The New York Islanders’ penalty killing got burned for 12th and 13th times last night, and it cost them in a 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay.
The Isles went shorthanded six times against the Bolts — a bad idea against a team with Steven Stamkos, who scored on the first of three Tampa Bay power plays in the first period alone.
“There’s no secret,” Isles captain John Tavares told reporters. “The amount of penalties we take, it’s really putting us in a tough spot.”
“We’re probably one of the most penalized teams in the league — and it’s not the refs, you know what I mean?” added defenseman Johnny Boychuk, per Newsday. “We should’ve learned from the last game against them.”
That “last game” was Nov. 1 in Brooklyn, when the Bolts went 2-for-7 on the power play and won 6-1. Andrew Ladd called it “easily our worst game of the year,” and unfortunately for the Isles, things haven’t gotten much better since.
In fact, the Isles’ only win of the month came over one of the worst teams in the league, the Vancouver Canucks, who’d lost eight straight coming in. It was hardly a dominant victory either, requiring a third-period push to get it done.
On top of all that, last night’s loss marked the start of a brutally tough stretch for Jack Capuano’s crew. The Isles play the Panthers in Sunrise tomorrow, then return home for games against the Lightning and Penguins. After that, it’s off to California to visit the Ducks, Kings, and Sharks.
Indeed, just 14 games into the season and it’s already desperation time, as the Isles (5-7-2) have fallen four points out of a wild-card spot and five points back of third place in the Metropolitan Division.
Most PP goals surrendered
NY Islanders, Dallas: 13
Fewest PP goals surrendered
Carolina, Edmonton, San Jose, Minnesota: 4