Even with a change of setting, the New York Islanders couldn’t overcome the Washington Capitals.
Daniel Sprong scored on Washington’s first shot of the game and that was enough to sink the Islanders, 1-0, on Tuesday night in D.C.
The Islanders have now lost three straight games and have been shut out in two of those contests.
“Any time you lost a game you’re not as happy with everybody, I’m sure,” Barry Trotz said. “They scored an early goal, which [was] very preventable. We over-skated a puck and gave up the inside and they scored real early. [Washington] did a good job. We gotta deliver the puck to the net a few times.
“A 1-0 loss against a very good team is not what you want, but it’s not coming real easy right now.”
So what exactly went awry in this one? Let’s investigate further.
The early goal hurts Islanders again
In their last loss, the Islanders allowed the first Washington shot to go in on a soft goal from the boards from Garnet Hathaway.
In this loss, it was the same situation but this time the goal came from Sprong and poor defense.
🔝🧀 goes Daniel Sprong. pic.twitter.com/wwezz3An4V
— NHL (@NHL) April 27, 2021
Sprong, as Trotz said, got inside position and skated toward the net and wristed a shot high over Ilya Sorokin’s glove for the the game’s lone goal. Sprong’s been a bit of an Islanders killer this year, scoring the game-winner last time out and having five goals overall against New York this year.
New lines, similar results
Josh Bailey jumped to the first line, Oliver Wahlstrom joined the lineup again as Leo Komarov took a seat and the former New Jersey Devils played alongside Brock Nelson.
The changes looked to bolster the offense that has been anemic of late but not much changed results-wise. Obviously they were shut out, but the Islanders also didn’t generate much to even get on the scoreboard.
They were outshot 33-18 and the shot attempts were completely lopsided in Washington’s favor. For the game, the Islanders had just a 33 percent Corsi For at 5-on-5, which is a paltry total. There have been games where they’ve been out-attempted but at least get a fair number of Grade-A chances. That was not the case Tuesday.
At 5-on-5, Washington had 20 high danger chances while the Islanders had just four. Overall, it was 20-11. Bailey with Jordan Eberle and Mathew Barzal actually played well together with almost 58 percent of the chances when they were on the ice together. The second and third lines, however, were thoroughly out played from beginning to end.
“This was a hard game, I’m going to have to rewatch this game,” Trotz said. “We had a few moments, even in the second period we had a couple of long shifts. [Washington] didn’t really get anything. … Our battle to get to the interior, even offensively, will help us.”
Sorokin keeps Isles in it
There wasn’t a lot to like from the skaters out there, but Ilya Sorokin did his part to keep the Islanders in it. He made all the stops after the first goal of the game to end the night with 32 saves. It was the fourth time in his rookie season that he’s saved at least 30 shots.
It was a solid bounce back effort after he yielded six goals in the previous loss.
“I thought he was great, thought he was confident,” Andy Greene said of Sorokin. “He rebounded really well. That’s a tough thing when you give up one early like that, but I thought he did a great job settling in, playing the game and going from there.”
The Islanders head to Madison Square Garden on Thursday night at 7 p.m.