The New York Islanders dropped a third consecutive decision, and the second-straight to the Washington Capitals, by a final score of 6-3 on Thursday night. It was an uncharacteristic way to lose for Barry Trotz’s group, as they surrendered six consecutive goals to drop the contest.
Here are three takeaways from a night to forget in Washington, D.C.
1. A tale of two games
It didn’t always look like it was going to be a disappointing night for the Islanders. In fact, they played very well in the first period, and however briefly, it looked like it might just carry over into the second.
I recall a very tangible feeling of the ice beginning to tilt shortly before the Capitals scored their first goal. It wasn’t really something super overt, it just felt like the contest had taken on a different tone by the time the clock had ticked down to the eleven-minute mark.
The Islanders were having trouble regaining puck possession, they couldn’t clear their own zone. Suddenly it felt like somehow they had begun to chase a game in which the scoreboard looked so tilted in their favor. It wasn’t long after that Conor Sheary scored his first of two quick goals to put the Isles back on their heels further.
The Islanders were never able to get that second period under control. If they weren’t playing poor defensive hockey then Semyon Varlamov was letting up a soft goal, if that wasn’t happening then they were flubbing on clearing attempts and giving away further scoring chances. The entire final eleven minutes of the period felt like The Comedy Of Errors.
The Isles managed to regain some semblance of composure for the third period. Now down 5-3, they came out and tried to beat the trap of Washington for pretty much the entire period. Only, try as they may, the Blue and Orange really didn’t manage to generate a whole lot of dangerous chances.
I mean, sure, they racked up zone time and shot attempts, but nothing felt particularly dangerous. They weren’t driving the net looking to collect rebounds, the forecheck felt familiarly ineffective, as many times the Caps quickly blew up an Islanders zone entry and sent the puck straight back across their blue line.
It was tough to watch. If you’re an Islanders fan and you missed it, good for you.