The New York Islanders will begin the 2023-24 season in a matter of weeks.
Before they do, let’s take one final look at last season, which was full of peaks and valleys.
Here, we’ll focus on the positive, highlighting the Islanders’s five biggest wins in 2022-23.
Nov. 23, vs. Edmonton:
The Islanders seemed unstoppable at times when Ilya Sorokin was in net. No game better exemplifies that than their victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thanksgiving Eve.
Sorokin captured his second shutout of the season against Connor McDavid and Co., making a career-high 49 saves–21 of which came in the third period.
If not for Sorokin’s stellar performance, Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s two goals would’ve been the story of the night. Pageau put the Islanders on the board with a short-handed goal early in the second period and then doubled down by scoring on the power play a few minutes later.
Sebastian Aho joined in on the fun by firing a quick wrist shot just under the glove of Edmonton goalie Jack Campbell to seal the 3-0 win.
Jan. 27 & 28, vs. Detroit and Vegas:
The new year started bleakly as the Islanders won just two of their first 13 contests in 2023.
Rather than folding and allowing their struggles to carry into the All-Star break, the Islanders earned two hard-fought victories over the Detroit Red Wings and Vegas Golden Knights on back-to-back nights.
The following night’s win didn’t come as easy, though. Lee scored his second goal in as many as many games, which William Carrier then matched to tie the game for Vegas.
With a little more than half a minute remaining in overtime, Mathew Barzal scored the game-winner to send the Islanders into the break with some much-needed momentum.
Feb. 7, vs. Seattle:
The boost the Islanders had going into the break was compounded when they returned to action with the newly acquired Bo Horvat on the roster.
In his game as an Islander at UBS Arena, Horvat sent the already raucous Long Island crowd into a frenzy by potting his first goal with his new team.
March 9, at Pittsburgh:
It was a must-see affair every time the Islanders faced the Penguins last year, but their final meeting was the signature game of the season.
Lee got the Islanders on the board first, but three straight goals by the Penguins had New York trailing entering the third period. In the game’s final minutes, Hudson Fasching cut the deficit to one before Lee tied the game with his second goal of the night.
In overtime, Sorokin stole the puck from Pittsburgh’s Rikard Raekell and then Nelson stole the game for the Islanders.
April 12, vs. Montreal:
The Islanders battled all season long to make the playoffs, but their postseason dreams looked crushed once they let a couple of games slip through their fingers down the stretch.
After the Penguins fell to the Chicago Blackhawks on April 11 in what was thought to be a certain win, the Islanders were gifted one last chance.
In the final game of the regular season, Nelson scored a pair of goals in a 4-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens that sent the Islanders back to the playoffs.