Goaltender Rick DiPietro succinctly summarized the feeling in the Islanders dressing room after tonight's 5-4 loss to the Thrashers.
“I feel like I want to throw up right now,” DiPietro said of the team’s 19th defeat in the past 20 games.
The proverbial punch to the stomach came in the third-period, when the Thrashers broke a 3-3 tie with a freakish, game-changing goal that found the top right corner of the net after slicing through the air right off the draw between Bryan Little and Frans Nielsen.
DiPietro tried shouldering some blame—saying he had his head down before the faceoff—but the goal simply defied explanation.
“I’ve never seen anything like that in my life,” said Rob Schremp, who tied the game at 3 in the third period after Thrasher defenseman Johnny Oduya scored two goals within 1:18 in the third period.
After Little’s outlandish goal, the Thrashers built a 5-3 lead as Brent Sopel’s slapshot deflected off Alexander Burmistrov at 14:16. Later in the period Burmistrov and John Tavares dropped the gloves, the first career fight for both players.
“It’s tough to explain the bounces we’re getting,” head coach Jack Capuano said after the game.
The Islanders relinquished a 2-0 lead in the second period, surrendering three straight goals, four goals total in the third period.
The Islanders snapped their streak of consecutive games without a power-play goal at 12 (tied for the worst in franchise history) when Blake Comeau tallied with the man-advantage with 1:16 to play.
But suffice it to say, that small feat did little to console the Islanders after their latest loss.
Notes and Quotes: Radek Martinek missed his first game of the season. The veteran defenseman is day-to-day with an injury to his left arm, suffered after being hit with Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara’s shot Thursday. Bruno Gervais played for the first time since suffering a fractured right cheekbone in a fight with Devils defenseman Colin White November 26. Mark Eaton suffered a groin strain during the first period and did not return. Rob Schremp received six stitches after catching a stick to his right eye in the first period.