The New York Islanders watched a third period lead vanish in a frustrating 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers at the Nassau Coliseum Sunday. It is the 17th defeat in the last 18 games for the Islanders who are looking for answers after another difficult loss.
“Each individual, day in and day out, has to bring their best or more,” Isles goalie Dwayne Roloson said. “You can’t blame it on one thing. We’ve got to come in here and look at ourselves. The onus is on us, it’s not on anybody else. Day in and day out, it seems like the same thing that’s killing us.”
The Islanders got off to another dreadful start, tallying just four shots on goal in the first period (they had only three in the first period against the Rangers Friday night).
Matt Carle’s first goal of the year gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead at 13:42 of the opening period. The goal was originally credited to Jeff Carter but replays showed that Carter never touched the puck which banked off of Roloson’s skate and in into the net.
The Isles showed a bit more life in the second period, but failed to cash in on a key 5-on-3 power play chance. In the game, the Isles were 0-for-4 with the man advantage, which leaves them scoreless in their last 34 power play attempts covering a span of 11 games.
“It’s a little bit of the same thing,” forward P.A. Parenteau admitted. “We’re not getting shots through. We did compete a little bit but not enough, obviously.”
In the third period, the Isles scored twice in a span of 36 seconds to grab a 2-1 lead. First, Jon Sim deflected Parenteau’s one-timer from the right circle at 5:12 to tie the game. Then, Frans Nielsen’s shot off a rush down the right wing was muffed by Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and the Islanders had their first lead of the game.
The Flyers evened things up with a power play goal by Andreas Nodl who lifted a backhander over Roloson with just three seconds left in Matt Moulson’s holding penalty at 11:34. Then, Briere netted the game winner with 5:44 left in the game when the puck deflected past Andrew MacDonald to the Flyers forward in the deep slot.
“A-Mac [Andrew MacDonald] blocked the shot it goes right to their guy and he pokes it into the net,” Isles defenseman James Wisniewski said when asked about the winning goal. “It’s repetitive. I’ve never seen anything like it before in my life. It’s baffling how many times it’s happened this year.”
A frustrated Wisniewski was at a loss for answers.
“If anybody’s going to question our hard work, they’re idiots,” he said. “We’re not getting the bounces.”
When asked what could be done to break the pattern, Wisniewski added. “God has to do something. What are you going to do? I’m not going to block that shot and the guy scores? I don’t know. When you work hard, you create your own opportunities, but we have [worked hard]. We created a lot of stuff tonight but again, we just didn’t bear down on some of the chances that we got.”
The Islanders pulled Dwayne Roloson in the final minute but were unable to come up with the equalizer.
“We made some bad decisions when we had the puck on our stick,” admitted Isles Coach Jack Capuano. “We didn’t get pucks deep when we could have. It’s the same old story, though, losing is unacceptable. Someway, you’ve got to find a way to win.”
“Bounces you create them. If you’re going to work, you’re going to get those bounces,” Roloson added. “If you’re going to sit back and let the play come to us, then the other team is going to get them. You’ve got to create those bounces.”
The Isles return to action Thursday when they travel to Boston to face the Bruins.
The Isles scratched Bruno Gervais, Doug Weight and Dylan Reese. Oskars Bartulis and Daniel Carcillo were the Flyers scratches.
The Isles wore their white jerseys at home for the second time this season.