Down in Flames: Isles hand Calgary sixth loss in seven

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It was a tale of two teams going in opposite directions tonight in Brooklyn, as Islanders rode a two-goal effort from Frans Nielsen and 29 saves from Jaroslav Halak to beat the Flames 4-0 at Barclays.

For the Isles, it was their second straight win and sixth in their last seven.

For Calgary, it was their second straight loss… and sixth in their last seven.

The Flames are in a spot of trouble at the moment. They’ve scored just one goal over their last 120 minutes and the defense continues to be an issue, having been outscored 8-1 in New York (to the Rangers and Isles).

And it’s worth mentioning Calgary’s defense, because tonight’s starting netminder, Joni Ortio — the team’s third different starter through nine games — wasn’t to blame.

The Finn stopped 23 of his first 24 shots faced, but eventually succumbed to pressure as the Isles finished with 35 shots on goal.

As for New York, tonight’s game was an impressive effort, considering top liners John Tavares and Ryan Strome went scoreless. Halak notched his second shutout of the year while Cal Clutterbuck and Mikhail Grabovski chipped in with goals. Kyle Okposo and Nikolay Kulemin both notched a pair of assists.

Calgary only wishes it had such balanced efforts.

The NHL’s sixth-highest scoring team last season has just 16 goals through nine games this year. Sean Monahan has struggled, while prized rookie Sam Bennett and big free agent acquisition Michael Frolik are still looking for their first tallies of the year.

Calgary has a chance to salvage something from a mini three-game road trip Wednesday in Ottawa.

The Isles, meanwhile, will look for a third straight win on Thursday, when they host the ‘Canes.