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Islanders fall in shootout as playoff picture gets a bit bleaker

The Islanders enter their longest second half break with a lot to fix.

The spark hasn’t completely faded after the arrival of Patrick Roy after just eight games, but it’s become clear that the Islanders’ problems are bigger than a new voice alone can quickly fix.

The Islanders, who lost their second straight game on home ice on Tuesday with a 2-1 shootout loss to Seattle in Tomas Tatar’s final game, enter the Stadium Series with playoff prospects but need to gain momentum. be.

They now have a seven-point lead over the third-place Flyers in the Metropolitan area and three points in the wild-card race ahead of Detroit’s game in Edmonton later on Tuesday.

That gap will likely widen over the next four days as the Islanders are off until Sunday’s outdoor game against the Rangers at MetLife Stadium and the rest of the league’s games continue.

This isn’t a big deal since both games will last 82 games.

Ilya Sorokin makes a save in the Islanders’ shootout loss. Robert Szabo of the New York Post

But the Islanders have a huge responsibility to win the games they have and then some.

Based on what they announced Tuesday, that may be a tall order.

The Islanders were up 1-1 after 40 minutes, but they couldn’t catch up enough to earn the two points.

Ilya Sorokin kept the score tied throughout the third period, most notably stopping Alex Wennberg on a Grade A chance at the crease with 11 minutes and 13 seconds left to thwart an Adam Pelech turnover and Jamie Oleksiak’s attempt. I put it on my glove at under 4 minutes. left.

The breakout and structure Roy was trying to build wasn’t there Tuesday, and the Islanders were back to relying on Sorokin while still hoping they could score on the occasional offensive opportunity.

Seattle center Matty Beniers celebrates with his teammates after scoring in the first period of the Islanders’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Kraken. Robert Szabo of the New York Post

Sorokin’s 28 saves within regulation gave the Islanders a point, and they held on with a 4-3 penalty kill in overtime.

However, in the skill contest, Kraken netminder Philipp Grubauer bested him by stopping all three shots.

The Kraken took the lead 5:27 into the game with a goal by Matty Beniers off a rush, whose shot beat Sorokin from the far side.

To make matters worse, the Islanders lacked the energy they needed for the second straight game, failing to convert a four-minute power play after Andre Burakovsky high-sticked Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

The Islanders’ penalty kill has been in the spotlight, with just 5 of 33 power plays over the past month.

Islanders celebrate Kyle Palmieri’s goal against the Kraken. Robert Szabo of the New York Post

But the good news for the Islanders was that at 14:37 of the second period, Kyle Palmieri finished off a Matt Barzal feed into the crease, finally breaking their recent record at 5-on-4.

It was a needed boost on a night when the Islanders didn’t seem to have much. But it’s not enough.

Roy, who likes to cite zone time statistics, said that between 3:29 and 3:35 early in the second game, Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov moved the puck out of the zone. , you wouldn’t be happy to find out you were stuck on the ice.

The experiment with Pierre Enval on the top line did not go as planned and was called off about 12 minutes into the night.

And — stop me if you’ve heard this before — the fact that Grubauer played in his first game since Dec. 9, in addition to Monday’s games in Seattle and New Jersey, made Tuesday’s The situation got even worse.

It was specially prepared for the islanders to take advantage of a situation in which they were unable to take advantage of it.

There is still time to turn things around.

But saying that every time you lose won’t make it happen.

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