Islanders fall to fellow playoff hopeful Sabres in overtime

Islanders fall to fellow playoff hopeful Sabres in overtime

BUFFALO — One workforce at KeyBank Heart on Thursday seemed prefer it was able to make a run at a playoff berth.

It wasn’t the Islanders.

They will now add the Sabres to the record of groups they’ll must fend off if the postseason is within the playing cards. That appears much less doubtless than ever following a 3-2 additional time loss at Buffalo’s arms on Thursday night time — the third sport in 4 that’s seen the Islanders rating first and blow the lead.

Victor Olofsson tied it and Dylan Cozens gained it for the Sabres in additional time, simply 12 seconds into the additional interval. The Islanders get some extent, however its not one that may make them really feel good.

The Sabres, who’ve performed three fewer video games than the Islanders, are simply 4 factors behind them within the standings. And the Islanders, who’ve performed three extra video games than the Penguins, are nonetheless some extent behind Pittsburgh for the ultimate wild-card spot within the East.

That may put them between a rock and a tough place, with out even accounting for his or her current run of kind. As to that, although, Thursday was their seventh loss in eight video games and tenth in 12 because the new 12 months. That is beginning to rival the COVID-19-addled stretch that took them out of the playoff race final season. These Isles — whereas coping with some accidents, together with new ones to Hudson Fasching and Cal Clutterbuck, which noticed Fasching sit out the whole sport Thursday and Clutterbuck depart halfway by the second — are nowhere close to as undermanned as final season’s.

Sabres gamers have fun Alex Tuch’s aim throughout the Islanders’ 3-2 additional time loss.USA TODAY Sports activities

Likewise, this case doesn’t appear fairly as hopeless as that one. However it’s trying worse by the day, and 24 hours after Lane Lambert was requested if a loss to the Bruins certified because the season’s low level, the Isles dug deeper.

Taking a 2-1 lead into the ultimate interval, the Islanders made it 9:32 earlier than surrendering the tying aim, as Olofsson fired residence a puck from the left circle to beat Sorokin to make it 2-2, energizing a crowd that had been ready all night time for the door to be kicked down.

They must wait till additional time to lastly accomplish that, however Cozens lastly did within the further interval.

Brock Nelson celebrates after scoring a first-period aim throughout the Islanders’ 3-2 additional time loss to the Blues.NHLI by way of Getty Photographs

Sorokin, who completed with 42 stops, was sensible for the Islanders all night time, keying them to that lead by 40 minutes regardless of the Isles being outshot, 31-16, by the second intermission. Fittingly, he was named to his first All-Star Recreation throughout the third interval, although the Islanders couldn’t reward him with a win.

After 20 minutes, Buffalo led the shot depend, 18-5, and the high-danger probability depend, 10-2. Nonetheless, the Islanders had a 1-0 lead — the product of a rush probability at 7:19 wherein Anthony Beauvillier’s picture-perfect go discovered Brock Nelson for a redirect on the doorstep.

Matt Martin snapped residence a ravishing low-to-high feed from Casey Cizikas at 18:30 of the second interval to present the Islanders their second lead of the sport, 2-1. Ten minutes earlier, when Alex Tuch poked in Rasmus Dahlin’s rebound to tie it, there was an open query as as to if the Islanders may present the type of resilience and desperation essential to have an opportunity at two factors on the highway.

For some time, they did.

Simply not lengthy sufficient.

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