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Instant Islanders: Losing Streak Hits Six Games In Horvat’s Return To Vancouver

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The New York Islanders season-long losing streak reached an even six games on Wednesday night in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. In four tries, the Islanders remain winless in games that have reached the extra frame this year.

Canucks captain Quinn Hughes snuck in behind the Islanders’ defense and sniped a shot over the blocker of Ilya Sorokin at 2:36 of the overtime period for the game-winning goal.

Sorokin made 39 saves on 43 shots, with three of the four goals he surrendered coming while the Islanders were shorthanded.

Penalties Kill:

Just as they have so many times before, undisciplined penalties doomed the Islanders against the Canucks.

The Islanders penalty kill struggled against Vancouver’s vaunted power-play, allowing three goals on six shorthanded chances.

Protecting a one-goal lead in the third, Noah Dobson and Jean-Gabriel Pageau both took minor penalties on the same shift, forcing the Islanders into a five-on-three situation. Overworked and stretched thin, the Islanders shorthanded unit held strong for as long as it could until Filip Hronek scored with 15 seconds left in the kill.

Vancouver also scored two power-play goals in the second period as J.T. Miller got the Canucks on the board while Cal Clutterbuck served a two-minute minor for boarding, and Brock Boeser capitalized off an interference penalty from Dobson.

The Islanders penalty kill now ranks 24th in the NHL

Rollercoaster Night For Horvat :

This game was already highly anticipated, with it being Bo Horvat’s first time back in Vancouver since he was traded to the Islanders last January.

The emotion inside Rogers Arena was palpable, and Horvat wasn’t afraid to show it himself.

Canucks fans initially didn’t give their former captain the warmest of welcomes as they booed Horvat from the opening faceoff. However, they later gave him a standing ovation when it came time for his video tribute, bringing Horvat to the verge of tears.

Horvat’s mood soon swung from sentimental to elated when he gave the Islanders a 3-1 lead with his fifth goal of the season at 8:33 of the second period.

Standing at the right faceoff dot, Horvat played a quick game of catch with Mathew Barzal before firing a one-timer that leaked through Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko.

The Vancouver netminder stopped 30 of 33 shots.

Power Play Wakes Up:

The Islanders jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period off a pair of power-play goals.

Pierre Engvall scored his first goal of the season at 7:30 into the first, set up by passes from Oliver Wahlstrom and Sebastian Aho.

A minute and 22 seconds later, Brock Nelson doubled down with assists from Dobson and Barzal.

Wednesday night was the first time the Islanders scored multiple power-play goals in a game since their last visit to Vancouver back on Feb. 9 of last season.

Third Line Asleep:

Throughout this season, the Islanders have struggled to find the right combination on their third line. At this point, it’s fair to say the trio Pageau, Wahlstrom and Anders Lee isn’t the one.

According to Natural Stat Trick, the Islanders’ third line was on the wrong end of a 24-3 Corsi split against Vancouver.

They allowed 12 scoring chances to the Canucks while generating just one for themselves.

Next Up:

The Islanders will have to recover from their seventh loss in their last eight games quickly as they have a match with the Seattle Kraken on Thursday night at Climate Pledge Arena.

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