The Islanders were productive in the limited time they were able to play five-on-five hockey.
“Five-on-five was probably in the first period,” Anders Lee said. “Our sticks were just unlucky at times, just catching skates, catching faces. Our [penalty] killers were great. Phenomenal. And then [Ilya] Sorokin was phenomenal.”
They ceded eight power-play chances to the Senators, who could only take advantage once.
So the Islanders were able to snap a three-game losing streak with a 3-2 win on Thursday night at UBS Arena, a match that featured a scary second-period scene as the Senators’ Erik Brannstrom was carted off on a stretcher after an apparent head or neck injury.
“I kept playing and I turned around and everyone was yelling,” said Cal Clutterbuck, who lifted Brannstrom off the ice with a clean check to the chest as the defenseman’s legs went above his head and then his head slammed to the ice before he lay motionless at 8:43 with both teams gathered around and the arena silent.
“You just hate to see it. I’m sick to my stomach about it. I was then and I still am now.”
The Senators reported Brannstrom was alert and had the use of his extremities as he was transported to a hospital for further evaluation.
Sorokin stopped 45 shots for the Islanders (3-2-1) while Joonas Korpisalo made 35 saves.
Defenseman Noah Dobson’s one-timer slap shot from the right point off Mathew Barzal’s drop pass off the rush put the Islanders ahead 3-2 at 6:45 of the third, a period they started by killing a four-on-three power play
“We had a lot of stick infractions,” coach Lane Lambert said. “We gave up situations, put ourselves in bad spots where we had to finish checks. I think they’re more than preventable.”
The Islanders were whistled for six minor penalties in the second period after taking a 2-0 lead in the first.
“We just have to stay out of the box,” Bo Horvat said. “We were rolling so good in the first period and we just kind of lost that momentum a little bit. We’ve got to work on that. I was proud of the way our penalty kill battled through it. And Sorokin. Sorokie was unbelievable again tonight.”
The Senators (3-4-0), who have lost three straight, took 16 power-play shots and closed the gap to 2-1 on Claude Giroux’s four-on-three goal from the left point at 6:52 of the second. Defenseman Jakob Chychrun made it 2-2 at 12:25 of the second period with a shot through traffic from the right point.
The Islanders took their first two-goal lead since the season opener as Clutterbuck notched a goal in his second straight game at 13:05 of the first period.
Horvat won an offensive-zone faceoff and then knocked in the rebound of Dobson’s shot for a power-play goal to make it 1-0 at 2:40 of the first period.