Ducks shipwrecked by Islanders in 6-1 loss

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Ducks suffered a second consecutive defeat by four or more goals on Sunday against the Islanders.

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The clocks sprung forward early Sunday morning, but it appeared that the Ducks didn’t get the memo. A sluggish start against the New York Islanders put them behind the 8-ball early in a 6-1 loss.

Poor execution and turnovers were a common theme throughout the game for Anaheim, with the Islanders’ first goal coming off a bad pass and turnover in the defensive zone. Casey Cizikas would be the lucky recipient of the Ducks’ blunder and put the Islanders up 1-0 five minutes into the game.

The team from Long Island would double their lead two and a half minutes later with Mike Reilly finding Kyle Palmieri in behind with a brilliant stretch pass. Palmieri faked out goaltender Lukáš Dostál with a deft touch and his attempt crossed the goal line before Radko Gudas could clear it away.

A string of penalties from Gustav Lindström and Alex Killorn––who got an extra minor for slamming the penalty box door––led to the Islanders’ third goal of the game. Strong puck protection from Mat Barzal led to a game of catch between Bo Horvat and Brock Nelson before the latter sniped home his ninth power play goal of the season.

A goal just 24 seconds into the second period helped set the tempo for Anaheim, with Alex Killorn scoring a goal for the fourth consecutive game. The veteran now has 12 goals in his first season as a Duck, one which has been full of inconsistency due to injuries.

The third period did not fare as well for the Ducks, unfortunately. A tally from Bo Horvat 36 seconds in gave the Islanders a three-goal lead and another from Pierre Engvall seven minutes later made it a four-goal deficit. A Cal Clutterbuck goal with less than two minutes remaining to make it 6-1 was emblematic of the team’s performance.

“We’ve got a young team,” said Cam Fowler. “These are all things that we need to learn from, but it’s the mental mistakes that kind of eat away at you a little bit and cost us at least more than one goal tonight, so we’ve got to clean that up moving forward.”

“We’ve talked about it as a group, trying to manage the puck better,” continued Fowler. “When we do that, we’re a really efficient, strong team. But when it goes sideways, that’s when things get a little crazy for us out there and we leave our goalies out to dry.”

“It was a 3-1 game (after two periods),” said head coach Greg Cronin. “We controlled the second period, felt good about the third period. We lose the face-off (in the defensive zone), lose coverage in front of the net, tap-in goal (for their fourth).”

“The first goal of the game is completely unacceptable,” continued Cronin. “Not only did we turn the puck over in the corner, we didn’t even go back to the netfront. I don’t have an answer for it. At some point, the room has to take ownership of the details that are critical for a team to have reliable success. We just fart with it. I’m beyond pissed off, I’m tired of talking about it.”