The Montreal Canadiens scored two goals in the second period and defeated the Isles 3-1 in front of a sold out Nassau Coliseum. It was the third straight home game this week that the Islanders have failed to win. Goals by Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty, and stellar goaltending by Carey Price, sealed the home team's fate, despite a late game comeback attempt.
"It was another one of those nights," John Tavares told reporters after the loss. "It was tight, pucks were bouncing it seemed and we were trying to generate some offense. Trying to get to the middle of the ice. Obviously there's a lot being let go and it's tight games. You just have to find a we and right now it's definitely just disappointing.
"We did some good things, but it's just not enough."
The Islanders outshot the Habs 13-8 through the game's opening period and generated chances, but the visitors from Montreal jumped to an early lead in the game's second frame. Thomas Hickey got caught behind the play and the Canadiens were able to score off the odd-man rush.
Moments later, with the Islanders on a power play, Michal Neuvirth misplayed the puck allowing for the Canadiens to score an easy goal to take a 2-0 lead. The Islanders cut the lead to 2-1 with a late power play goal by Josh Bailey in the third period, but a second goal was not to be had and the Canadiens scored on the empty net.
"I know I sound like a broken record being up here again," Isles coach Jack Capuano said. "We played pretty well to be honest with you. The power play obviously, the short handed goal. You give one of those up it, comes back back to haunt you because it would have been a 1-1 game. You're sitting here, you give up two goals -- well obviously an empty netter -- but we gave up one goal five-on-five to a good team."
The Islanders power play notched a goal late in the game, but failed to convert on four previous chances. The team knows that simplifying things on the power play will help, but Capuano would like those words be put into action.
"We keep saying that though," he said. "We have to figure it out. If you watch the game the other night, two of the goals -- Tyler's goal and a few of their goals -- you have to just get pucks to the net. Everybody tightens up... You try to hit seams and you try to do different things, and it's got to be a six-on-five desperation. That's the way you have to look at it."
The Islanders' have dropped four games at home dating back to February 28, which is the first time they have lost four consecutive contests at Nassau Coliseum.
Now with a short two game trip away from the Coliseum ahead, the Islanders need to find a way to snap out of the funk they've been in recently. Whether it is the team being snakebitten offensively or facing hot goalies in each contest, the Isles have failed to capitalize on scoring chances.
"We had a fair amount of opportunities," Matt Martin said. "You just have to burry the ones that you have. We had a lot of chances around the net and Price made some good saves on some. On others we just couldn't find the back of the net either. It's frustrating, but there's not much you can do about it."
Capuano is not concerned with the team's recent stretch. He bellies the work ethic is there and said he would rather the team go through this situation now. Johnny Boychuk took the same stance as well when addressing reporters.
"At least it's happening now so we can fix it," Boychuk said. "If it's in a month from now we're gonna be going home. At least you can look at the positives and say we can look at video and realize what we're doing wrong, and fix it now. Instead of in a month when it's too late."
The Islanders will have two days before they have to face the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday at the United Center.