NEW YORK — The Islanders seemed to take some solace from the fact that they played well against one of the toughest teams in the NHL. However, it was a pair of mistakes in the third period that quickly derailed a 1-0 lead and led to an eventual 3-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at the Barclays Center.
The Islanders were just the latest victims of the Jets, who orchestrated a third-period comeback off a power-play goal at 3:39 from Jacob Truba and a goal 22 seconds later from Adam Lowry. Winnipeg had pulled off a similar scenario in their game on Sunday against the New York Rangers.
“Honestly, if you look at the way we played it wasn’t that awful,” Anders Lee said. “It’s that stretch, that consistency there is as close as it is to being 100 percent. We just figure those three mistakes out and it’s a different game. We might get points out of it.”
The Islanders had played a much better game out of the game against the Jets than they did on Saturday in their highly anticipated Nassau Coliseum return. The home team outshot the visitors 8-3 in the first period on Tuesday and held the Jets without for the first 9:11 of the game.
Even in the third period, the Islanders slightly outshot the Jets 8-6. The Islanders only goal of the game — a shot down low from Lee — came in the third period.
“We played a really solid game,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “We saw a real high octane team. I thought we checked well. We had a couple of good chances, (Connor)Hellebuyck made a couple of big saves. We hit a couple of posts. It all turned when we took a penalty 200 feet from our net. A bad clear by us and it ends up in the net.
“The next shift, we don’t box out at the net and, all of a sudden, we’re down 2-1.”
Mathew Barzal added: “We’ve got to find a way to get on the board, whether that’s the power play or five on five. That’s the best team in the league, I’d say. For us to hang in there and push the pace, I thought, for most of it, it stinks not getting any points.”
Tuesday’s game was the first for the Islanders back at the Barclays Center after their return to Nassau Coliseum on Saturday. The Islanders played before a sellout crowd of 13,917 at the Coliseum over the weekend, but the announced crowd on Tuesday was just 9,125.
The atmosphere was substantially different on Tuesday.
“Their’s an advantage to playing at Nassau, but if that’s an excuse you don’t deserve your paycheck I don’t think,” Thomas Hickey said.