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New York Islanders

Islanders Shutout In Ugly Loss To Devils

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AP Photo/Noah K. Murray

ELMONT, NY– The New York Islanders have suffered worse losses this season, but none quite so ugly. 

After snapping a six-game losing streak 24 hours ago, the Islanders fell back into their tried-and-true bad habits Sunday evening in a 4-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils at UBS Arena, where Kaapo Kahkonen stopped all 36 shots he faced in goal for New Jersey. 

“It didn’t feel like we had the same jump,” Brock Nelson said. “I think we did a few good things, but not the same as yesterday, where we snowballed and really kind of used it and really controlled it.”

New Jersey grabbed a 1-0 lead 38 seconds into the second period, as Timo Meier took advantage of a five-on-three power play for the Devils by tapping in a backdoor pass from Jack Hughes for the opening tally.

Things began to get ugly when Hughes scored a goal of his own after Kyle Palmieri collided with teammates Noah Dobson and Bo Horvat near center ice, resulting in a 2-0 Devils advantage and the latest entry into the NHL blooper reel.

“We started the second on a five-on-three and gave up a goal. That’s going to happen. That’s where you have to find your best, right after that goal,” Ryan Pulock said. “We weren’t able to do that.”

Alexander Holtz gave the Devils a 3-0 lead entering the third period, where they continued to hold the Islanders’ offense in check.

The Islanders had several opportunities to put a puck past Kahkonen but failed to score on any of their nine high-danger scoring chances or five power plays in the game. Palmieri seemed to put the Islanders on the board in the third period, but the power play goal was instantly waived off for a hand pass. 

Meanwhile, Ilya Sorokin continued his struggles of late in goal for the Islanders. He was spared from having to stop Chris Tierney’s shot into an empty net that third that locked in the final score at 15:53 of the third period. Sorokin finished the game with 26 saves on 29 shots for his sixth straight loss. 

As for the Islanders as a whole, they’ve dropped six of their last seven contests. Four points back of the final wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference, they remain on the fringes of the playoff picture with 11 games remaining on their schedule. 

“It’s f–ing brutal,” Palmieri said. “There’s no other way to really put it. It just wasn’t good enough on our end.”

It’s unclear at this point how many games Islanders captain Anders Lee will be available for. Lee was assessed a game misconduct for delivering a knee-on-knee hit to Devils captain Nico Hischier at 16:48 of the second period, sparking a melee between him and Meier, which resulted in a combined 24 minutes worth of penalties between the two. 

“I was more worried about trying to score goals and getting back into that game than watching the penalty,” Islanders coach Patrick Roy said of the hit. “I’m going to have to take the time to look at it frame by frame and really look at it before making any comments.”

Lee was not available to address the media following the game. 

The Islanders begin a three-game road trip Thursday evening in Sunrise, Florida, against the Florida Panthers. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.

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