Islanders’ third-period meltdowns becoming troubling trend
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MONTREAL — Earlier this season, the Islanders had been going into third intervals stuffed with swagger, even when the scoreboard stated they need to really feel in any other case.
Now, they appear to stroll into the ultimate 20 minutes ready for the other shoe to drop, even when the scoreboard says they’re successful.
A pair of blown results in the Canadiens within the third interval Saturday on the best way to a 4-3 time beyond regulation loss was not a consequence that may be taken in isolation. That got here after the Islanders blew a 4-2 third-period result in Vancouver on Thursday, which comes on the heels of a whole month wherein they continuously tripped over themselves within the third.
The resilience that seemed like a defining function of the Islanders over the primary couple of months this season has gone, and with it, their playoff likelihood is beginning to dwindle.
“We’ve got to remain on the gasoline,” Ryan Pulock informed The Put up. “I believe clearly all through video games, there’s highs and lows and momentum swings. If you get that purpose [to take the lead] you gotta maintain that momentum one of the best you possibly can.”
Certainly, it seemed as if the Islanders had overcome the worst of it on Saturday after Matt Martin tipped in a shot from Alexander Romanov to take the lead again simply over midway by means of the third interval. However positive sufficient, the Canadiens made a push and Kirby Dach tied the rating with a tip of his personal with simply over three minutes left.
And in time beyond regulation, Montreal went on to steal the additional level on a defensive breakdown after an influence play ended, with Mike Matheson netting the winner.
“It’s laborious to level your finger to 1 specific factor,” Noah Dobson stated of the third-period points. “Clearly it’s an space the final little bit we gotta be higher on. It’s one thing we’re conscious of.”
After Saturday, the Islanders — who at the start of the season scored stirring comeback wins over the Avalanche, Flames and Rangers — have a unfavorable purpose differential this season in third intervals, having been outscored 55-54.
“There’s a sure time limit the place as a person, you must win a battle,” coach Lane Lambert stated. “And when that doesn’t occur, you lower your possibilities of holding that lead.”
Sebastian Aho drew again into the lineup for Samuel Bolduc, choosing up a secondary help over 16:16.
Romanov, who assisted on Martin’s third-period purpose, seemed emotional because the Canadiens performed a tribute video for him early within the recreation. Romanov was traded to the Islanders from Montreal throughout the draft final summer time on the Bell Centre.