Islanders can't start a winning streak as they fall to Columbus in OT
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Winning streaks are born of consistent 60-minute efforts. But four games into a season-opening 13-game road trip, the Islanders are still looking for that.
So while they now have a two-game point streak, they are far from playing the way they need to play.
"Your best players have to be your best players every night and role guys have to play their roles," coach Barry Trotz said after the Islanders’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Blue Jackets on Thursday night. "That’s not all there right now. We’re patching it together."
Patrik Laine’s blistering shot from the right circle at 1:49 of OT lifted the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
The Islanders (1-2-1), coming off Tuesday’s 4-1 win at Chicago, failed to capitalize on three power-play chances, another strong outing by goalie Ilya Sorokin (29 saves) and an odd-man opportunity in overtime as Anders Lee, coming off the bench, could not connect on a give-and-go with Mathew Barzal.
"Definitely ups and downs," said defenseman Scott Mayfield, who opened the scoring at 10:35 of the second period with an unassisted backhander off the Blue Jackets’ Sean Kuraly after intercepting the puck along the right wall. "The first period, I don’t think we were at our best. But for 18 minutes of the second period, I thought we played good hockey. You want to get two [points] every night. But it’s tough on the road."
The Islanders, who had allowed 11 goals in losing their first two games, gave up two goals within 33 seconds late in the second period.
Boone Jenner’s power-play goal — Jakub Voracek’s shot deflected in off him at the crease — tied it at 1 at 18:00. Casey Cizikas was in the penalty box for the second time in the period after high-sticking Cole Sillinger. He also had hooked Jenner at 3:48.
Cizikas’ infractions left the Islanders’ penalty kill without two of their top forwards, including Jean-Gabriel Pageau, sidelined Thursday because of a non-COVID-19 illness.
"We had two plays, one on the unnecessary penalty when they’re dumping the puck in one-on-three," Trotz said. "We take a penalty on it. That’s just, in some ways, unacceptable. That’s just being careless. They scored on it and got momentum the next shift. The shift after a goal is huge. We duplicated in the corner, they fed it out front. We were late to the party and a really good period that you could wrap your arms around, we come out 2-1."
The Blue Jackets (3-1-0) took that lead when Sillinger, the 12th overall pick in July, scored his first career goal by the crease at 18:33 of the period.
But Barzal, who matched his career high with nine shots, skated around Gustav Nyquist and snapped in a wrist shot from the slot past defenseman Andy Greene’s screen to tie the score at 2 at 5:03 of the third period.
"We controlled most of this game while we were out," Barzal said. "It was a pretty good game from our line."
Lee added six shots as he returned to the lineup after a one-game absence because of a non-COVID-19 stomach illness.
Sorokin carried over his sharp play from Tuesday’s win — he made 39 saves, including 31 through the first two periods in Chicago — as he stopped all 11 of the Blue Jackets’ first-period shots. That included gloving Sillinger’s shot off the rush with 11.5 seconds left shortly after the Islanders’ first power play expired.
They are 1-for-9 overall on the man advantage.
"I think you can take some good things from [the game]," Mayfield said. "The one point, I guess that’s good."
But the Islanders want winning streaks, not just point streaks.