The New York Islanders were positioned well for a win, but were handed a disappointing 4-3 loss to the Calgary Flames Friday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“It’s mental at this point,” Okposo said. “We give up one then we sit back and let them back in the game. We have to say 'enough’s enough.'”
Joe Colborne started the Flames comeback, scoring the first of his two goals at 11:29 of the third. Sean Monahan found some open space in front of the Islanders goal and tied the score just under three minutes later, while Colborne tipped the winner past Anders Nilsson at 15:41.
“We turned some pucks over and we lost some one-on-one battles in front of the net,” head coach Jack Capuano said. “We got beat off the wall, we got beat by their left defenseman on a one-timer and they have a guy in front and it goes off his stick.”
The Islanders had a five-on-three opportunity early in the third period, but could not douse the Flames on the 1:06 advantage. Okposo had the best chance of the two-man advantage, ringing a shot off the crossbar. The Islanders also narrowly missed on a two-on-one rush midway through the third period, while the game was still 3-1.
“When you give up a shorthanded-goal and don’t score on a five-on-three, it's always going to come back and get you,” Capuano said.
Markus Granlund had put the Flames ahead early, scoring a shorthanded-goal 2:01 into the contest. The Flames also had the first five shots on net, but the Islanders responded by outshooting the Flames 11-1 the rest of the period.
McDonald tied the score at one at 15:26 of the opening frame, one-timing a feed from Ryan Strome past Joni Ortio. The goal extended McDonald’s point streak to three games (two goals, one assist).
Okposo put the Islanders ahead in the second period, finishing a two-on-one rush with Michael Grabner. Grabner picked off a pass in the Islanders zone, rushed up the left wing and threaded a pass to Okposo, who scored his team-leading 26th goal of the season at 6:31.
Just under six minutes later, Brock Nelson leaned into a hard wrist shot for his 11th of the season, beating Ortiohigh over the shoulder.
“With the exception of the first eight minutes, we dominated the rest of the game, that’s the frustrating part,” Okposo said.
The Islanders conclude their four-game road trip Monday night in Vancouver. Puck drop is at 10 p.m. Eastern Time.
NOTES: Josh Bailey recorded his 100th career assist on Nelson’s goal… Calgary native Thomas Hickey picked up an assist in his first-career NHL game in his hometown… Travis Hamonic led the Islanders with 24:50 TOI… Kyle Okposo led the Islanders with four shots.
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