The New York Islanders gave up a 3-2 second period lead in what was eventually a 6-4 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes Monday.
That marks five straight losses to begin the month of February for the Islanders. In a shortened 48-game schedule, five straight losses, even if early in the season, can prove costly.
“It feels weird to say the next game’s a must-win,” Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic told Long Island Newsday.
“We’ve got to look at it that way. We have to make sure we stop this.”
The Islanders’ losing skid followed up on wins over the New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins – the number one and five teams, respectively, in the Eastern Conference.
If there was one positive for the Islanders, it was the four power play goals they tallied.
“We’re the type of team that needs all 20 guys going, and we didn’t have that tonight…I thought some guys were soft,” Islanders head coach Jack Capuano told NHL.com.
“We’ve got to find a way 5-on-5 to generate some offense. Our power play was good, but it’s not going to be there every day.”
Jiri Tlusty tallied four points – all coming in the third period – for Carolina. He tied the game at three goals apiece and added the insurance marker into an empty net with 11 seconds remaining.
“We find a way to (get) the points, which is a big key for our team and we have to keep it rolling,” Tlusty told the Raleigh-based News and Observer.
“Our third period has been really strong. We came out really hard tonight (in the third) and wore the D down. That was the plan.”
The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins are going to take their rivalry outside on Saturday.
The Flyers visit the Penguins in a Stadium Series clash at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. You can catch the action on NBC or online with the NBC Sports Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
Goalie nods: Murray, Neuvirth get the call at Heinz Field
Kris Letang won’t play in outdoor game; Schultz game-time decision
NHL On NBC: Penguins, Flyers meet in Stadium Series
Giroux: ‘It’s all business’ between Penguins and Flyers at Heinz Field
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Arizona Coyotes have made a minor league trade.
The Bolts on Saturday acquired right winger Stefan Fournier from the Coyotes in exchange for right winger Jeremy Morin, who has played 82 career NHL games between the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Fournier stands six-foot-three-inches tall and 226 pounds. He has two goals and four points in 29 games with the Tuscon Roadrunners in the AHL.
Morin, who has spent the majority of his pro career in the Blackhawks organization, has been a productive minor league player over the years. He has nine goals and 21 points in 43 games this season with the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL.
The New York Islanders entered today with a three-game winning streak and holders of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
But yeah, it’s been a disastrous start for the Islanders on Saturday. The Blue Jackets scored three times in the first period, chasing Thomas Greiss from the New York net after he stopped 14 of 17 shots faced.
Jean-Francois Berube entered the game to begin the second period and promptly surrendered a goal to Josh Anderson, who scored his 12th of the season.
Oh, look at that: Another heated melee involving the Anaheim Ducks and L.A. Kings.
You’ll recall a first-period fight fest in a pivotal Pacific Division game between these teams almost one full year ago. On Saturday, in another meeting between these California rivals, the Ducks and Kings were once again at odds.
This latest conflict? Well, Corey Perry was involved. Again. (Last year, order had been restored during a brief scrum before Perry gave an extra shot to a Kings player, resulting in mayhem.)
Perry was called this time around for interference on Anze Kopitar. Kings players, as you might expect, suddenly rushed over before Nate Thompson and Brayden McNabb squared off in the main event.