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Islanders lose to Sharks in overtime but extend point streak to 17 games

Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) reaches for the

Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) reaches for the puck in front of San Jose Sharks right wing Kevin Labanc (62) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019.  Credit: AP/Jeff Chiu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The franchise-record streak lives on, so the Islanders can be happy about that.

They also can be happy about playing an up-tempo, entertaining game that stands as one of their better recent efforts.

But going 0-for-6 on the power play in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Sharks and their NHL-best penalty kill on Saturday night to open a three-game California swing brought some displeasure.

“When you have that many chances, you need to find a way to get one,” defenseman Ryan Pulock said. “They’ve got a pretty good kill. I think we had our looks. We had some chances around the net. We weren’t just quite able to get it done. We got a point. But it’s tough to win every single game in this league. I thought tonight was one of our better games we’ve played in probably a few.”

By reaching overtime, the Islanders (16-3-2) extended their club mark to 17 straight games in which they have earned at least one point (15-0-2). But Evander Kane fed Logan Couture at 2:30 of OT for the Sharks (12-11-1).

“I think we played a pretty good game,” defenseman Adam Pelech said. “We got some great goaltending. We could have had a couple more. Once it gets to overtime, it’s anybody’s game.”

Semyon Varlamov made 24 saves for the Islanders, who had won five straight games, and Martin Jones stopped 27 shots for the Sharks.

The overtime loss snapped an NHL-tying streak in which the Islanders won nine straight games in which they had allowed the first goal.

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead at 6:38 of the second period — seconds after Jones denied Brock Nelson’s breakaway — as Mario Ferraro found Marcus Sorensen cutting to the crease.

The Islanders tied it 27 seconds later as Casey Cizikas deflected in Pelech’s shot from the left point. Sharks coach Pete DeBoer unsuccessfully challenged that Cizikas had interfered with Jones, putting the Islanders on the power play.

The Islanders generated 10 power-play shots in their man-advantage oh-for. They improved in their latter efforts as they adjusted to the Sharks’ aggressive penalty kill, particularly in how they broke up passes.

At least the Islanders are getting power-play chances. They still have the fewest in the NHL with 50, but it was the sixth straight game in which they’ve gotten at least three chances on the man advantage. They’ve had 13 in the last two games.

“When we’re playing our game, we’re getting pucks deep and forechecking,” Mathew Barzal said. “Guys are going to get toed down a little more if we have the puck a little more. The first few games, we didn’t have the puck as much.”

The Islanders had three power-play shots after Patrick Marleau tripped defenseman Scott Mayfield in the offensive zone at 2:32 of the third period. But Nelson also had his attempt from the right post deflected high and Jordan Eberle — still seeking his first goal this season — swung and missed on a chance at the crease.

The Islanders appeared jet-lagged early in the first period, yielding the game’s first eight shots and not getting one on net until defenseman Devon Toews’ shot from the left point at 6:46. The Sharks’ Radim Simek hooked Michael Dal Colle nine seconds later, and while the Islanders did not have a shot on goal during that power play, Anthony Beauvillier hit the post and Barzal rang one off the crossbar.

“The first five minutes, they came at us pretty hard,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “The rest of the game, I thought we played pretty well. Their penalty kill is pretty good. It’s No. 1 in the league for a reason. It puts a lot of heat on you.”

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