John Tavares recorded a natural hat trick and the Nashville Predators fell to the New York Islanders by a 6-2 final on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena.
The regulation loss is Nashville's fourth of the season, giving them a 5-4-2 record through 11 games to close out the month of October, not the effort they were hoping for to end the first segment of the season.
"I thought everyone could have been better tonight or more capable," Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "We're capable of playing better."
A slow start gave way to a better second period, but Tavares scored all three of his goals in the third as the Islanders put six past goaltender Juuse Saros. And although Saros admitted after the game it wasn't a good performance from him, the young goaltender was the last person any of his teammates were about to blame for the result.
"It's all our fault, and we can't do anything about it," Predators forward Filip Forsberg said. "It's just frustrating that we do that to [Saros]. He's one of the best goalies in the world and his future's so bright. We're so lucky to have him, and we just can't accept we gave him up like that."
"We just weren't sharp," Nashville defenseman Yannick Weber said. "Things just didn't seem to click. We gave up some chances, and we left Juuse out to dry."
Video: NSH Recap: Forsberg, Smith score in 6-2 loss
Jordan Eberle's first of the season came on the power play and gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes, before Forsberg altered the Nashville record books. Following up Kevin Fiala's drive to the net, Forsberg deposited his eighth goal of the season to set a franchise mark for goals in the month of October.
But before the second stanza was completed, the Islanders added two more, once from Ryan Pulock on the power play and then another from Eberle with 30 second to play in the period. Two of Tavares's three goals came within the first three minutes of the third frame; he added another before Craig Smith scored Nashville's second of the night, his second in as many games.
Video: Laviolette is displeased with execution in a 6-2 loss
With his record eighth goal in the month of October, Forsberg passed former Preds forward James Neal, who tallied seven goals during the month in 2015 and 2016.
Matt Irwin, Cody McLeod and Samuel Girard were scratched for Nashville against the Islanders.
Nashville will now have two weeks in between home games at Bridgestone Arena as they embark on a four-game road trip next week. The Preds will start in San Jose on Nov. 1 before a back-to-back set with Anaheim and Los Angeles. They'll then finish up on Nov. 7 in Columbus against the Blue Jackets.