The New York Islanders 10-game winning streak was bound to come to an end at some point.
It was more the manner in which it happened that perturbed the Islanders in Thursday's 4-3 OT loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Islanders entered the third period with a 3-0 lead, only to see the Penguins march back with four unanswered goals, capped by Bryan Rust's OT winner at 3:25 of the extra frame.
"We played a good 40-minutes and then we didn't stick to what we had done through this stretch here," captain Anders Lee said. "[That's] playing that full-60, putting teams away and not letting them have that opportunity tonight... We've got to be better. That's not the way we've been playing. That's the frustrating part."
Video: NYI 3 vs PIT 4 (OT) : Barry Trotz
ISLES TAKE FOOT OFF THE GAS IN THIRD PERIOD:
Thursday's overtime loss was uncharacteristic of Barry Trotz's Islanders, whose suffocating defense has consistently closed out opponents during the coach's tenure.
That wasn't the case against the Penguins, who scored three goals in a 7:10 span to turn a 3-0 lead into a 3-3 tie. It started with Jared McCann putting Pittsburgh on the board 1:38 into the period, seemingly giving the Penguins some life. From there, Rust made it 3-2 at 6:16 - snapping a puck over Semyon Varlamov's shoulder over a game-changing save from Matt Murray at the other end - and Evgeni Malkin eventually tied it 3-3 at 8:48.
"We've held a lot of leads over two years," Trotz said. "When you have someone down you have to stay on them. We got passive and they had a push… bad on us."
In OT, the Isles carried much of the possession early, but Rust picked Brock Nelson's pocket behind the Islanders net and swept a shot around Varlamov for the win.
Video: PIT 4 vs NYI 3 (OT): Anders Lee
It was a sobering series of events for the Islanders, who were outshoot 11-6 in the final frame. The single point extended their point streak to 11 games (10-0-1), but didn't offer a lot of solace in the immediate aftermath.
"It's tough to swallow, but a point is a point," Ryan Pulock said. "Obviously we're going to take that point, but the upsetting part is that we left one out there that we should have been able to get and didn't."
If anything, it'll serve as a learning experience and a reminder for the Islanders, who entered the game 10-0-0 when scoring three-or-more goals in a game. Trotz was adamant in his post-game press conference that games like Thursday's won't become commonplace.
"It won't become a trend," Trotz said.
CIZIKAS, CLUTTERBUCK SCORE AGAIN:
Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas both felt like they were getting quality chances in the Isles first 13 games of the season. Over the past two games they've been converting them.
For the second straight game, both Cizikas and Clutterbuck, the Isles' feisty, penalty-killing, hard-hitting duo, lit the lamp for the Islanders, helping them jump out to a 2-0 lead.
Cizikas opened the scoring 19 seconds into the contest, corralling a Ryan Pulock rebound off the end boards and roofing a backhander past Matt Murray. Clutterbuck put the Isles ahead 2-0, beating Murray five-hole on a shorthanded breakaway at 6:28. Cizikas sprung Clutterbuck into the Pens zone as the Isles duo teamed up for a second shorthanded goal in as many games.
Adam Pelech put the Isles up 3-0 at 9:26 of the second period, as his point shot found its way through traffic and a screened Murray. Pelech's goal was the Isles third on 11 shots to start the game.
Video: PIT@NYI: Clutterbuck doubles lead with SHG in 2nd
The Islanders host the Florida Panthers on Saturday afternoon at Barclays Center. Puck drop is at 1 p.m.