William Bitten #42 of the St. Louis Blues watches a...

William Bitten #42 of the St. Louis Blues watches a puck shot by teammate Ivan Barbashev (not pictured) get by Ilya Sorokin #30 of the New York Islanders for a goal in the second period at UBS Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. Credit: Jim McIsaac

On the whole, this was not a good night for the Islanders, even if they scored three in the third period to nearly rally from a four-goal deficit.

“We made some uncharacteristic decisions that led to a couple outnumbered rushes that they ended up scoring on,” coach Lane Lambert said. “They took advantage of them. Uncharacteristic and cost us.”

The Blues, snapping a four-game losing streak and a 1-6-0 skid overall, won, 7-4, on Tuesday night at UBS Arena as they turned the Islanders’ miscues into numerous odd-man rushes. Plus, top-pair defenseman Adam Pelech may have suffered a head injury as he was knocked into the backboards early in the third period.

It was a season high for goals allowed for the Islanders (16-11-0), who finished a disappointing homestand 1-2-0. The Blues (12-14-0) scored the only two goals in the second period and stretched their lead with two third-period goals within 13 seconds.

“It was a confusing game,” said Zach Parise, whose power-play goal from the left at 5:36 brought the Islanders within 5-2. “All of a sudden we found ourselves down 3-1 and then 5-1 just like that. We gave ourselves a chance to get back in it but you’re asking a lot when you’re down 5-1.”

Former Islander Thomas Greiss earned his first win in his second try against his former team since leaving via free agency in 2020, making 36 saves. Ilya Sorokin stopped 21 shots with defenseman Colton Parayko’s long-range shot knuckling past his glove after deflecting off Pelech to make it 5-1 at 3:50 of the third period. Noel Acciari had deflected defenseman Justin Faulk’s shot from the left point at 3:37.

“It would be a shame to point a finger at that guy,” Parise said. “Our goaltending, those guys have probably been the best tandem in the league the entire year.”

“We gave them some rushes that there’s some goals he had no chance on,” Lambert said. “We gave up some rushes we shouldn’t have.”

Hudson Fasching’s first goal as an Islander at 14:43 of the third period, deflecting Matt Martin’s feed from the left wall, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s backhanded wraparound off the Blues’ Robert Thomas at 15:04, brought the Islanders within 5-4. But empty-netters from Thomas and Acciari finally clinched it.

“We felt confident in how we were playing, it just wasn’t going in,” Anders Lee said. “We stuck with it and put a few more in but that’s too big of a hole against a team that’s much better than their record shows.”

Three of the Islanders’ last four losses have come to teams not currently in a playoff position.

That should be a concern given the Islanders’ upcoming schedule. Their next two games are against the top two teams in the Metropolitan Division, the Devils and Hurricanes, and their upcoming five-game road trip (longest of the season) includes the Bruins, Vegas and the Avalanche, the first two leading their division and the latter the defending Stanley Cup champs.

The Blues took a 1-0 lead at 17:13 as Brayden Schenn led a two-on-one rush and fed Josh Leivo, who beat Sorokin past his blocker from the right circle. Defenseman Noah Dobson tied it 39 seconds later.

But the Blues retook the lead as Ivan Barbashev buried a two-on-one pass from William Bitten. As with Leivo’s two-on-one goal, defenseman Scott Mayfield (minus-4) got caught up ice and partner Alexander Romanov (minus-3) was back defending.

Ryan O’Reilly then made it 3-1 at 14:58 of the second period, skating around Romanov from the right post to knock in his own rebound.

Said Lambert, “Those things happen and we will move forward.”

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