SAN JOSE, Calif. — Jean-Gabriel Pageau had a goal and an assist, Ilya Sorokin stopped 29 shots for his 25th win of the season and the New York Islanders defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-1 on Saturday night.
Kyle Palmieri, Ryan Pulock and Zach Parise also scored for the Islanders. Pierre Engvall extended his points streak to four games with an assist on Pulock’s goal. New York grabbed a two-point lead over Pittsburgh for the first wild card in the Eastern Conference.
“I just think we’re trying to play our game, which for sure has some physicality,” said Islanders coach Lane Lambert. “They are a fast team that has some skills. So we try to play physically against these teams. So there was a bit of design involved.”
Kevin Labanc scored his 12th goal of the season for the Sharks and Kaapo Kahkonen made 29 saves in his 17th loss of the season.
Labanc gave the Sharks a 7:31 lead in the first half by hitting Sorokin over the blocker.
“I’m just trying to help the team win,” Labanc said. “We’re all trying to do our part and trying to play as hard as we can. Some guys are playing for contracts and some are playing for pride.”
Pageau got his 12th of the season by a shorthand to tie it at 3:52 in the first. He beat San Jose defender Erik Karlsson at the top of the net and hit with his forehand to beat Kahkonen.
“I saw a small opening there. I was just trying to get it online. I missed my first chance but I was glad the second went in,” Pageau said.
Palmieri gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead at 2:18 of the second with a nice deflection from Scott Mayfield’s shot from the point. It was Palmieri’s 12th.
The Islanders capitalized on their fourth power play of the night when Pulock hit a one-timer after the puck came off the boards and defeated high opposite Kahkonen with 5:24 of the middle section. It was Pulock’s fourth.
“I think that was pretty important for us. In the last few months, a month and a half, two months, we’ve won hockey games where we’ve been really good in the neutral zone. We were pretty solid defensively and that’s going to be attacking for us,” said Parise.
Parise deflected Alexander Romanov’s shot at 5:19 of the third. Parise now has 18 goals this season.
“I thought the fourth goal really demoralized us. I thought if we’re able to get the next one, suddenly it’s a 3-2 hockey game and then maybe the third third takes on a different meaning,” Sharks coach David Quinn said. “But, unfortunately, we could didn’t get that.”
PRIDE NIGHT IN THE TANK
Sharks goaltender James Reimer declined to attend the warm-up as San Jose hosted its annual Pride night. Reimer and the Haie released statements on the goalie’s decision not to wear the Rainbow Pride pre-match shirt.
“In this particular case, I am choosing not to support something that contradicts my personal beliefs, which are based on the Bible, the supreme authority in my life,” Reimer’s statement said.
The San Jose Sharks stated that they will continue to support the LGBTQIA+ community but recognize each player’s right to express their beliefs.
Islanders: host Toronto on Tuesday night.
Sharks: In Edmonton on Monday night.
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Source : abcnews.go.com