ANAHEIM, Calif. — The frustration and disappointment were evident in Mathew Barzal’s terse postgame tone, and none of it stemmed from the Islanders’ franchise-record streak of gaining at least one point in 17 straight games being snapped.
It was the non-competitive way in which the Islanders lost to the Ducks, 3-0, on Monday night at Honda Center that rankled Barzal.
“They were just hungrier than us tonight,” he said. “It was just one of those nights.”
The Islanders (16-4-2) had gone 15-0-2 since their last loss in regulation, a 5-2 defeat at Carolina on Oct. 11. Now they are dealing with their second losing streak of the season.
They were shut out for the first time as they generated fewer and fewer dangerous shots in the final two periods, with only three shots in the final 20 minutes. They are 0-1-1 on this three-game California swing, which will end Wednesday night against the Kings in Los Angeles.
“You’ve got to be hungry in this game and [the Ducks] had a stretch where they were just hungry,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “They were more committed in the second and third period. We got the result we deserved.”
The Ducks (11-11-3), who entered the game on a 1-5-3 skid, clinched the game with two goals in 71 seconds late in the third period.
Defenseman Cam Fowler made it 2-0 from the left circle at 13:13 and Ondrej Kase scored at 14:24 on a shot from the right circle that Thomas Greiss (20 saves) should have been able to stop.
The Ducks’ John Gibson made 26 saves for his first shutout of the season and the 19th of his career.
“We really didn’t have too many good looks,” said center Brock Nelson, named the NHL’s third star of the week earlier on Monday. “I thought we were fighting it a bit. They played hard. They were on us and really didn’t give us much. We just have to fight for more and find a way to get through it.”
The Ducks took a 1-0 lead at 10:26 of the second period as Ryan Getzlaf, who had won an offensive-zone faceoff, was credited with an unassisted goal after Jordan Eberle knocked the puck into his own net.
Uncharacteristically, the Islanders were knocked off a good share of pucks in the period, particularly in their own end. Greiss kept it a one-goal deficit at 16:01 as he stopped Nicolas Deslauriers — who fought defenseman Scott Mayfield in the first period — at the crease after the puck had gotten past defenseman Johnny Boychuk at the Ducks’ blue line.
The sluggish second period followed a strong start for the Islanders.
They held a 16-5 shot advantage in the first period, taking the game’s first seven shots. That included defenseman Ryan Pulock blasting a shot from the right point off Gibson’s collarbone, leaving the goalie on the ice as the rebound went to defenseman Adam Pelech on the left. But Gibson managed to reach up with his glove to snare Pelech’s attempt at 1:12.
Anthony Beauvillier also hit the far post with a power-play shot from the left circle at 16:22, duplicating the post he hit during the Islanders’ 0-for-6 effort on the man advantage in Saturday night’s 2-1 overtime loss in San Jose.
“The Ducks came back from out East and we wanted to jump on them early,” Trotz said. “We weren’t able to find the back of the net and they got their legs under them in the second. I think we were looking for another easy period like the first and we weren’t willing to commit enough in the second and third.”