CALGARY, Alberta — By the point Zach Parise scored with a minute to go within the first interval Friday night time, it already felt like a quest to keep away from full embarrassment for the Islanders.
It began badly. Mathew Barzal was a late scratch, after he took warmups, with a lower-body harm.
Then it obtained worse. A lot worse.
The Islanders ended their four-game journey out west with a messy 4-1 loss to the Flames. An evening after an terrible first interval ended their possibilities early at Edmonton, they had been down by three targets to the Flames earlier than they began to get their legs underneath them. So, after a 1-3-0 highway journey through which the Islanders performed two good durations of hockey out of 12, their report is 22-17-2, their finest skater is injured, and they should discover their recreation once more. Quick.
Their subsequent recreation received’t be till Tuesday at house in opposition to the Stars. Coach Lane Lambert must spend these days correctly, as a result of their catastrophe of an effort in opposition to the Oilers on Thursday traveled south on Freeway 21 and contaminated the Islanders till it was too late in opposition to the Flames.
Semyon Varlamov reacts through the Islanders’ loss to the Flames. USA TODAY Sports activities
Milan Lucic scored 4:36 into the sport on a clear one-timer from Jonathan Huberdeau. Lower than two minutes later, Blake Coleman corralled his personal rebound from a pointy angle to offer Calgary a 2-0 lead. Then at 14:21, Nikita Zadorov beat Semyon Varlamov clear from the blue line to make it 3-0, one night time after the Islanders mentioned they may not let the horrific begin that befell them in Edmonton occur once more.
Varlamov, making his return from a groin harm, seemed rusty early on, stopping simply three of six photographs within the first interval, however the Islanders did their goaltender no favors. For the primary quarter-hour, you possibly can depend the variety of pucks they obtained deep on one hand. They supplied no resistance within the impartial zone. It was, plain and easy, embarrassing.
Even after Parise made it 3-1 within the dying embers of the primary interval, the final 40 minutes of the sport had grow to be about retaining some delight fairly than getting two factors.
The Islanders managed to try this, as Jacob Markstrom bailed the Flames out on breakaway possibilities by Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Casey Cizikas within the second interval, and the sport grew to become altogether tighter, however that’s as hole a silver lining as may be.
Flames gamers rejoice throughout their win over the Islanders. Icon Sportswire through Getty Photographs
Nazem Kadri put a bow on the match with a sharp-angled aim at 6:59 of the third interval. That made it 4-1, eliminating any probability of a comeback on an evening when the Islanders didn’t notably need to have one anyway.
The Islanders can depend themselves as fortunate to nonetheless be in a playoff spot as they jet house, although the Penguins have three video games in hand and simply two factors to make up, so that won’t final lengthy. They’re 4 factors behind the Capitals and Rangers, having blown an opportunity to make up two factors on Washington, which additionally misplaced on Friday.
Simply earlier this week, the Islanders had received 4 of 5 video games and performed a few of their finest hockey all yr in doing so.
Now, they seem like a crew that should get again to the fundamentals and in a rush. In any other case, 2023 will go the identical manner as 2022, and nobody can be fairly so forgiving this time round.