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Islanders lose to Blackhawks in shootout as they head into break

The Isles still lead the Metropolitan Division by three points over the Capitals.

Islanders lineman Anders Lee fights for the puck

Islanders lineman Anders Lee fights for the puck against Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy during the first period on Tuesday in Chicago. Photo Credit: AP/Matt Marton

CHICAGO — The Islanders couldn’t finish the way they wanted, going into the All-Star break and their bye week on a positive note.

So they will have eight days to think about this rare loss, albeit in a tossup shootout.

“We didn’t play the right way,” left wing Anthony Beauvillier said. “We got away with one point and we can be happy about ourselves in the first half \[of the season\]. But we want to do something special in the second half.”

The Blackhawks twice rallied from one-goal deficits and prevented the Islanders from matching a season-high, six-game winning streak with a 3-2 shootout victory Tuesday night at United Center.

The Islanders (29-15-5) have won 15 of 19 and lead the Metropolitan Division by three points over the Capitals, who blew a late lead and lost, 7-6, to the visiting Sharks in overtime Tuesday night.

"We got one point tonight but it’s tough to lose in a shootout,” said Robin Lehner, the NHL’s first star of the week, who made 38 saves but lost for just the second time in 13 decisions. “We’ve played some really good hockey lately. Maybe it was a little bit of an off night but we still found a way to get a point.”

The 40 shots allowed were the most  the Islanders had allowed in 12 games and they had held their previous three opponents to fewer than 20.

“We gave up some chances,” Beauvillier said. “We didn’t play as tight as we should.”

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane scored in the shootout and Cam Ward gloved Mathew Barzal’s last-chance shot for the Islanders.

Ward stopped 34 shots for the Blackhawks (18-24-9) and was particularly brilliant in stopping all 12 shots in the third period. That included a last-second stop on Anders Lee’s deflection that left the Islanders captain looking skyward.

In the nonstop, three-on-three overtime, Ward denied Jordan Eberle from below the left circle.

“We wanted to have a little better game,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “But Chicago is playing good hockey.”

The combined All-Star break/CBA-mandated bye week will keep the Islanders off the ice until practice Jan. 31. They next play against the league-leading Lightning on Feb. 1 at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum.

They have 33 regular-season games remaining and no delusions about how tough the playoff push will be.

“We’ve been playing really well but it’ll be great to kind of just [say], ‘OK, check the first half off, we’ve done our job in the first half,” said Barzal, the Islanders’ lone All-Star. “We know it’s not going to get easier.”

Barzal put the Islanders ahead 2-1 with an unassisted backhander off a breakaway at 7:33 of the second period.

But the Islanders were outshot 18-7 in the period and allowed two power-play goals.

The Islanders’ shutout streak ended at 158:58 on Dylan Strome’s five-on-three goal at 6:05 of the period as the Blackhawks tied it. Matt Martin took a roughing penalty against John Hayden during a scrum at 4:46 with Cal Clutterbuck already in the box for slashing.

Toews’ power-play goal with 21.8 seconds left tied the score at 2 with Valtteri Filppula off for hooking David Kampf.

Filppula had given the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 2:19 of the first period as he won an offensive-zone faceoff in the left circle and pushed the puck into the net unassisted for his 11th goal. That matches his total from last season with the Flyers in 81 games.The Islanders couldn’t finish the way they wanted.

So, they will have eight days to think about this rare loss.

The Blackhawks twice rallied from one-goal deficits and prevented the Islanders from matching a season-high, six-game winning streak with a 3-2 shootout victory on Tuesday night at United Center.

The Islanders (29-15-5), who have won 15 of 19, had spoken of wanting to go into their combined All-Star break and bye week on a positive note.

Still, they have won 15 of 19 and lead the Metropolitan Division by three points over the Capitals, who blew a late lead and lost, 7-6, to the Sharks in overtime at home.

Robin Lehner, the NHL’s first star of the week, made 38 saves for the Islanders but lost for just the second time in 13 decisions.

In the shootout, Jonathan Toews beat him with a backhander and Patrick Kane scored on a forehand before Cam Ward gloved Mathew Barzal’s last-chance shot for the Islanders.

Ward stopped 34 shots for the Blackhawks (18-24-9) and was particularly brilliant in stopping all 12 shots he faced in the third period. That included a last-second stop on Anders Lee’s deflection that left the Islanders captain looking skyward.

In the non-stop, three-on-three overtime, Ward denied Jordan Eberle from below the left circle. Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy rushed back and used his body to thwart a potential breakaway by Kane.

It marked the teams’ second overtime game after the Islanders won, 3-2, at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on Jan. 3 on rookie defenseman Devon Toews’ first NHL goal.

The combined All-Star break/collective bargaining agreement-mandated bye week will keep the Islanders off the ice until practice on Jan. 31. They next play against the league-leading Lightning on Feb. 1 at the Coliseum.

“Any time you have a break, you want to finish on a positive end,” Islanderscoach Barry Trotz said. “It’s a good feeling through the whole break. Any time you don’t get that last win before the break, it sort of lingers on until you get the next one.”

Despite the recent success, the Islanders were not looking at the extended rest as detrimental to their momentum.

They have 33 regular-season games left and no delusions about how tough the playoff push will be.

“We’ve been playing really well but it’ll be great to kind of just [say], ‘OK, check the first half off, we’ve done our job in the first half,’ ” said Barzal, the Islanders’ lone All-Star. “We know it’s not going to get easier, so I think it’s going to be good for us.”

Barzal put the Islanders ahead, 2-1, with an unassisted backhander off a breakaway at 7:33 of the second period.

the Islanders were outshot 18-7 in the second period and the Blackhawks scored twice on the power play.

The Islanders’ shutout streak ended at 158:58 on Dylan Strome’s five-on-three goal at 6:05 of the second period as the Blackhawks tied it for the first time. Matt Martin took a roughing penalty against John Hayden during a scr</CW>um at 4:46 with Cal Clutterbuck already in the box.

Toews’ power-play goal with 21.8 seconds remaining tied the score at 2 with Valtteri Filppula off for hooking David Kampf.

Filppula had given the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 2:19 of the first period as he won an offensive-zone faceoff in the left circle and pushed the puck in the net unassisted for his 11th goal. That matches his total from last season with the Flyers in 81 games.

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