goal, at 19:34 of the third. Fleury made 25 saves.
Plagued by slow starts throughout a season-opening three-game road trip, the Blackhawks reversed the trend in their home opener, creating numerous chances in a scoreless first period while outshooting the Islanders 18-8.
The Blackhawks and Islanders both had 13 shots in the game’s middle 20 minutes, but Chicago actually enjoyed more chances on a New York power play in the closing minutes of the period.
A turnover at the Islanders’ blue line created a short-handed breakaway opportunity for the Blackhawks’ Alex DeBrincat, but Sorokin turned away a shot high to his blocker side to keep the shutout intact.
Islanders forward Anders Lee missed the game with a non-COVID-19-related illness.