The Blues' Pavel Buchnevich is congratulated by teammates after scoring during...

The Blues' Pavel Buchnevich is congratulated by teammates after scoring during the second period of an NHL game against the Islanders on Thursday in St. Louis. Credit: AP/Scott Kane

ST. LOUIS — Want to know about the inconsistent Islanders this season? Focus on the second period of their 4-0 loss to the Blues on Thursday night at Enterprise Center for the good, the bad and the really ugly.

The Islanders held a 20-9 shot advantage, the most shots they’ve had in a period this season. They were able to maintain plenty of puck possession time skating five-on-five. Yet the Blues outscored them 3-0, getting all three goals in a franchise record 32 seconds.

“There needs to be wins at this point,” Cal Clutterbuck said. “That’s the bottom line.”

Yet the Islanders (23-19-14) were unable to win back-to-back games for just the second time since mid-December. They were unable to move past the Devils for fourth place in the Metropolitan Division as they chase the third-place Flyers — seven points ahead — for a playoff spot.

A brilliant Jordan Binnington made 38 saves for the Blues (30-24-2) as the Islanders were shut out for a fourth time.

Frustration is a natural response.

“Yes, of course,” said Anders  Lee, who had his breakaway attempt stopped as did AHL call-up Kyle MacLean, in the lineup with Casey Cizikas (hand) unavailable. “We’re in a position now where we need wins. We’ve got to start making some moves here. It was a good opportunity tonight and put together a solid game. But we lost it tonight in a quick minute.”

These missed opportunities — the Isles were 0 for 5 on the power play with 16 shots — just emphasize how short time is growing for the Islanders.

The Blues opened the scoring on their third power play as Brandon Saad, from the left circle, beat Semyon Varlamov (21 saves) at 4:38 of the second period with 10 seconds to go on the man advantage.

Off the ensuing faceoff, Pavel Buchnevich made it 2-0 at 4:45 on a tip and then connected from the right circle 25 seconds later to cap the onslaught. Buchnevich completed his hat trick with an empty-netter at 9:21 of the third period.

“Very simple,” coach Patrick Roy said. “A bad clear on the penalty kill. We had to keep guys tired on the ice and they scored there. We won the faceoff but we gave it back and they scored a second one. We called timeout and just a bad forecheck.

“We just need ways to stop the bleeding. For some reason, there was nothing we could do.”

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