The New York Islanders felt they deserved a better fate than a 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Thursday night at Capital One Arena.
They outshot the Capitals 38-19 and limited Washington to just two shots in the third period. After Anders Lee's second goal of the night tied the score 3-3 with 13 minutes to play, the Islanders looked to at least get a point out of the divisional affair.
Ultimately they did not, as Lars Eller scored the game-winner - and his second goal of the night - with 3:21 to play, ending the Islanders two-game winning streak.
Video: Isles drop road game to Caps, 4-3
"The only thing really to be disappointed in was the result," said Josh Bailey, who extended his point streak to a career-high eight games with two assists. "That's frustrating for sure, obviously that's the most important thing, but all in all, I thought it was a pretty good 60 minutes by us."
The Islanders and Capitals played fast and loose in their first meeting of the season, but despite carrying long stretches of the play, the Islanders found themselves chasing the Capitals on the scoreboard all night.
Video: NYI@WSH: Tavares pokes home PPG in 600th NHL game
Taylor Chorney beat a screened Jaroslav Halak with a wrist shot from the point to open the scoring for the Capitals at 5:55 of the first. The Islanders answered on the power play, as John Tavares netted his 10th goal in six games, jamming home a Bailey pass at 13:01, but the Capitals retook the lead before the end of the period, with Eller one-timing the go-ahead goal past Halak at 16:19.
"It's obviously a game we'd like to have, or at least get ourselves to overtime," Tavares said. "The late goal obviously stings, especially after the effort we put forward tonight."
Lee's power-play goal tied the score 2-2 at 16:18 of the second period, but the tie game was short-lived, as Alex Chaisson beat Halak off the rush 12 seconds later. Lee's second of the night, a turnaround slap shot that eluded Braden Holtby, had the Islanders in another tie, but they couldn't find a way to get in front, even with a late power play. Eller eventually broke the deadlock, beating Halak with a wrister off the rush.
Video: NYI@WSH: Lee scores PPG off Bailey's pass
"I think we did play well enough tonight, but were always battling back from behind a goal," said Lee, who extended his career-high point streak to seven games with three points (2G, 1A). "We just have to find a way in the third period once we tie it up to survive the rest of the period."
Halak, who had a four-game winning streak snapped, finished the night with 15 saves, while Holtby made 36 saves in the win.
TAVARES, BAILEY, LEE STAY HOT:
John Tavares, Josh Bailey and Anders Lee - the Islanders top line - all continued their point streaks.
Tavares' first-period goal was his 10th in six games, vaulting him to second in goals (12) in the entire league, one behind Tampa's Nikita Kucherov.
Video: NYI@WSH: Lee ties game with his second goal
With two assists, Bailey extended his point streak to a career-high eight games. The Islanders forward now has 13 points (2G, 11A) in his last eight contests and owns the longest-active streak in the NHL.
Lee also set a new career-long, as he extended his point streak to seven games with two goals and an assist vs the Caps. Lee now has 13 points (6G, 7A) on his seven-game run.
The top line are first, second and third in Islanders scoring this season.
The Islanders power play also scored for a third straight game and is now 7-for-14 in the past three games.
The Islanders return home to face the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday evening. Puck drop is at 6 p.m.