A four-goal first period sank the New York Islanders on Sunday night, as the Isles fell 5-2 to the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome.
John Tavares and Jason Chimera scored the Islanders' two goals, but by the time Tavares scored, the Islanders were already in an 0-4 hole to the Flames. The loss snapped the Islanders five-game winning streak against Calgary and dropped the Isles to 3-2-1 on their current nine-game road trip.
"It's a five-minute span that costs you the game," Interim Coach Doug Weight said. "They got some momentum with the goal and took it to us for five minutes. Really it's the game. You can look at everything else, but that's what it is."
The four-goal first happened in a flash, as Calgary scored all four goals in a 4:40 span. Michael Frolik opened the scoring at 14:56, throwing a sharp-angled rebound on net, while TJ Brodie's centering feed banked off Thomas Greiss and in at 16:28, putting the Flames up 2-0. Michael Ferland's went top shelf from face-off dot to make it 3-0 42 seconds later and Calgary added one more before the end of the period, with Sean Monahan finishing a three-on-one at 19:36.
"Disappointing for a span like that to cost us," Weight said. "We had a good second and third and battled back, but it was just too big of a hole."
JF Berube replaced Greiss at the start of the second period, as the starter conceded four goals on 21 shots. After surrendering 21 shots in the first period, the Islanders held the Flames to nine in the second, as both the frantic pace and offense slowed down.
Video: NYI@CGY: Tavares slams home rebound from the doorstep
Tavares put the Islanders on the board at 8:30 of the second period, getting inside position on Dougie Hamilton and sweeping a Scott Mayfield rebound past Brian Elliott. But narrowing the deficit down to three was as close as the Islanders came.
"When you're stuck playing behind the eight ball the rest of the night, it's not easy," Travis Hamonic said. "Just some uncharacteristic mistakes by our group."
Kris Versteeg cashed in on a three-on-one rush at 6:58 of the third period, restoring the four-gal lead. Chimera rounded out the scoring with his 16th of the season, zipping a wrist shot high glove on Elliott.
Video: NYI@CGY: Chimera goes upstairs with quick wrist shot
The Islanders had one last late opportunity with a 1:27 five-on-three, but couldn't solve Elliott on the late two-man advantage. Berube finished the game with 15 saves on 16 shots.
"We tried to battle back, but just too big of a hole tonight," Anders Lee said. "It's a lost opportunity for two points tonight, but a big one in a couple of days."
The Islanders road trip heads north to Edmonton, as the Isles and Oilers play on Tuesday night. Puck drop is at 9 p.m. eastern time.
Johnny Boychuk missed Sunday's game with a lower-body injury… Adam Pelech was a healthy scratch… Thomas Hickey and Scott Mayfield drew back into the lineup for Boychuk and Pelech.