The New York Islanders are still searching for the key to ignite their offense, scoring a single goal in a 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night.
Wednesday marked the third straight single-goal game for the Islanders, who dropped to 0-1-2 in three games since returning from their five-day bye week. Prior to the break, the Islanders scored four or more goals in five straight games.
"We seem to have spurts where we're able to put the puck in the net and we seem to have times where we just don't score as many goals," John Tavares said. "I wish I had the answer."
Nick Leddy scored the Islanders' lone goal on Wednesday, sending a seeing-eye wrist shot through traffic and past Roberto Luongo at 10:47. Leddy's goal answered an early marker from Keith Yandle to tie the score 1-1, but Jason Demers' go-ahead goal 1:09 into the second period held up as the game-winner.
"Those things come and go; it's the ebbs and flows of the season," Cal Clutterbuck said of the Islanders' hot-and-cold offense. "The inconsistency is frustrating in the game. We went through a stretch where we knew what we were going to get for 60 [minutes]. Today was kind of one of those nights where we were hoping at times. When you hope I don't think the puck is going to will itself in for you, it was one of those nights where you just need to jam one in."
Despite getting outshot 16-6 in the second period, the Islanders entered the third period down 2-1. With the Panthers content to retreat into a defensive shell, the Islanders pressed for the tying goal, outshooting Florida 12-1 in the final frame.
Video: FLA@NYI: Leddy snaps a long shot past Luongo in 1st
Casey Cizikas had the Islanders' best chance, but couldn't lift a loose puck over Roberto Luongo's pad at the side of the net. Cizikas and Luongo got into a scuffle in Luongo's crease shortly after. Dennis Seidenberg nearly blasted a shot through Luongo, but the Panthers goalie squeezed the puck between his arm and his body while falling backwards in his crease.
"We need to push past that," Leddy said of Florida's defensive box-out. "I thought we had a few chances late, but Luongo was good."
After sticking with the same forward lineup for the past three games, Coach Jack Capuano hinted at changes coming in the Islanders' next game - a rematch against Florida on Friday night.
ISLANDERS HONOR JIGGS MCDONALD:
The Islanders honored Jiggs McDonald before Wednesday's game, presenting the Hall of Fame broadcaster - and longtime Isles play-by-play voice - with a microphone trophy, jersey and ceremonial puck drop. McDonald called the game on MSG+, marking his 50th year calling an NHL game.
Video: FLA@NYI: Isles celebrate Jiggs McDonald's 50 years
Adam Pelech filled in for an injured Travis Hamonic on Wednesday, skating 15:32 with a shot and two hits. Pelech started the game on a pairing with Nick Leddy.
The Islanders visit the Florida Panthers on Friday night. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.