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Rapid React: Islanders Slump Hits Woeful 11 Despite Comeback vs. Hawks

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New York Islanders

ELMONT, N.Y. — The New York Islanders losing streak was extended to 11 games on Sunday as they fell to the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in the shootout at UBS Arena. The Islanders dropped to 5-10-5 and are 0-8-3 over their current slump,but did show some fight in their latest loss.

How it Happened: Patrick Kane’s lone shootout goal served as the winner as the Islanders suffered another loss despite a late-game comeback that forced overtime and looked as if they were going to end their current slump.

Kane snuck his shot over the glove of Semyon Varlamov and just under the crossbar. Anthony Beauvillier’s chance right after was denied by Marc-Andre Fleury.

The Islanders managed to fight back in the closing seconds of the third period. As the seconds ticked away, Noah Dobson took a pass in the high slot from Mathew Barzal and fired the puck at the net to even the game at 2 with 2.3 seconds left in the game.

The Chicago Blackhawks took an early lead over the New York Islanders at the 6:49 mark of the first. Chicago capitalized on an ill-timed penalty by Scott Mayfield. Brandon Hagel was able to deflect a shot in front of the net on the ensuing power play and put Chicago ahead by one.

The Islanders answered back with a power-play goal of their own just over eight minutes into the second period. Sebastian Aho took a shot from the blue line and Jean-Gabriel Pageau was able to redirect the puck from the slot to tie the game at one. The goal was Pageau’s first since Nov. 4 against Montreal.

A lack of urgency by New York allowed a loose puck in front of the net to become a goal and give Chicago back the lead thanks to Dylan Strome.

With three Islanders defenders focused on Alex DeBrincat, no one picked up Strome. Sebastian Aho poked the puck away from DeBrincat, but it slid right over to an undefended Strome for the easy goal at 5:59 of the third period.

Second Point Remains Elusive: The New York Islanders haven’t been able to come away with a second point all season when it’s come to extra time. The Islanders have now dropped all five games that have gone beyond regulation.

Sunday marked the first time since Oct. 30 that the Islanders had been able to make it to a shootout. All three Islanders shooters were denied in the shootout when they had chances.

Head coach Barry Trotz tapped Oliver Wahlstrom, Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier to take park in the shootout.

Goaltending Wasn’t an Issue: If you’re looking for good news then perhaps the performance of Semyon Varlamov will fit that. The New York Islanders starter made 24 saves in the loss and gave New York every much a chance to win as his counterpart, Ilya Sorokin, has in the past as well.

Varlamov was tested with a number of scoring chances throughout the game, but he held strong. Aside from the lone power-play goal he gave up in the first period, Varlamov was the Islanders’ best penalty killer all night. He made an impressive sequence of saves during Scott Mayfield’s second penalty of the game in the second period.

Power Play Starting to Turn?: The New York Islanders have had a power-play goal in two consecutive games that have come and opportune times that helped them pick up a point. That’s not to say the power play has been perfect, but considering where it has been at points this season the last few games have been a big improvement from where it was.

Up Next: The New York Islanders travel to Ottawa to take on the Senators on Tuesday night.

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