The New York Islanders opened up their three-game road trip with a 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday night at American Airlines Center.
Andrew Cogliano, Alex Radulov and Denis Gurianov built a 3-0 lead for the Stars, while Mathew Barzal scored the lone goal for the Isles and broke Ben Bishop's (34 saves) shutout bid with 4:33 to play. Special teams were the difference on Saturday, as the Stars went 2-for-2 on the power play, while the Isles went 0-for-1.
"I liked our effort, I liked a lot of things we did. We just couldn't find the back of the net enough and couldn't stop their power play tonight," Head Coach Barry Trotz said.
The first half of the night belonged to the Stars, who peppered the Islanders in the opening 23 minutes, going up three goals - including a pair of power-play markers - en route to the win.
Video: NYI 1 vs DAL 3 : Barry Trotz
Thomas Greiss (34 saves) held the fort in the opening 10 minutes, but Dallas opened the scoring at 11:59 of the first period, as Cogliano redirected a Jamie Oleksiak centering feed past the Isles netminder.
Dallas extended their lead to 2-0 before the end of the period, as Radulov threaded a wrister through a screened Greiss at 16:02. Radulov, who was scratched for Dallas' 3-2 OT win over Winnipeg on Thursday, finished the night with a game-high two points (1G, 1A).
Gurianov made it 3-0 at 3:12 of the second period, as he deflected a Radulov feed past Greiss for the Stars' second power-play goal of the night.
"They do a real good job of keeping pucks to the outside and you really have to will yourself in there," Trotz said. "They've got some dynamic offensive guys and they are a veteran team. They're big, they can skate. They have good goaltending. They're going to be a threat forsure. They are a good hockey team."
After generating a host of chances in a run-and-gun game vs the Golden Knights on Thursday, the Isles had trouble generating extended zone time, or secondary opportunities on Saturday, albeit against a stingy Stars team. The Isles did manage to outshoot the Stars 14-8 in the third period and Barzal eventually broke Bishop's shutout bid late, deflecting a Devon Toews point shot at 15:27 for his team-leading 12th goal of the season.
"It wasn't a terrible game by any means, we did some good things," Josh Bailey said "I thought we came out on the wrong end of the first period when it could have went the other way, but they have a good team over there."
"We couldn't quite find a way to rally and come back. Just too little, too late," Bailey added.
Video: NYI@DAL: Barzal deflects Toews' shot past Bishop
SPECIAL TEAMS THE DIFFERENCE:
The Islanders penalty kill went 0-2 on the night, marking the first time since Nov. 19 the Isles had allowed multiple power-play goals.
Saturday marked the second-straight game the Stars power play scored two goals.
GOALIE ROTATION STAYS INTACT:
The Islanders goalie rotation stayed intact on Saturday night, despite some speculation to the contrary, as Thomas Greiss (34 saves) got the start in goal.
Greiss was the busier of the two netminders, seeing 10 Stars shots in the opening nine-and-a-half minutes. Despite the three goals against, it could have been worse had Greiss not made some quality early stops on Stars captain Jamie Benn's wraparound. It was hard to fault the Isles goalie on any of the goals, which included a pair of backdoor plays and a screened shot on the power play.
The loss was Greiss' second straight, marking the first time this season he'd lost consecutive games this season.
Video: NYI 1 vs DAL 3 : Josh Bailey
NICK LEDDY UPDATE:
Nick Leddy got tangled up with Dallas' Esa Lindell in the final minutes of Saturday's game and left the ice without putting any pressure on his left leg. Trotz did not have an update on his defenseman immediately after the game.
The Islanders three-game road trip continues on Monday night when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.