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Islanders flurry of individual mistakes to blame for Game 3 loss

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - MAY 20: Brock Nelson #29 of the New York Islanders skates off the ice while the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrate their 5-4 victory in Game Three of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Nassau Coliseum on May 20, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - MAY 20: Brock Nelson #29 of the New York Islanders skates off the ice while the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrate their 5-4 victory in Game Three of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Nassau Coliseum on May 20, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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New York Islanders fans are going to be looking for a single scapegoat in today’s loss. They’re going to try and find that one person to blame. They’ll find someone to lay this on, but they’ll all be wrong.

You can’t blame just one player for this loss. Not to say there weren’t any individual mistakes. In fact, there were too many to count. And that’s the problem. The team got lost in the moment and they paid the price for it.

New York Islanders drop Game 3 as a collective

Varlamov did not have a good game. But let’s not start blaming him on that opening goal. Why Ryan Pulock decided to try and get in the lane to block a shot Varlamov was square to is beyond me.

That second goal should not have gone in. But it’s hard to play Semyon Varlamov on that one. Where was Nick Leddy? What was he doing and why was Jeff Carter able to just walk into the slot?

In the third, the Islanders battled back to tie it at three with an Anthony Beauvillier power-play goal. Just 27 seconds later, Cal Clutterbuck takes a dumb goalie interference penalty, and Jeff Carter converts some 30 seconds into the man advantage.

The Islanders had all of the momentum by that third goal, Cal’s penalty sucked the wind right out of the Isles sails.

On the game-winner, just minutes before the end of regulation, Pelech can’t get the puck over the defensive blue line and the Noah Dobson flubs blocking a shot and Tanev beats him to it as it comes back to the ice.

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I know when things don’t go the Islanders way the mentality is to find someone to pin it on, but tonight there isn’t one person to blame, just about everyone wearing blue and orange was to blame tonight.

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