The New York Islanders combined a couple of self-inflicted mistakes with some unfortunate but karmically appropriate bad bounces to create a 5-3 loss to the Boston Bruins Friday night in Brooklyn.
The loss was a poor display overall, but even more risky since it came at the front end of a traveling back-to-back. They play in St. Louis Saturday night, where the Blues are injured but still pose a major threat.
After a decent start by the home team, the scoring sequence was a seesaw affair even if the control of play was mostly in the visitors' hands. The Isles recovered from an early goal by Brett Connolly -- off a defensive zone turnover, which would be a theme for the evening -- by scoring twice in a 1:19 span late in the first period. First Josh Bailey on the power play, then Casey Cizikas on a tip-in reversed the 0-1 deficit.
But after playing to a lazy par for the first 15 minutes of the second period, pushing their luck as Boston controlled play, the Isles coughed up the lead on two turnovers that had a Calvin de Haan at the center. De Haan wasn't the only guilty party, but his play was symbolic for the team.
Capuano: "You defense can look bad when there's no puck support. We didn't do a good job complementing each other, our forwards or our 'D.'"— Michael Willhoft (@MichaelWillhoft) October 24, 2015
Having entered the second intermission down only 3-2 and just a strong push away from taking the game back again, the Isles instead found no traction against a stingy Bruins team defensive effort. The final nail in the coffin was a Ryan Spooner pass that went off both of Marek Zidlicky's skates to deflect into the goal and make it 4-2 halfway through the period.
The final score was polished by a David Krejci empty net goal and a Thomas Hickey point shot through traffic. At 5-3, an Isles too many men penalty with the goalie pulled added one more emphatic "that kind of night" to the proceedings.
Capuano: "Parts of the second period, we were playing pond hockey. We didn’t manage the puck, we didn’t do anything." #Isles— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) October 24, 2015
Tavares: "They made some adjustments, they raised their intensity, and we didn't raise ours. That's not good enough and it starts with me."— Michael Willhoft (@MichaelWillhoft) October 24, 2015
Bailey: "We seemed to be chasing the game all third period. We just didn't play our game in the second [period] and that killed us."— Michael Willhoft (@MichaelWillhoft) October 24, 2015