Party like it’s 1995?
That’s exactly what the Islanders did Saturday night at UBS Arena, but the result was disappointing for their fans.
Wearing their Reverse Retro jerseys with the fisherman logo for the first of six games this season, the Islanders lost to the Hurricanes, 3-0.
Their fisherman logo was introduced in 1995 and scrapped in 1997.
The Islanders fell to 17-12-0 with their second loss in three games and fourth in six. The loss also marked the third time this season that they have been shut out.
“We weren’t able to get to our game,” Anders Lee said.
Unlike what transpired in Newark on Friday night in a 6-4 victory over the surging Devils, Saturday night’s game was not a wide-open affair. It was rather tight-checking, with neither team allowing much in terms of quality scoring chances.
Carolina outshot the Isles 29-16 and had a 77-39 advantage in total attempted shots.
“We didn’t get to our game at all,” said coach Lane Lambert, whose team had only 10 shots on goal through two periods.
After a scoreless first period, the Islanders fell behind 1-0 on Paul Stastny’s first goal of the season 7:06 into the second. Stationed by the near post, the Carolina center lifted a cross-crease pass from Andrei Svechnikov over Ilya Sorokin’s glove.
Sorokin finished with 28 saves. He has lost four straight and has allowed 12 goals on 108 shots faced in that stretch.
Sorokin’s counterpart, Pyotr Kochetkov, stopped all 16 shots he faced to record his first shutout of the season and the second of his NHL career.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi made it 2-0 at 4:05 of the third period when he tipped in a shot by Brent Burns. After Kotkaniemi won a faceoff in the offensive zone, he maneuvered into the high slot and battled with Sebastian Aho for position, which eliminated Sorokin’s line of sight.
Lambert said before the game that Anthony Beauvillier was “a game-time decision.” Beauvillier, the second-line right wing, played only 3:53 Friday before leaving with an undisclosed injury after crashing into the end boards in the first period.
Beauvillier did not participate in warmups and was replaced in the lineup by Hudson Fasching. Without Beauvillier, who is the right wing on the second line with Lee and Brock Nelson, the second and third lines were reconfigured. The second line was composed of Lee, Nelson and Simon Holmstrom. Fasching was slotted onto the third line with Zach Parise and Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
After Kotkaniemi’s goal, however, Lambert put Mathew Barzal with Lee and Nelson in an attempt to create offense.
“You’re just trying to find something, anything, at that point in time,” Lambert said.
But any comeback hopes the Isles had were dashed when Jordan Staal poked Jordan Martinook’s feed under Sorokin to stretch Carolina’s lead to 3-0.
The Islanders, who will begin a five-game road trip Tuesday in Boston, will wear the Reverse Retro jerseys five more times: Dec. 23 against the Panthers, four nights later against the Penguins, Jan. 12 against the Wild, Jan. 21 against the Hurricanes and Jan. 28 against the Golden Knights.
The Reverse Retro sweaters are an homage to the much-maligned fisherman jersey. The players seemed to like them.
“They’re cool,” Lee said. “They look great.”