Scott Wedgewood, Devils blank Islanders

Jan 24, 2021; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) makes a save on New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac (19) during the first period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Scott Wedgewood stopped all 28 shots he faced in his first NHL shutout in more than three years Sunday night, when the New Jersey Devils scored twice late in the first period of a 2-0 win over the visiting New York Islanders in Newark, N.J.

Wedgewood’s gem came in just his second NHL start since February 2018. He made an emergency start and took the loss against the Islanders Thursday, when starting goalie Mackenzie Blackwood was placed on the NHL’s COVID Protocol list about two hours before faceoff.

The shutout was Wedgewood’s third in the NHL and his first since Dec. 2, 2017, when he recorded 27 saves in the Arizona Coyotes’ 5-0 win over the Devils.

Jack Hughes and Pavel Zacha scored for the Devils. Rookie defenseman Ty Smith had an assist on both goals and has a point in each of his first five NHL games, one game shy of tying Marek Zidlicky’s NHL record for the longest career-opening point streak by a defenseman.

Rookie Ilya Sorokin recorded 22 saves for the Islanders in his second NHL start.

The Devils scored two goals two minutes apart late in the first period.

A hooking penalty on the Islanders’ Scott Mayfield set up the goal by Hughes with three minutes left. The shot by Hughes sailed beyond the extended stick of New York defenseman Ryan Pulock and over the shoulder of Sorokin, who was screened by New Jersey left winger Miles Wood.

The Devils doubled the lead with 59.9 seconds left, when Zacha swooped in and tucked home the rebound of a shot by Nikita Gusev.

The Islanders had just six shots in the second period before they outshot the Devils 12-4 in the third. Wedgewood turned back a pair of flurries just before and after the midway point of the period, first by smothering a rebound attempt by Michael Dal Colle with 10:13 left and then by turning back a pair of shots by Nick Leddy, the last with 9:40 remaining. New York had an empty power play late in the third and didn’t generate any serious threats after Sorokin was pulled with just over two minutes left.

–Field Level Media