The New York Islanders dropped the first game of their five-game trip, falling 5-0 to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night at Pepsi Center.
The Islanders couldn’t convert on a strong first period and saw the game slip away in the second, as the Avalanche scored three goals in a 6:49 span. Nathan MacKinnon led the Avalanche offense with two goals, while Semyon Varlamov made 40 saves for the shutout.
“The bottom line was we didn’t do enough to win the game,” Matt Martin said. “We had a lot of shots, but didn’t get enough traffic, didn’t get in his eyes enough. Goals don’t have to be pretty. We need to get some ugly ones and get back on track.”
The Islanders controlled possession in the first period, out-attempting the Avalanche 29-9, but trailed 1-0 at the intermission. The Avalanche found the back of the net 2:34 into the period, as Cody McLeod stationed himself at the top of the crease and potted a Matt Duchene feed past Chad Johnson, who suffered his first loss of the season.
John Tavares had the Islanders best chance with three seconds to play in the first period, but his one-timer rang off the crossbar and out.
“John [Tavares] hit a crossbar and that could have changed the momentum early on,” Head Coach Jack Capuano said.
MacKinnon put the Avalanche up 2-0 with the first of his two goals Thursday. The reigning Calder winner fished the puck out of a net-front pileup and outwaited a falling Johnson for the power-play goal.
Marc-Andre Cliché added to the Avs lead, banking a puck off Johnson from the side of the net at 8:59. MacKinnon followed up 1:15 later with his second, driving to the net, gaining inside position and redirecting a Jarome Iginla pass past Johnson.
Erik Johnson rounded out the scoring in the third period, beating Johnson with a point shot during four-on-four play.
The Islanders now head to California and resume their road trip Saturday night in San Jose. Puck drop from SAP Center goes at 10:30 p.m. eastern time.