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Islanders blow three goal lead and win streak in OT loss to Penguins

The New York Islanders were feeling good heading into the third period of Thursday night’s game.  They were up 3-0 and had previously been 9-0-0 when leading going into the third period.  Perhaps they felt too good, as the Pittsburgh Penguins came storming back and defeated the Islanders in overtime.

The Isles didn’t necessarily have the best game up to that point, but they did enough to give themselves a three goal lead.  Casey Cizikas started out the scoring very early, popping one off the backboards into the net 19 seconds in.  The Islanders’ Penalty Kill were heroes once again in the second period, with Cal Clutterbuck stuffing home a shorthanded goal to give the fourth line back to back SHG.

Later in the second, Adam Pelech shot one from the point off of a Penguins’ skate and into the net.  The Islanders’ 3-0 lead seemed impenetrable even though the Islanders had been vastly outshot up to that point.  It came back to bite them in the third.  Jared McCann scored just a minute and a half into the third, with Bryan Rust and Evgeni Malkin following later in the period to tie up the game.

It’s a shame because Semyon Varlamov was excellent up to that point.  However, he seemed to be out of position a lot in the third and the momentum completely shifted after Anthony Beauvillier was robbed (and also missed) by Matt Murray.  The puck went the other way and Rust scored to make it 3-2.  The air was let out of the building and the inevitable was coming.

After Malkin’s goal Barry Trotz called a timeout to settle his team down.  This was a rare moment where the Islanders looked out of sorts defensively.  Their structure wasn’t good, they were being outskated by the Penguins and they weren’t structurally sound.  Bryan Rust tucked one home in overtime and the Islanders’ ten game winning streak was officially dead.

In more positive news, the Islanders still got a point out of it.  They most certainly should have won the game but fortunately it’s November and not a playoff series.  If anything, the Islanders will tighten up even more after this loss.  Hopefully this isn’t a sign of more bad things to come.


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