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Islanders Takeaways: Lambert Says Missed Calls Led To Road Trip’s Disappointing End

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Screenshot courtesy of the New York Islanders

The New York Islanders lost to the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday night by a final of 5-2 at T-Mobile Arena.

Mathew Barzal and Matt Martin each scored for the Islanders. Jack Eichel and Nicholas Roy both had two goals for the Golden Knights to go along with one from Pavel Dorofeyev.

Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin stopped 24 of 29 shots. On the other end, Logan Thompson saved 28 of 30.

But that’s just the box score. Here are the key takeaways from the night that was in Vegas.

Lambert Displeased With Officiating:

Head coach Lane Lambert was visibly displeased with the officiating while on the bench during the game and wasn’t shy about sharing his thoughts afterward.

When Roy scored at 18:41 of the second to put Vegas ahead 3-1, Lambert felt there was irrefutable evidence of goaltender interference on the play from Keegan Kolesar.

“We saw his foot in the blue paint, and we saw Ilya’s mask up against his body,” Lambert said. “It was the right call for us to challenge that.”

The officials felt otherwise. For the failed challenge, the Islanders were hit with a bench minor for delay of game. Eichel scored on the ensuing power play to open the third period.

Later in the game, a pair of Golden Knights drove Matt Martin into the boards. With Martin slow to get up, Lambert thought there should’ve, at the very least, been a minor penalty called for boarding. Once again, there was a difference in opinion between him and the officials, as no call was made.

“I don’t think Marty’s back was facing them the entire time,” Lambert said. “Sometimes, a player turns into it, and he’s responsible. But I don’t think that Matt Martin, in that particular situation, turned his back on anybody. I think it was clear that it was turned right from the get-go.”

Wasted Scoring Chances:

Despite the final score saying otherwise, scoring chances were practically even between the Islanders and Golden Knights. The only difference was that Vegas made the most of theirs.

To make it all the more frustrating for the Islanders, their chances were arguably better.

Early in the second, Samuel Bolduc sent Kyle Palmieri a long stretch pass to set up a breakaway. But instead of making a move, or even making Thompson think he was going to make a move, Palmieri bailed out the Vegas netminder and shot the puck directly into his glove.

Later in the period, Anders Lee blocked a shot in the defensive end, creating a two-on-one chance for him and Bo Horvat. Off Horvat’s setup, Lee drove a shot toward the goal that looked destined to find twine. Instead, it hit iron.

Deathly Turnovers In D-Zone:

The Islanders did a solid job of creating their own scoring chances and ones for the Golden Knights as well.

“We could do a better job communicating and executing coming out of the zone,” Martin said. “Against a team like that, once you turn the puck over, they can hang on to it for a while and make some plays and be pretty threatening.”

In total, Vegas had 11 takeaways in the game, and they all seemed to come from the same place.

“The breakdowns tonight happened in the second period when we got extended, and guys are pretty tired,” Martin said. “We’re not able to get full changes because we’re just getting the puck to the neutral zone, so only one guy is coming out at a time. Then it’s harder to execute and break out cleanly.”

Coming Home Empty Handed:

The loss on Saturday puts an end to the Islanders’ four-game road trip.

With stops in Pittsburgh, Colorado, Arizona, and finally, Vegas, there wasn’t a game on the trip that the Islanders didn’t have a chance of winning. Nevertheless, they’ll return home with a mere three points and a disappointing 1-2-1 record from their week-long journey.

“We would’ve liked to have gotten tonight,” Barzal said. “I thought Pittsburgh, we probably could’ve got that one. There are little stretches during the season where it doesn’t go your way, and you just got to bounce back. It’s been a long road trip, so we’re looking forward to getting home.”

Up Next:

The Islanders will briefly return home for a pair of games against the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs. By this time next week, they’ll be back on the road again for another lengthy trip.

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