Elmont, NY– For the last seven months, flashes of red and black sat in the New York Islanders’ minds after being eliminated from the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Carolina Hurricanes.
On Saturday night, the Islanders once again saw those flashes and were blinded by them long enough to blow a two-goal lead in the third period, losing to their division rival 4-3 at UBS Arena in overtime.
Sebastian Aho scored the game-winner for Carolina.
The Islanders have lost all three overtime games they’ve played this season.
As they did on Monday night facing the Detroit Red Wings, the Islanders entered the third period against Carolina up by two but saw their lead slip away.
“We got to get the puck out,” Islanders captain Anders Lee said. “Punt it, live to survive another day. We were doing that quite a bit with this team. You have with the way they come down the walls. We just weren’t able to execute.”
Carolina pushed its way back into the game with a 20-5 shots-on-goal advantage in the third period. In total, the Hurricanes fired 101 shots in the direction of Ilya Sorokin, as allowing a high volume of shots has become a regular occurrence for the Islanders.
“We’re certainly hoping it’s not a trend as of right now,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. “We have given away a couple of multi-goal leads, and it’s certainly not a recipe for success. So, is it a trend? No, it’s too early, but certainly something that we need to make sure doesn’t become a trend.”
Dmitry Orlov drew Carolina within a goal at 12:19 into the third period, and Jesperi Kotkeniemi scored on the power play to even the score with 4:34 seconds to play in regulation.
“I’m very frustrated,” Sorokin said. “It’s the second game in a row for me when they scored a pair of goals and tied the game.”
The Islanders were ahead 3-1 at the beginning of the third period.
Noah Dobson opened the scoring with his third goal of the season as he was set up with a dropoff pass by Mathew Barzal and danced into the slot before roofing a backhand shot past Carolina netminder Aanti Raanta. Bo Horvat also collected an assist on the goal.
Through 10 games, Dobson has 10 points, making him the first Islanders defenseman to have that many points through a season’s first 10 games since James Wisnewski did to begin the 2010-11 season, further cementing himself as a top-pairing defenseman.
Like Dobson, Simon Holmstrom has emerged for the Islanders this season. The young forward entered training camp as a question mark to make the roster and has only legitimized himself as a two-way threat since.
With the Islanders down a man, Jean-Gabriel Pageau pushed the puck free into the neutral zone, allowing him and Holmstrom to race into the attacking end all alone, where Holmstrom scored his third goal of the year and the Islanders’ second shorthanded.
Barzal and Horvat each had two points in the game. The Islanders’ first line duo connected to put the team up 3-0 as Barzal flicked a quick wrist shot over Raanta’s shoulder. Ryan Pulock had an assist on Barzal’s second goal of the season.
Horvat, however, blocked a shot off his right leg late in the third period, skating off the ice before heading down the tunnel toward the Islanders’ dressing room with a heavy limp. Horvat did return to the game. Lambert had no update on his status afterward.
Not too long after the score by Barzal, Hurricanes defenseman Jalen Chatfield scored his first goal of the season with assists from Jordan Martinook and Jordan Staal to get Carolina on the board.
With the loss, the Islanders’ record falls to 5-2-3. In their last six home games against the Hurricanes in the regular season, the Islanders are 0-4-2, with their last win coming on Nov. 24, 2018, when they still played at Barclays Center.
The Islanders next play on Tuesday, Nov. 7, when the Minnesota Wild come to town.