It was a new game but it was the same old story for the New York Islanders. They took a two-goal lead into the third period before allowing four goals to the Anaheim Ducks in the final 20 minutes. The Ducks went on to win the game 5-3.
This was the 10th time this season the Islanders lost a game after leading entering the third period. They have been outscored 43-22 in the third period over the course of the first 37 games of the 2013-14 campaign.
Ryan Getzlaf scored three times including an empty net goal which earned him the hat trick and clinched the Ducks’ eighth straight win. Meanwhile, the Islanders have now lost 14 of their last 16 games (2-10-4).
“We didn’t move the puck the way we should have in the third period,” Isles coach Jack Capuano said. ”You can’t play the way we played in the third period against a big Stanley Cup-caliber team like this. It won’t work.”
The Islanders played well for the first 40 minutes and led 3-1. Thomas Vanek had a strong game, scoring in the first period to make it 1-0 Isles and then adding an unassisted goal with just 2:05 left in the second period on a laser-like shot to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead. Frans Nielsen scored 57 seconds later and the Isles had a 3-1 lead as they headed into the locker room for the second intermission.
In the third period, the Ducks quickly took control of the game. Getzlaf scored his second goal of the night just 1:10 into the final stanza to pull Anaheim to within one goal and give the Islanders an uncomfortable sense of deja vu.
Mathieu Perreault tied the game at 10:32 of the third period on a backhander from the slot. Then, Kyle Palmieri netted the game winner at 13:44 from in front of the crease before the empty netter by Getzlaf in the final minute ended the scoring and left the crowd of 13,108 frustrated by the home team’s frustrating finish.
“We have to do a better job in a lot of areas, especially in our defensive zone and our coverage,” John Tavares admitted. “Obviously today’s disappointing.”
Two icing violations which the Isles felt were bad calls led to two goals by the Ducks in the third period. “We were frustrated at the no calls and the icings,” Vanek said. “But we tend to focus on that instead of the task at hand.”
The Islanders return to action Monday night when they take on the Red Wings at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
Teemu Selanne was a scratch for the Ducks. The future Hall of Famer no longer plays in back-to-back games and he played last night against New Jersey.
Matt Martin and Tim Jackman had a long fight in the second period.
Eric Boulton received a 10 minute misconduct and a game misconduct at the 20:00 mark of the third period.
Thomas Hickey finished the game with a plus-three rating.