The Upshot: The NY Islanders embarrassed in worst third period collapse this season

San Jose Sharks v New York Islanders
San Jose Sharks v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages


It happened again. Another blown third period lead for the NY Islanders, but this was by far the worst of them all. Leading 4-1 against the the league's bottom feeders and only walking away with one point - how can it be? Julien Gauthier opened the scoring with his second of the season to put the Isles ahead, only to go into the first intermission even at one. Brock Nelson scored on the man-advantage for the only goal in the second, giving the Isles a goal lead heading into the final period. Unlike past games, the Isles came out on the attack, as Mike Reilly scored his first as an Islander while shorthanded, and Ryan Pulock extended the lead to 4-1 with the game looking well in hand. With just about eight minutes remaining, it all fell apart. Kevin Labanc scored his first of the season with 8:05 remaining to shift the momentum toward the Sharks. With the goaltender pulled, Tomas Hertl scored twice in the final 3:11, sending the game to OT, where William Eklund finished the Islanders with just five seconds remaining.


The Isles special teams was at it again, scoring twice on the power play and again while short-handed. The penalty kill did its job on the defensive end, killing off both Sharks' power plays. Simon Holmstrom continues to be a menace while short-handed, setting up the Reilly goal for his second assist of the season, with his first coming during the first stanza.


In the final 8:05, about everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. Even after the Sharks cut the deficit to two, the Isles didn't have much panic in their game, but once David Quinn elected to pull his goaltender with over three minutes remaining, it all went downhill. At 6-on-5, the Isles looked lost. Defensive lapses allowed for tap-in goals from the Sharks, the game-tying one being the worst of them all. MIscommunication behind the net allowed the puck to be played in front to Eklund, who attacked the goal unimpeded, finding Hertl on the doorstep with a gaping goal in front of him.

“We had the game under control with eight and a half minutes left," said Lane Lambert. "To lose that hockey game is sin.”


  • Holmstrom's third period assist while short-handed put him alone at the top of the league in short-handed points with four.
  • The Isles have now blown a third period league for the eleventh time this season
  • As per Eric Hornick and The Skinny, last night was the first time the Isles have allowed two 6-on-5 goals since April 11, 2015, against the Columbus Blue Jackets


It may not have been during the game, but the Islanders are now posted on the NY C Subway in the heart of Rangers country.


The Isles continue their homestand on Thursday night as the Blue Jackets come into town for a 7:30 start at UBS Arena.