ELMONT, NY–The New York Islanders were anything but stellar in their 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild. Still, through two periods of play, thanks to Ilya Sorokin’s brilliance, the Islanders had a lead entering the third period. The Islanders could have stolen a win and snapped their three-game slide with respectable play in the final frame.
But their third period showcased more of what we saw through the first forty, and their mistakes were too much for Ilya Sorokin.
The Islanders allowed two goals in a 1:33 span, and that was the game. Their lack of offensive production continued to put too much pressure on the defense and goaltending, and it’s a difficult league when that’s the case on a nightly basis.
“We beat ourselves in the third. We gave them too many opportunities that they capitalized on,” New York Islanders captain Anders Lee said. “Until that point, it was a solid game, but you got to find a way.”
With the loss, the Islanders now have scored just three goals over their last three games and 14 over their previous seven. Keep in mind that one of those games, the Islanders put up a six spot so to say they have averaged two goals per game over that span is a bit misleading.
In the 3-1 loss to Minnesota, the Islanders had their chances, but they missed the net 12 times and had sixteen shots blocked. The missed shots have been a theme as the losses have piled up.
“It’s not good enough,” Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson said. “We got to find the back of the net.”
Another issue in the contest was the number of turnovers, with the Islanders giving the puck up 23 times. Mathew Barzal had five, the same number as the Minnesota Wild.
“I think just a little careless with the puck at times coming out of our own zone especially,” Dobson said. “Good team over there, so if you’re going to give them free pucks like that, they’re dangerous.”
“We just shot ourselves in the foot a little bit too much tonight,” Lee said.
“We just got to be available for each other and do the best we can to move pucks out of the zone through the neutral zone and get in there,” Scott Mayfield said. “Turnovers are going to happen. You just got to clean them up a little bit better than that tonight.”
What tends to happen with turnovers is penalties and the Islanders took three.
“We’re in the box too much tonight. One of those nights where every little thing we did, we were getting called for,” Lee said. “Our killers had a great game and killed them off. Sorokin played phenomenal.”
Islanders head coach Lane Lambert described the loss with the phrase, “that one stings.”
“We aren’t happy with the results. I thought we played well last game, and we were fine for the majority of the game tonight. I thought our penalty killing did an outstanding job. Our power play generated chances had some looks, and we just didn’t put the puck in the net. And we made a couple of mistakes, and right now, the way things are going, these mistakes are costing us.”