BUFFALO, NY — With a 3-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, the New York Islanders have now lost their last three games and seven of their past eight.
Despite the New York Islanders struggles, with just 1.63 goals per game over that span, the Pittsburgh Penguins have gone 3-5-2 over their last 10, allowing the Islanders to stay close in the standings. The two teams are tied in points with 51, with the Penguins having three more games in hand.
The way the Islanders have coughed up points lately has been extremely uncharacteristic. With all the struggles this season, blowing the lead was not one of them. But over the last five games, the Islanders have blown four leads, with three coming in the third period.
It’s been a frustrating stretch for New York, but they are doing what they can to ensure the frustration doesn’t carry over from one game to another.
“Frustration is a wasted emotion,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. “We are all grown men. We’re professionals, and we have to move on, and we’re in the business of being ready for the next game.”
The issue hasn’t been being ready for the next game. The Islanders have scored the first goal in four straight. It’s just been the closing part that has led to limited points.
“Have we gotten the results we’ve wanted lately? No. Are we as far back in the standings as we possibly could be? No either,” Matt Martin said. “So we’re still very much in the mix. But we definitely got to get going here and start stringing some wins together.”
Netminder Ilya Sorokin has done his part in giving his team a chance to win. He stopped 42 of 45 in the loss to the Sabres and just earned himself All-Star honors, thanks to the fan vote.
Over his last 13 starts since finding his game, Sorokin owns a 2.06 GAA with a .933 SV% with a GSAA of 11.53. He has just five wins with a record of 5-4-4. But even he isn’t frustrated.
“I don’t have frustration. Every day new game,” Sorokin said. “If you think too much, it’s not good for you and for your emotional stability.”