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New York Islanders

Better Effort From Islanders Not Good Enough Against Jets



Photo Courtesy of the Winnipeg Jets Twitter

All anyone wanted to know when it came to the New York Islanders on Tuesday was what their response would look like after losing without effort the night before.

But the somewhat unfortunate reality of facing the Winnipeg Jets is that any effort less than perfect isn’t enough. As good as the Islanders were at Canada Life Centre, they still lost 4-2 for their third loss in a row.

“Guys were working, and guys responded,” Anders Lee told media in Winnipeg. “Obviously, it wasn’t enough to get the job done tonight, but I think it’s a step in the right direction. When you’re facing adversity like this, that’s the way things go sometimes. You still got to continue to push through, and I thought we did a good job of that tonight.”

Lee had two goals for the Islanders.

After Gabriel Vilardi got the scoring going by deflecting a Josh Morrisey shot past a heavily screened Ilya Sorokin, Lee tied things up with a goal of a similar variety.

As an Islanders power play came to an end, Lee breezed through the sight line of Connor Hellebuyck, obstructing the goalie’s view just enough to tip in a shot from Mike Reilly.

Those goals proved vital for both sides, as the duel between two of last year’s Vezina Trophy finalists came as advertised in the second period.

Throughout the second period, Sorokin and Hellebuyck went back and forth, matching each other save for save. With how well they were playing, a stroke of luck was needed to break the tie.

With the Islanders playing shorthanded, a one-in-a-million shot from the point snapped the blade clean off Sorokin’s right skate. Unable to push across his crease, all Sorokin could do was helplessly watch as Neal Pionk hit the open goal to put Winnipeg ahead.

“It’s just unfortunate,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. We’ve had a couple of interesting goals on this trip. When you’re fighting a little bit or struggling a little bit, sometimes these things happen.”

That bad break seemed to break something within the Islanders, as their play became frantic in the final two minutes of the period.

After Mason Appleton stripped the puck away from Adam Pelech and neatly tucked it between Sorokin’s left pad and the goal post, the Islanders went into the intermission trailing 3-1.

The break in the action couldn’t come fast enough for the Islanders and turned out to be just what they needed.

Thirty-five seconds into the third, Lee stood below the goal line as he took a sharp-angle shot that found a hole through Hellebuyck for his second goal of the night and 13th this season.

That at least made things interesting in the third, but that’s as good as it would get for the Islanders.

Noah Dobson took an unnecessary tripping penalty with 4:20 left to play, forcing the Islanders to waste valuable time on their fifth kill of the game.

“Penalties totally disrupt the flow,” Lambert said. “We’ve got to stay out of the box.”

Lambert pulled Sorokin as soon as Dobson was out of the box, giving the Islanders a six-on-five man advantage.

With the net empty, Kyle Connor padded Winnipeg’s lead as he scored in his first game back after a more than five-week absence.

The loss in Winnipeg means the Islanders will officially return from this road trip with a losing record as their overall record drops to 19-15-10.

“We had an opportunity to redeem ourselves,” Kyle Palmieri said. “It didn’t show up with the two points tonight, but I thought we competed hard, and I thought we battled. Sometimes, it just doesn’t go your way, but it’s at least something to build on for the last game of the trip.”

The trip that can’t end soon enough concludes on Friday in Chicago

Notes: Before the start of the game, the Islanders announced that forward Pierre Engvall would be out of the lineup while he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.




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