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New York Islanders

Islanders Sing Same Sad Song In Fifth Straight Loss



AP Photo/Adam Hunger

ELMONT, NY– The DJ at UBS Arena tried all he could on Tuesday night.

He played your prototypical stadium rock anthems as well as sing-along favorites such as Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” and ABBA’s “Dancing Queen.”

However, the more appropriate soundtrack would’ve been Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence,” as the New York Islanders fell 4-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes for their fifth loss in a row.

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The day didn’t start well for Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin after head coach Patrick Roy called out his recent performance prior to the start of the game.

“I’m not 100% pleased with [his play],” Roy said after the team’s morning skate. “It’s obvious, and I’m sure he’s not [pleased with] himself.”

Circumstances only got worse for Sorokin once the game began.

After the Islanders started the evening with the type of energy that’s eluded them in recent matchups, Sorokin gave up a soft goal to Hurricanes forward Seth Jarvis at 12:48 of the first period.

Locked up in battle with Jean-Gabriel Pageau in front of the Islanders’ net, Jarvis gained control of the puck and immediately tucked it through the legs of a crouching Sorokin. Jarvis made it 2-0 when he struck again off the rush for his 25th goal of the year.

At that point, it still felt as if the Islanders had a fighter’s chance–or at least they did until Martin Necas punched a shot past Sorokin on the power play with 1.1 seconds remaining in the first period.

Despite the less-than-sellout crowd, the boos that serenaded the Islanders while they headed to their dressing room for the first intermission were deafening.

“The loss is no good. That’s all I can say,” said Sorokin, who added he hadn’t seen or heard Roy’s comments from before the game.

But as the teams returned for the second period, the acoustics had changed. Instead of bellowing their displeasure, the crowd could barely muster anything more than an apathetic murmur as the Islanders spent the majority of the middle frame chasing the Hurricanes and their own tails in the defensive end.

With a little less than seven minutes elapsed in the second period, Carolina held a 24-9 advantage in shots on goal. The Islanders closed that gap as they began to show signs of life in the period’s latter stages, helping Sorokin hold the score in place at 3-0.

“I was very happy with the way he bounced back,” Roy said of Sorokin. “That’s what we wanted to see. I thought that after the third goal, he came back strong.”

Kyle Palmieri got the Islanders on the board at 4:30 of the third period, cleaning up a loose puck for his 22nd goal of the season with assists from Brock Nelson and Bo Horvat.

Still, that was the lone goal the Islanders had against Hurricanes goalie Pyotr Kochetkov, who stopped 30 of 31 shots that came his way.

Sorokin made 31 saves on 34 shots in goal for the Islanders and was spared from having to stop Jake Guentzel’s shot, which hit the empty net to lock in the final score.

With their record falling to 29-24-15, the Islanders remain out of the playoff picture, sitting five points back of the Philadelphia Flyers for third place in the Metropolitan Division and three back of the Detroit Red Wings for the final wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Islanders will face the Red Wings in Detroit on Thursday in a game that will, in all likelihood, decide their fate this season.

Maybe by then, the Islanders will change their tune because they’re beginning to sound like a broken record.

“Obviously, we’ve run out of words to say,” Matt Martin said. “We just got to start finding ways to win and dig in a little deeper here and just scratch some wins together. Obviously, this thing is tight, and no one is really pulling away, which is a positive, but we need to get it in gear.”

Notes: Pierre Engvall was a late scratch from the Islanders’ lineup against the Hurricanes. It’s the third time this season Engvall has been made a healthy scratch and the first time under Roy. ” I wasn’t too happy about this play lately,” Roy said. “Sometimes, just having a night off, watching the game from upstairs, it’s something that someone needs.”




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