Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak is scored on by the Canadiens'...

Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak is scored on by the Canadiens' Nikita Scherbak during the second period on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, in Montreal. Credit: The Canadian Press via AP / Graham Hughes

MONTREAL — Mathew Barzal isn’t panicking after the Islanders lost their fourth straight game, but he can’t quite pinpoint what’s ailing the team.

The Islanders lost, 3-1, to the Canadiens on Wednesday night for that fourth loss as the second-longest winless skid of the season continues. The Isles are coming off losses last week to Minnesota, Toronto and New Jersey as their playoff drive loses steam.

In all three cases, the Islanders lost by either one or two goals.

“We’re right there,” said Barzal, who scored the Isles’ only goal Wednesday. “We could have been up 4-0 in all of those games if we look back at them. It’s been frustrating the last couple of months not being able to find that extra goal or get that bounce. Tonight again.

“Chances were there. That game was winnable.”

The Islanders (29-28-7) remained four points behind the idle Blue Jackets for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Columbus has a game in hand.

“We’re playing some good games, we’re doing the right things, it’s just not enough right now,” forward Anthony Beauvillier said. “We’re not scoring as many goals as we used to. It’s hard explaining it actually. Everyone’s thinking a little too much. It’s mental. Everyone’s trying to find their game.”

Barzal scored his 18th of the season at 3:50 of the first to open the scoring. The 20-year-old scooped up the puck at the blue line and danced around Canadiens rookie Noah Juulsen before shoveling the puck over Antti Niemi’s pads.

The Islanders had three shorthanded breakaway chances on the same penalty kill in the first period, but Niemi stopped Casey Cizikas twice and then Brock Nelson.

“Three breakaways in one penalty kill, you don’t see that too often,” Barzal said. “Would have been nice to score on. Our guys made good moves and their goalie made some good saves. That’s hockey.”

Montreal scored three unanswered goals, from Paul Byron, Jonathan Drouin and Nikita Scherbak.

“I need to be better for the guys right now,” said Jaroslav Halak, who made 23 saves in defeat. “We need every point. We had some chances, we just didn’t hit the net. We need to find a way. It starts with me.”

It was the Islanders’ first game since a quiet trade deadline day, where general manager Garth Snow made one minor move, acquiring forward Chris Wagner from the Anaheim Ducks. Wagner and defenseman Brandon Davidson, who was picked up two days earlier from the Edmonton Oilers, made their Islanders debuts. Wagner had five hits, Davidson two.

“I was happy with both,” coach Doug Weight said. “They both worked really hard, they’re physical players. Both worked their butts off tonight. I was happy with both of them.”

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