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Gordon says Islanders can't afford the giveaways

Before turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie yesterday, the Islanders digested some video of the previous night's game and practiced for a half-hour.

There was some business to handle before they play back-to-back day games Fridayand tomorrow.

The most pressing issue? The third period of their 2-1 loss to the Flyers on Wednesday, a period in which the Islanders mustered only one shot on goal and were plagued by turnovers.

Although the official scoresheet had 13 total Islanders giveaways in the game, coach Scott Gordon accounted for 17 times the Islanders turned over the puck in the third period.

Instead of getting pucks deep and establishing a forecheck, Gordon said, the Islanders repeatedly encountered trouble when trying to force plays at the blue line when met by the Flyers' defensemen, and the offense suffered.

"We controlled the play for two periods and lost the game, not by a great performance from our opposition, but because we spent the whole period chasing our own turnovers," Gordon said.

Scott Hartnell broke a 1-1 tie at 14:33 of the third to hand the Islanders their third loss in four games. Now it has to be a learning experience.

"Philadelphia had an average period and they won the game," Gordon said. "We took it away from ourselves."

"[Gordon] and all of us know what we can do, and we proved that," Josh Bailey said. "We dominated the first two periods. We were that close and then we didn't get the win."

"Everyone was trying to do the right thing and make the right plays, but we have to remember what gives us success," Nate Thompson said. "We have to be able to get pucks in and establish our forecheck."

The Islanders host Pittsburgh Fridayand travel to New Jersey tomorrow.

"Every team has their lapses," Bailey said. "We just have to limit them as much as possible."

Notes & quotes: Doug Weight, who suffered an upper-body injury Nov. 6, is weeks away from returning, but he'll skate Monday to test himself.

New York Sports