The New York Islanders felt they played well enough for two points on Tuesday, but had to settle for one, falling 2-1 in overtime to the Edmonton Oilers at Barclays Center.
Connor McDavid scored the OT winner, finishing a feed from Leon Draisaitl 38 seconds into the extra frame. The Islanders had a chance to seal it on the previous play, as John Tavares looked to feed Mathew Barzal with a pass in front of the Oilers goal, but as is custom in three-on-three overtime, a missed opportunity at one end can set one up the other way and it proved fatal for the Islanders.
"It's a sour taste in your mouth, but we played well, we really cleaned up defensively against a good team," Head Coach Doug Weight said. "It was a great play, a great shot. That's what overtime is, it goes from a grade-A opportunity to a bounce off a skate and then the other team gets a chance."
For two teams with as much offensive talent as the Islanders and Oilers, it was a little surprising to see Tuesday's game become a goalie duel. Jordan Eberle scored against his former team for his fifth goal in five games, but Thomas Greiss (23 saves) and Cam Talbot (36 saves) were the games defining players.
Video: EDM@NYI: Eberle roofs great shot past Talbot
Greiss made some key stops to keep the Oilers from going up early, and made a big save on a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins slapper from the slot in the third period to keep the score tied 1-1. Talbot's best work came in the third period, stopping all 13 Islanders shots in a tilted period that saw the Isles outshoot the Oilers 13-2.
"I don't think it was for a lack of chances," Eberle said. "There were odd-man rushes back and forth but sometimes it's just how it works. Last game you look at the quality of chances we had, and somehow we were getting bounces off legs and stuff, so you need to find a way to get it."
Eberle and Barzal created the Islanders' best chances on Tuesday night as they continued to show chemistry. Barzal assisted on Eberle's second-period goal - an upstairs snipe on Talbot at 4:43 - and now has primary assists on four of Eberle's five goals this season. Barzal also extended his point streak to six games and had a highlight-reel deke on Oscar Klefbom in the first period.
Draisaitl rounded out the scoresheet, beating Greiss 1:59 into the second period. The loss drops the Islanders to 5-0-2 at home this season with the team heading out on a two-game road trip this weekend.
"We've been trending in the right direction all season and when things don't go our way our ability to respond and stay with it and find our game again has been really good," Tavares said. "I expect no different heading into the weekend."
KULEMIN LEAVES GAME:
Nikolay Kulemin left the game late in the second period after taking a hit from Eric Gryba and did not return. Weight said Kulemin will be re-evaluated and have more information on Wednesday.
The Islanders hit the road for back-to-back games beginning in Dallas on Friday night. Puck drop is at 8:30 p.m. eastern.