Penalty kill woes lead to another loss for Islanders

The Islanders penalty kill is floundering, and losses are mounting as a result.

For the sixth straight game Saturday night in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Oilers, the Isles surrendered a power play goal. This time it came late in the second period. Edmonton forward Milan Lucic buried a rebound with just more than three minutes remaining before intermission, tying the game at 3.

After a scoreless third period and 3-on-3 overtime, Mark Letestu scored the lone goal in the shootout to hand the Islanders (4-6-2) their third straight loss and fifth in the past six contests. To make matters worse, defenseman and assistant captain Travis Hamonic left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury. He didn’t return.

Saturday’s loss comes two days after the Islanders fell to Flyers at home in a shootout. Jack Capuano called out his players for a lack of effort and hinted at possible lineup and playing-time changes in the future.

The Edmonton Oilers celebrate a goal scored by left wing Milan Lucic's (27) second-period goal.

The Edmonton Oilers celebrate a goal scored by left wing Milan Lucic’s (27) second-period goal.

(Julie Jacobson/AP)

At first, it appeared as though Islanders heeded their coach’s message.

Defenseman Nick Leddy put New York on the board just 13 seconds into the Saturday’s opening period, finishing off a precise cross-ice feed from Cal Clutterbuck, who was skating on the top line along with John Tavares and Josh Bailey. Around six minutes later, a wide-open Shane Prince collected a deflected pass and added to lead by beating Edmonton goaltender Cam Talbot.

The 2-0 advantage was short-lived, however. With 11:38 remaining in the first period, Patrick Maroon ended Jaroslav Halak’s shutout bid, tipping a Matthew Benning wrist shot from the point into the top-right corner of the net. Less than four minutes later, Leon Draisailt evened the score by slotting home a snap shot. Halak was stuck on the wrong side of the cage after Maroon’s shot was deflected in front.

Nick Leddy (#2) put New York on the board just 13 seconds into the Saturday's opening period.

Nick Leddy (#2) put New York on the board just 13 seconds into the Saturday’s opening period.

(Al Bello/Getty Images)

The Islanders regained the lead with 8:42 left in the second period. Talbot was unable to corral a rebound. Casey Cizikas collected the loose puck in front of the crease, shifted it to his forehand and finished for his second goal of the season.

But then came a Tavares holding penalty inside of five minutes in the second. And with less than 30 second remaining on the power play, Lucic found the back of the net on a rebound to once again tie the game.

It was the eighth power-play goal the Islanders have allowed in the past six games. On Thursday night, the Isles surrendered a game-tying power-play goal with less than a minute remaining in regulation.

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Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News

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