It was hard for Anders Lee to take solace in hitting a pair of career benchmarks on Sunday, as the New York Islanders fell 4-3 to the Carolina Hurricanes at Barclays Center.
The Isles forward had a two-goal game, scoring his 34th and 35th goals of the season, setting a new single-season career high and netting his 200th career point in the process.
However the individual success was soured by the team result, as the Isles dropped their third straight game.
"You continue to work hard and continue to look at your game and try to improve," Lee said. "It's just a combination of good work from the line and being on the benefiting side of it. But, you want to score two when you win."
Video: CAR@NYI: Lee scores his second PPG of the game
Lee put his team back in a tie game twice on Sunday, as the Islanders rallied out of an early 2-0 hole to tie it 2-2 and again in the third to make it 3-3. Despite getting back on even ground, the Islanders could get over the hump, with Trevor van Riemsdyk snapping home the game-winner with 6:49 to play.
"It was a brutal start. We didn't have our legs. We figured it out, we turned it around. We tied up the game," Lee said. "Third period, in a position to take over the game and to win it and obviously we let it slip."
The Islanders found themselves down 2-0 early, with the Hurricanes scoring twice in the opening 4:44 of the first period.
First, Jaccob Slavin's point shot that deflected off Adam Pelech's leg and past Jaroslav Halak (35 saves) at 2:50, while Lee Stempniak beat Halak with a blocker side wrister from the slot at 4:44.
Video: CAR@NYI: Lee buries rebound for power-play goal
The Islanders erased the 2-0 deficit with two goals in just under a two minute span in the second period. Josh Bailey deflected a Ryan Pulock slap shot past Scott Darling (26 saves) at 10:29 while Lee swept a rebound past Darling on the power play at 12:22.
Victor Rask tucked in a Joakim Nordstrom rebound to give Carolina a 3-2 lead at 14:04, but the Islanders tied it again in the third, as Lee tipped a Bailey feed for the Isles second power-play goal of the game. Lee's goal doubled as his 200th career point and was the Islanders second power-play goal of the game - their fifth in a two-game span.
The Isles pressed after van Riemsdyk's go-ahead goal, but couldn't find the tying marker with their goalie pulled in a 5-on-4 situation.
Video: CAR@NYI: Bailey redirects one home in front
"We're not getting the results and that can beat you down," John Tavares said. "It's just important to focus on one day at a time and just try to be professional, play with a lot of pride and play hard and try and find a way to get out of this thing and build some momentum and build some confidence and get some results."
Tavares finished the game with three assists and after starting alongside Mathew Barzal on a new-look top line, the Isles captain finished the game with his usual linemates.
The Islanders' five-game homestand continues on Tuesday when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Video: CAR 4 vs NYI 3: Doug Weight
Video: CAR 4 vs. NYI 3: Josh Bailey
Video: CAR 4 vs. NYI 3: John Tavares
Video: CAR 4 vs. NYI 3: Anders Lee