The New York Islanders saw a 3-1 lead turn into a 7-4 loss on Saturday night, as they fell to the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena in Raleigh.
A whirlwind of second-and -third period goals sunk the Islanders on Saturday, as the Hurricanes scored three goals in each frame, first overcoming a 3-1 deficit and eventually breaking open a 4-4 tie.
"We generated opportunities and we had some good momentum at times and obviously had a 3-1 lead," Tavares said. "We were just too spotty, allowed them to get back in the game and take over in the third."
Video: NYI@CAR: Tavares opens scoring with nice tip-in
Tavares followed up his hat-trick performance on Friday with a pair of goals on Saturday night, opening the scoring for the Islanders and tying the game 4-4 at the start of the third period. But the captain's effort was not enough to overcome the Hurricanes overwhelming offense.
Carolina outshot the Islanders 45-32 on the night, racking up 35 shots through the first two periods.
Tavares opened the scoring in the first period, forcing a turnover off the forecheck, working the puck out to Scott Mayfield before tipping home the defenseman's shot. Brock McGinn answered by potting an Elias Lindholm shot, but the Islanders reasserted their lead on Anders Lee's 15th of the season - a slap shot through traffic.
Video: NYI@CAR: Lee's slapper finds the net through traffic
Anthony Beauvillier set up Jason Chimera to put the Islanders up 3-1 just under two minutes into the second period, but the lead did not last, as the Hurricanes - who had 17 first period shots - broke through for three straight goals.
Justin Faulk kicked off the trio of goals, as his shot hit Mayfield's leg and squeaked through Greiss at 4:58. Lindholm one-timed a cross-ice feed from McGinn past Greiss at 8:57, while Brett Pesce reached out and deflected a McGinn pass by Greiss at 16:57, giving Carolina a 4-3 lead at the second intermission.
"In the second period we didn't match their pace or intensity level," Jack Capuano said. "You have to attack, you can't sit back against teams that have quickness in their lineup. We had some chances to score some goals and we passed up some shots in the second period as well."
Video: NYI@CAR: Chimera puts home nice centering pass
Tavares tied the score early in the third period, burying a Lee rebound at 1:08, his fifth goal in the last six periods. Lee Stempniak broke the tie off a set faceoff play, snapping a shot past Greiss at 5:24. Tuevo Teravainen's fly-by tip of Faulk's point shot put the Hurricanes up 6-4 and Jordan Staal's rebound sweep iced the game.
"We were just too open, too many holes and they generated a lot off of it," Tavares said. "We have to execute that's all it comes down to. They made a play and we didn't."
Video: NYI@CAR: Tavares scores from slot for second goal
Thomas Greiss was busy on Saturday, stopping 36-of-43 shots before being pulled with 6:07 to play in the third period. Greiss didn't have much of a chance on the backdoor/deflection goals, so the seven-goal blemish looked worse on the scoreboard than it did on the ice. JF Berube stopped both shots he saw in relief.
Johnny Boychuk was a late scratch on Saturday, missing the game with an upper-body injury.
The Islanders are back in action on Monday afternoon when they take on the Boston Bruins. Puck drop is at 1 p.m.