It looked like a game the NY Islanders were in control of, up two goals in the third period. Then sloppy play saw two points ripped from their grasp in the blink of an eye.
It's not the first time this season the Isles have gotten out to a two-goal lead just to surrender it. Heck, it's not the second time either. Last night against the Detroit Red Wings was the third time the Islanders saw their multiple-goal lead wiped away.
In the team's season opener against the Buffalo Sabres, the Isles jumped out to a two-goal advantage with goals from Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri, only for the Sabres to nod things up.
On Thursday night, it was a similar situation after goals from Bo Horvat and Cal Clutterbuck gave the blue and orange a two-goal cushion after the first period. They headed into the third even after the Ottawa Senators found two goals of their own in the second period.
In both these games, despite giving up two-goal cushions, the Isles walked away with both points. Last night, the odds caught up with the Islanders, as a two-goal margin in the third was wiped away in the matter of 3:48, as the Red Wings took the lead, only to win in overtime.
"When you have a 2-0 lead, there's a certain way... there's a certain way our team has to play in order to have success," said Lane Lambert following the Isles 4-3 OT loss last night. "We've got to keep pushing the puck North, and when we get away from that and deviate from that, it's not a recipe for success for us, and that's what happened."
The Isles seemed to lose their structure in the third period - something that looked to be the base of their success through the first two stanzas. Players were missing assignments as it appeared to be schoolyard defending at times.
"We had a couple of mistakes in the d-zone, and they capitalized on them, they made good plays," said Lambert. "So back to the drawing board."
The Isles are a team built on defense, so getting out to a multi-goal lead has to be enough for the defense to clamp down. With an offense that hasn't been known for timely goals, it's more often than not the Isles won't be walking away with two points if they continue to squander these leads.