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Islanders fail to win consecutive playoff games again

New York is 0-12 following postseason victory since 2002

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- The New York Islanders still can't find a way to win back-to-back games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

That might sound odd for a team whose playoff record of 19 consecutive series victories is one that might never be broken. But that mark was set by a team that won four straight Stanley Cups in the 1980s; the current Islanders haven't found a way to win consecutive playoff games since 2002.

They had another chance Wednesday at Barclays Center, but lost 2-1 to the Florida Panthers in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series. New York is 0-12 since defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs in Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, 14 years ago.

"It's a game we wanted to win; it puts you in a pretty good situation going back to their building," New York forward Matt Martin said. "An opportunity definitely slipped away tonight. Now we're in a 2-2 series. We'll regroup and get ready for a big one in Florida.

"It takes a full 60 minutes to win at this time of year. We have to be better."

Game 5 is Friday at BB&T Center (8 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN, TVA Sports, MSG+, SUN),

The Islanders have won Games 1 and 3 in this series. But they've been unable to build on those victories, losing 3-1 in Game 2 and scoring one goal in Game 4.

Video: FLA@NYI, Gm4: Tavares goes top-shelf to tie the game

Islanders captain John Tavares said they can't look back at the opportunities that got away.

"We've got to stay with it and push forward and move on to the next one," said Tavares, who scored New York's only goal Wednesday on a second-period power play.

For the fourth game in a row, the Islanders were dominated in the first period. They escaped the first 20 minutes with a scoreless tie, but showed little desperation for most of the night.

"We were half a step slow, not as quick as we were on the forecheck in the past couple of games," Tavares said. "We have to execute better. It's not just one guy; it's everyone supporting one another. It's a five-man unit that's got to be in unison and executing. That's the strength of our game."

Tavares gave the Islanders a spark when he score a game-tying power-play goal with 15.3 seconds left in the second period, but they were unable to carry any momentum into the third period. Defenseman Alex Petrovic's tie-breaking goal 9:25 into the third period gave Florida the series-tying victory and kept the Islanders from ending their streak.

Despite the latest disappointment, defenseman Travis Hamonic feels the Islanders can find a way to end the streak and get past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 1993.

"We're real confident in our group, in our team, that we can get the job done," Hamonic said. "We're just going to keep working hard; that's all you can do. We'll try to be relentless and keep going, shift after shift, and plug away."

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