Ilya Sorokin #30 and Alexander Romanov #28 of the New...

Ilya Sorokin #30 and Alexander Romanov #28 of the New York Islanders watch the replay of the goal by Curtis Lazar #42 of the New Jersey Devils at 19:37 of the third period at Prudential Center on November 28, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. Credit: Getty Images

 NEWARK — For all the good hockey the Islanders played for most of the first two periods and even parts of the third, their first regulation loss since Nov. 13 can be distilled to two flaws repeated too often. They took two crippling, avoidable penalties and blew a two-goal lead over the final 15 minutes.

 “This one stings bad,” coach Lane Lambert said.

 The Islanders’ three goals within four minutes, 41 seconds in the second period were trumped by the Devils’ three-goal rally in the third period in a 5-4 loss on Tuesday night at Prudential Center to open a three-game road trip.

 Curtiz Lazar scored at the crease with officially 23 seconds left in regulation to cap the comeback as the Islanders (8-7-6) had their 3-0-3 streak snapped.

 “Disappointed not to close that one out, let alone not even get a point out of it,” said defenseman Noah Dobson, who had two assists in a game-high 25:38. “Turnovers, penalties and then, at the end, we’ve got to do a better job of managing the game with that much time left.”

 Ilya Sorokin made 28 saves in a hard-luck loss while Akira Schmid stopped all eight shots he faced for the Devils (10-9-1) after replacing Vitek Vanecek.

 Jack Hughes’ short-side heater from the right brought the Devils within 4-3 at 5:08 of the third period. Then an interference call on Jesper Bratt put the Islanders on the power play at 9:43.

 But Mathew Barzal, who had a fine game otherwise with a goal and two assists, hooked defenseman Kevin Bahl in the offensive zone to negate the man advantage and that became a four-on-three power play for the Devils when Simon Holmstrom tripped Hughes at the Islanders’ blue line.

 Nico Hischier promptly tied it at 11:10 on the four-on-three advantage.

 “I thought we were fine in the third,” Lambert said. “Then we turned the puck over and they scored. They gained some momentum and the push started coming. I didn’t think we responded well enough.

 “A lot of it has been stick carelessness,” Lambert added of the Islanders’ penalty problems. “It’s four-on-four, we can’t have a careless stick.”

 Lambert characterized it as “extremely concerning” the Islanders again could not hold a third-period lead while taking questionable penalties. This marked the ninth time the Islanders have either given up the winner in the third period or allowed the equalizing goal and lost in overtime.

 “We had the game under control,” Lambert said. “We have a power play and we take a penalty and then we take another stick penalty. Just mistakes that we made and we have to be better.”

 “Honestly, I didn’t think we were that bad in the third,” said Bo Horvat, who opened the scoring with a power-play one-timer from the right circle at 5:16 of the first period. “We had our chances. A couple of turnovers hurt us. We’ve been a lot better in the third period as of late. Just a couple of unfortunate bounces that bit us.”

 Bo Horvat opened the scoring for the Islanders with a power-play goal at 5:16 of the first period.  Michael McLeod tied it at 1-1 at 10:29 of the first on an odd-man rush after defenseman Mike Reilly, claimed off waivers from the Panthers on Saturday, turned the puck over in the neutral zone.

 Dawson Murcer gave the Devils a 2-1 lead at 4:19 of the second period. But Barzal was sprung for a breakaway by Anders Lee to knot it at 8:24. Cal Clutterbuck, falling to his knees, swatted in a backhander at the crease for a 3-2 lead at 9:40 and Barzal’s no-look  feed from the slot set up Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s first goal of the season to make it 4-2 at 13:05.

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