LAS VEGAS — Ilya Sorokin made 42 saves, Josh Bailey and Matthew Barzal scored and the New York Islanders beat the Vegas Golden Knights 2-0 Sunday night.
The Islanders recorded consecutive road shutouts after blanking Arizona 3-0 on Saturday. The Islanders improved to 22-4-4 on the back end of back-to-back games under coach Barry Trotz, who took over in 2018.
Sorokin, who has started all six games for the Islanders, improved to 3-2-1. It was the first time Sorokin ever started in net on back-to-back games.
“In typical (Sorokin) fashion, I thought he was really dialed in,” Trotz said.
New York has played its first six games on the road, part of a season-opening 13-game road trip while the team awaits the opening of its new home, UBS Arena.
“People forget we had six preseason games on the road, we’ve been grinding through that,” Trotz said. “A long road trip, which we got off to a tough start and we’ve had to piece it together. It’s hard getting the wheels turning sometimes. You gotta get through the grind.”
And while the Islanders are grinding through a brutal stretch of road games, the Golden Knights are battling the injury bug. Ten players have missed at least one game through Vegas’ first five games, including its top-line forwards Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty.
“It is what it is,” Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said. “It’s not easy, but you have to look at the bright side, and the bright side is it’s an opportunity for guys to jump into roles maybe they haven’t had, opportunities for young guys to step in, opportunities for us to really test the depth of the organization.
“While those things are great, we still have to find a way to win games.”
Vegas goaltender Robin Lehner (1-4-0) made 24 saves in his fifth straight start, matching the most consecutive starts he’s had since joining the Golden Knights. Lehner last started five straight during the 2020 playoffs, spanning series against Chicago and Vancouver.
Vegas has been outscored 16-6 during a four-game losing streak and is now tied with four other teams for the third-fewest goals-for per game (2.00).
Las Vegas hadn’t lost four consecutive games in regulation since Jan. 7-14, 2020. Former coach Gerard Gallant was fired the next day and replaced by current coach Peter DeBoer.
The Golden Knights failed to capitalize on two power-play attempts and are now 0 for 11 with a man advantage this season. They’re the only team without a power-play goal this season. Vegas’ long-term power-play drought is now 0 for 27 dating to June 6, which was Game 4 of the second round of last year’s playoffs.
Looking like anything but a team that was playing the second of back-to-back nights, let alone its sixth in 11 days, the Islanders came out fluid and active, striking first, a little more than two minutes into the game.
After Jean-Gabriel Pageau sent a shot from the slot, Lehner made the initial save with his pad before falling flat on his stomach and unable to recover in time for the rebound, which Bailey was able to bury and give the Islanders a 1-0 lead.
Barzal made it 2-0 midway through the third period with a shot over Lehner’s left shoulder from a steep angle.
“Tail-end of a back-to-back, on a long trip, I think getting off to a quick start and getting the lead is certainly a good thing,” Bailey said.
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