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New York Islanders

Islanders Have A Night To Forget In Worst Loss Of Season



AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Elmont, NY– Ilya Sorokin couldn’t remember the last time he played such an atrocious 20 minutes of hockey.

Surely, he and the rest of the New York Islanders will want to forget the six-goal second period they allowed against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night en route to their worst loss of the season:  a 7-0 blowout at UBS Arena.

“We didn’t stop the bleeding,” Anders Lee said. “We didn’t have the response that we needed. The way nights are going to go sometimes, they’re not going to always go your way. But the tenacity, the bite, what it takes to stop something like that, wasn’t there.”

There was no bite because the Islanders had no teeth. All told, whatever appetite they had was spoiled with a pair of quick goals by Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel.

The Islanders were already down 1-0 midway through the second, thanks to a goal from Rikard Rakell that survived a video review.

Then, when Guentzel positioned himself in front of Sorokin to deflect in a shot from Kris Letang to push the deficit to two, head coach Lane Lambert called a timeout in hopes of re-energizing his team.

But Lambert’s message to the players did not resonate.

Guentzel struck again coming out of the timeout, as he scored on a breakaway off the ensuing faceoff with a shot that beat Sorokin to the glove side.

“You don’t see that very often,” Lambert said. “What did I emphasize? We had to wake up. There was a lot of hockey game left. Clearly, it didn’t work this time.”

As demoralizing as Guentzel’s breakaway was, it wasn’t indicative of the Islanders’ biggest issue against Pittsburgh.

All night long, the Penguins had free parking in front of the Islanders’ net. Sorokin did his best to peak around the mass of bodies in his way, but Pittsbugh’s efforts up front led to four goals in their favor.

Sorokin finished the ugly period but not the game.

Lambert pulled his starter to begin the third after Sorokin had been left hung out to dry by the defense in front of him.

“We didn’t help Ilya out tonight,” Mathew Barzal said. “There were a lot of breakdowns and a lot of free pucks in front for them.”

The Islanders will want to put this game behind them as quickly as possible. Before they do that, they’ll first have to swallow it despite how much they hate the taste.

“We’re definitely gonna have to address something after tonight,” Barzal said. “It was a weird low in the second period that obviously cost us the game. [A performance in front of ] a sold-out rink like that tonight, in front of our fans, it’s unacceptable. We got a game in two days that we’ll be ready for.”

A loss of this magnitude can’t simply be locked away in a drawer, never to be spoken of again.

It’ll be referenced for a long time, as much as the Islanders may want to move on.




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