GLENDALE, Ariz. — The frustration was palpable in the visitors’ room on Monday night. The Islanders played a roaring third period after being put on their heels by the league-worst Coyotes, but they left too much to chance to grab two points.
Nick Cousins jammed in his second goal of the night 2:21 into overtime, sending the Isles to a 3-2 loss in a game in which they thought they did enough to win despite a three-shot first period.
“I didn’t hate our game,” Jordan Eberle said. “You look at the standings and they’re not getting the results, but they’re playing loose. I’ve been there. You’re down in the standings and you can play that way. They’re a dangerous team.”
The Isles’ Anthony Beauvillier scored two goals to give him eight in the last seven games. His second, at 2:53 of the third period, tied the score at 2-2 after a dominating shift by his line.
The Isles had been outshot 14-3 in the first period and out-attempted 24-9, falling behind on a bad-angle goal by Cousins that snuck through Jaroslav Halak.
Beauvillier pulled the Isles even at 34 seconds of the second period. He raced off the bench to replace Anders Lee, who had broken his stick. During that exchange in the opening half-minute of the period, the Isles were playing four-on-five and Halak had to make two alert stops. Josh Bailey grabbed the puck off the second save and led Beauvillier down the ice. His initial shot was stopped, but Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta left the rebound behind him. Beauvillier pounced and tucked it home.
Brendan Perlini gave Arizona a 2-1 lead at 9:52 of the second.
The Islanders had some frustration with referee Marc Joannette, who missed Clayton Keller’s stick going into Scott Mayfield’s mouth in the second period. Mayfield ended up tripping Keller and getting the only penalty at 6:55.
“He came over and told me he missed it,” Doug Weight said. “At least he’s honest. I was hoping someone else saw it.”
After Beauvillier’s second goal, the Islanders were in charge. Raanta made 17 of his 32 saves in the third period and OT, including a stop on John Tavares just before Arizona won it.
“We had four or five great opportunities to win it,” Weight said. “We didn’t start great, they kinda swarmed us. But we threw a lot of good things at them in the second and third. OT is a crapshoot.”
The Coyotes are headed to a sixth straight trip to the draft lottery and likely will have the best chance at the No. 1 overall pick, but they have a hold on the Isles at home, having won six of the past seven meetings between the teams in Arizona. The Islanders have scored one goal or been shut out in four of those games.
Johannson remembered. Weight and Brock Nelson were among many in the hockey world shocked to learn of the death of USA Hockey executive director Jim Johannson on Sunday at 53. Johannson was with the organization in a variety of roles since 2000.
“I’ve known Jimmy for 25 years,” Weight said Monday morning. “He was just getting his feet wet in the organization. When you talk about the World Cup, the three Olympics I played in, he had a big hand, worked with our families. You saw him every day. The last 10 years, we probably sat down for six or seven dinners, talked a lot of hockey. The hardest thing is, the last couple times I’d seen him, he was so excited, he started a family late, got a 2-year-old daughter, so . . . He was a humble, driven guy, worked real ly hard, really proud of his obvious hand in USA Hockey.
“I got a text about 4 in the morning from Billy Guerin and I couldn’t get back to sleep. It’s tough. You think about his wife, his daughter. It’s just a really, real ly big loss for everybody in hockey and his family.”
Nelson played on a World Junior team and three World Championship teams for the United States and his family has a long history with USA Hockey. His grandfather, Bill Christian, won Olympic gold in 1960 and his uncle, Dave Christian, was on the 1980 Miracle on Ice team.
“Knowing him for World Championships for four years, got to interact with him a lot, an easy guy to be around,” Nelson said. “He helped a lot of young guys. My family knew him well. It’s tough. He was always the one who called when you got an invite; that was always a great feeling. You’re at a loss for words about someone who was just always around.”