ATLANTA - The Islanders, a team on the brink of playoff contention, delivered an eyesore of a performance last night at Philips Arena, where they were pounded, 6-3, by the Thrashers.
The Islanders entered the game only five points out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference but now have won only three of their last 13 games.
In a performance marred by their sloppy play and numerous turnovers, the Islanders couldn't overcome a first period in which they gave up four goals despite outshooting Atlanta 21-10.
"In the first period, all their scoring chances came from things we did. Bad turnovers, bad line changes," coach Scott Gordon said. "No team can live with those mistakes."
Nik Antropov scored two goals and trade-deadline acquisitions Clarke MacArthur and Evgeny Artyukhin each scored his first goal for the Thrashers.
"They took advantage of our mistakes," defenseman Mark Streit said. "They're fast, they're skilled and they scored when they had chances."
Atlanta scored three goals on its first seven shots before Dwayne Roloson was replaced by Martin Biron. He didn't fare much better, giving up three goals, but neither goalie got much help with the gallery of gaffes in front of them.
With less than 17 seconds left in the first, Streit made a dent in a 4-0 deficit with a slap shot from inside the blue line at 19:43. It was the Islanders' first power-play goal in five games.
The Islanders did not score again, however, until the third period, when the damage was done and the deficit was too steep.
A power-play goal by Rob Schremp at 11:38 and a spinning, turnaround strike from Tim Jackman 1:10 later cut the Thrashers' lead to three, but the effort fell short of a legitimate comeback attempt.
Worsening the blow of the defeat was the team's inability to build on a spirited 5-3 win over Chicago on Tuesday.
"I hope this is a wake-up call for everyone because we were only five points out and there isn't much time left," Biron said. "No one can point the finger at anyone tonight. It was everybody."
Notes & quotes: D Dylan Reese, whom the Islanders acquired from Columbus on Monday, made his NHL debut after being called up Thursday . . . Jeff Tambellini played for the first time since Feb. 6.