ELMONT, N.Y. — The New York Islanders four-game point streak ended on Thursday with a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to the Nashville Predators. New York’s record dropped to 6-11-5 on the season and still have yet to win a game at UBS Arena.
How it Happened: A more heartbreaking loss couldn’t have been choreographed if anyone tried. The New York Islanders were seconds away from picking a point in their fifth consecutive game and possibly picking up their first win in their new building.
Roman Josi fired a puck from the point that redirected off of Eeli Tolvanen and past Semyon Varlamov with 11.5 seconds left in the game. The goal served as the game-winner with New York not finding an answer in the closing seconds.
It capped a rough ending to a third period that the Islanders had led at one point. Noah Dobson gave the Islanders back the lead in the opening minutes of the third period when he ripped a shot from the blue line that found the back of the net. The goal was his second in three games and third point in his last four contests.
The Islanders’ lead disappeared late in the game when Yakov Trenin, who dropped the gloves earlier in the night with Zdeno Chara, was able to sneak one by Varlamov with 7:29 left on the clock.
New York struck first on Thursday night with a goal from Austin Czarnik 6:48 into the game. Kieffer Bellows was able to send the puck across the ice to Czarnik, who beat Nashville starter David Rittlich on his glove side. The lead didn’t last, with Nashville swinging the momentum late in the period.
First, Sebastian Aho coughed up the puck at his own blue line which allowed Nashville to attack. Ryan Johanson had the easy tap-in goal at 17:28 of the first. Nashville took the lead just over a minute later after Semyon Varlamov stopped a shot from the point by Tanner Jeannot, but Colton Sissons was there to put the puck back for a rebound goal and a 2-1 lead.
New York evened the score in the second period less than two minutes in. An early Nashville penalty put the Islanders on the power play and Anders Lee picked up his seventh goal of the season when he put a loose puck past Rittlich from down low.
Bad Decision Leads to Winning Goal: The decision to blindly rim the puck around the boards will be one that haunts Noah Dobson. The defenseman, who has taken great strides in the past few games, made the mistake that led to Nashville’s winning goal. Ryan Johansen was right there waiting for the puck and he was able to quickly push it to the point for the winning goal.
It was one of the only mistakes by Dobson, who had been playing a strong game and looked as though he was going to be the hero when he scored early in the third period to give New York a one-goal lead. The play of Noah Dobson has come a long way in the four previous games as he played with more confidence and was playing well on both sides of the puck.
A Not So Happy Home: The New York Islanders have played seven games at home this season now and they have yet to pick up a win in their new barn. Thursday was the closest they’ve come with a lead in the third period before it was erased in the final 10 minutes.
The Islanders are one more loss away from tying the team record for the longest home losing streak. The current record is eight, which was set during the 2013-14 season when the Isles failed to win at home from Nov. 27 to Dec. 28.
Offense is Showing Up: The New York Islanders had struggled to find offense during their 11-game skid, but for everything that went wrong on Thursday the offense was there. The Islanders registered three goals, marking the second consecutive game that they have scored three or more times in a single contest.
The Islanders have found the back of the net three or more times in three of their last four games as well. And captain Anders Lee has three goals in his last two games.
Quotables: Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Adam Pelech, Austin Czarnik and Barry Trotz addressed the media after the 4-3 loss.
“It’s a tough one to swallow. Give ourselves a lead in the third period and we weren’t able to shut it down. This one sucks.” — Anders Lee on the loss.
“We were trying to stick to our game. They throw a couple at the net and they find a way in. That’s the way it goes sometimes. It’s unfortunate it didn’t go our way. I thought guys worked hard and came up at the wrong end of it.” — Josh Bailey talking about any changes that occurred after the Dobson third-period goal.
“They came out hard in the third period there. They’re good offensively and they were kind of all over us. I think over the last few years we’ve learned playing with a one or two-goal lead in the third period, you can defend as hard as you want, but it’s tough if you’re spending the whole period in your own zone defending. I think we need to get back in the mindset of attacking and try to spend time in their zone. I think that’s the best way to handle those one, two goal leads in the third.” — Adam Pelech on what Nashville did in the third.
“It happened up the ice. I don’t think we needed to flush their defenseman. If you’re going to do anything you want to take away that D to D. We took away all their speed, they threw it cross-ice, they came with speed and we got the puck in with 11 seconds. We could have probably made a better play, but we didn’t and it ended up in the back of our net.” — Barry Trotz on the sequence that led to the game-winning goal.
Up Next: The New York Islanders host the New Jersey Devils at UBS Arena at 7:30 p.m.