Despite earning a point on Thursday, the New York Islanders' 5-4 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks left a bitter taste.
The Islanders had come back from a 3-1 deficit to take a 4-3 lead over the Ducks in the third period, but gave up the tying goal with 1:15 to play and ultimately lost in OT as Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm completed his first-career hat trick. The loss dropped the Islanders to 1-1-1 on their current five-game homestand.
Video: ANA@NYI: Ladd goes bar-down off loose puck
"It was a frustrating one," said captain John Tavares, who had a three-point night (2G, 1A). "Especially when you come back and played better the second half, got the lead, and we weren't able to hold on."
Josh Bailey also had a three-point night (3A), as he and the Islanders co-point leaders keyed the comeback. Bailey had the primary assists on all three Islanders goals: Mathew Barzal's power-play goal to make it 2-1 Ducks in the second period, Tavares' power-play goal to make it 3-2 Anaheim and Tavares' second of the night to tie the score.
Video: ANA@NYI: Barzal finishes Bailey's feed for PPG
Bailey extended his point streak to seven games (5G, 9A) and took over the NHL lead in assists in the process. Tavares extended his point streak to six games (4G, 10A).
The Islanders needed a big effort from their top line and power-play unit, as they fell behind the Ducks early. Lindholm and Ondrej Kase scored goals 1:45 apart to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead in the first period.
"Our starts lately have given us an uphill battle from the get-go," said Andrew Ladd, who's bar-down shot in the third gave the Islanders a 4-3 lead. "It's not the way we want to start games, but in saying that, we battled back to get the lead and have a hold of the game with a minute and a half left. We've got to find ways to seal the deal there."
Video: ANA@NYI: Tavares buries rebound for PPG
The Islanders used their power play to get on the board, scoring on a five-on-three early in the period and again with the man advantage late. Thursday marked the fifth straight game the Isles netted a power-play goal and the second straight in which they scored two.
Bailey fed Tavares for the tying goal at 5:44 of the third, while Ladd put the Isles ahead just over two minutes later. That looked like it would hold up as the game winner, but Rickard Rakell buried a rebound with 1:15 left to send the game to overtime.
Video: ANA@NYI: Tavares slips wrister home for second goal
Both teams had their chances in the extra frame, with Barzal leading a pair of rushes on Miller. Cam Fowler hit a post early, but ultimately Lindholm completed his hat trick at 4:03.
"We missed the playoffs last year by a point so whatever way you want to look at it, we're a minute away from two [points]," Tavares said. "We still got the one, it still adds to what we have in the standings and all you can do is move forward and get ready for Saturday. We don't have a few games for a few days after that so we should be eager and hungry and salvage this week."
PRINCE DEBUTS, HICKEY RETURNS:
Shane Prince made his season debut on Thursday night, playing his first game since undergoing ankle surgery in August. The 25-year-old forward skated 11:10 TOI with two hits. Anthony Beauvillier came out of the lineup for Prince, who was recalled from a conditioning stint in Bridgeport on Wednesday.
Thomas Hickey also returned to the lineup Thursday after missing five games with a concussion. Dennis Seidenberg came out of the lineup for Hickey.
The Islanders wrap up their pre-Christmas schedule with a Saturday matinee against the Winnipeg Jets. Puck drop is at 1 p.m.
Video: ANA 5 vs. NYI 4: Doug Weight
Video: ANA 5 vs. NYI 4: John Tavares
Video: ANA 5 vs. NYI 4: Andrew Ladd
Video: ANA 5 vs. NYI 4: Josh Bailey