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Rapid Reaction: Islanders Offense Doesn’t Come Through in Loss to Tampa

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New York Islanders

The New York Islanders dropped their third game in a row on Monday night in a 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. New York falls to 5-5-2 on the season and Semyon Varlamov recorded his second loss of the year in net.

How it Happened: The New York Islanders led for 23 seconds in the first period before their sloppy play cost them. It was a turnover by Sebastian Aho in the Islanders end that put the puck right on the stick of Mathieu Joseph. The Tampa forward was able to then fire the puck by Varlamov to even the score at one at the 3:16 mark of the opening frame.

Tampa Bay took the lead in the closing minutes of the first period. The Islanders survived a Tampa Power play, but with the puck still in the New York end, Tampa Bay continued its attack. After Varlamov made an initial stop the rebound went into the slot and Anthony Cirelli was able to put the loose puck into the back of the net with 37.3 seconds left on the clock.

Brayden Point added the third goal of the night for Tampa Bay at the 13:28 mark of the third and Steven Stamkos made it 4-1.

The Islanders’ only goal of the night came off Tampa Turnover in the Isles’ end. Zach Parise was able to pick off a soft pass  and spring Mathew Barzal for a breakaway. The Islanders star backhanded the puck past Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Wahlstrom in the Dog House?: One of the New York Islanders most consistent shooters found himself riding the bench for most of the night on Monday. He played just 8:31 in the 4-1 loss and had a single shot on goal.

Wahlstrom’s limited playing time appeared to indicate some sort of displeasure from Barry Trotz over Wahlstrom’s game. The young forward did have a bad giveaway at the New York blue line in the first period that allowed Tampa Bay a scoring chance. Andy Greene was fortunate enough to break it up before it could cost the Islanders.

“Wahlly was a guy that if you looked the last couple of games that…there was a ton of mistakes that he needs to clean up,” Trotz said after the loss. “If you remember last year Wahlly was having all the success when he talked about really enjoying the details of the game. Not necessarily about scoring and he was scoring. Now he’s forgotten some of his details in the last little while and it hasn’t been real pretty.

“There are just obvious things that should not happen. He was a guy that might not have been in if Casey wasn’t out, but Casey was out so he got an opportunity to get in there. He was much better today, but his minutes were down.”

Still, New York’s offense has struggled during their recent stretch of games and limiting one of your best offensive weapons seemed to go against the Islanders than for them. The Islanders managed 26 shots on net and 21 scoring chances 5-on-5, according to Natural Stat Trick.

Power(less) Play Strikes Again: The New York Islanders constant issues on the man-advantage have been well documented, but it can’t go without being talked about, especially after another loss. New York went 0-for-3 on the power play on Monday and generated very few scoring chances against Tampa Bay.

In fact, the Islanders generated just four scoring chances and only one of them was high danger.

“That’s been a point of emphasis,” Josh Bailey said about the power play. “We’ve been working on it, talking about it and we just have to stick with it. Stick together. You’re going to go through stretches like this through the course of a season and you just really have to hang in there as a group.”

Tampa Bay had a pair of shorthanded scoring chances on the Islanders’ second power play of the night that forced Varlamov to make a couple of stops. They are now 0-for-11 over their last five games.

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Where’s the Offense?: The New York Islanders didn’t have an answer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who blew the doors open in the third period to put the game out of reach. The Islanders have now scored just three goals over their last three games while allowing 13 goals against in that same span. Monday marked the seventh time in the first 12 games of the season that the Islanders allowed three or more goals in a game.

“We’re working for those (scoring) chances, they’re not going in right now and it’s one of those stretches that can lead to some frustration,” Anders Lee said. “Right now we just have to find a way to stick together, stick to it and eliminate some of the mistakes on the other end. When things aren’t going in easily we have to be that much better at the other side of it and give ourselves a chance in other ways.

“Pull together here and just do our best to figure this out. It’s been a tough stretch here.”

Up Next: The New York Islanders wrap up their 13-game road trip in Sunrise for a meeting with the Florida Panthers at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

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