For the time being, the New York Islanders still play at Barclays Center. That seems to be haunting more than helping.
The Isles haven’t been able to capture the magic that sparked their first round sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nassau Coliseum. Instead, the Carolina Hurricanes scored twice in less than a minute in the third period for a 2-1 victory Sunday in Game 2 of their second round Stanley Cup playoff series in Brooklyn. They fell behind in the series, 0-2, having lost the first game at home Friday, 1-0 in overtime.
“We had a lot of chances to pull away in the game, and they hung in there, and we weren’t able to do it,” coach Barry Trotz said.
For a while, it looked like the good feelings were returning to Brooklyn and the Islanders had done enough. Mathew Barzal scored with 6:43 left in the first period to get them on the board for the first time in the series. It came on a shot from the left that deflected off Carolina defenseman Jaccob Slavin’s stick and into the net. Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle assisted on the score.
It stayed 1-0 as the Isles pushed and continued to outshoot the Hurricanes through two periods. However, Warren Foegele found the net 17 seconds into the third period to tie the game at 1-1. Then with 18:55 left to play, Nino Niederreiter added his own to put the Hurricanes up for good.
The Islanders grabbed a final power play opportunity midway through the third, and it appeared they had evened the game with 7:33 remaining, but the shot was blocked for the second close call of the game. Earlier, Devon Toews appeared to score when he put the puck in with 14.2 seconds left in the second period. That was disallowed because the puck had hit off his skate.
“That’s the cruel reality sometimes,” Trotz said. “You play really well, and you don’t get the result.”
The Islanders came close once more with just over a minute to go, but Lee’s shot hit the outside of the net. Despite a raucous atmosphere, the Isles fell and will be hoping to get another chance to play in Brooklyn after the series shifts to Raleigh, North Carolina, for Game 3 on Wednesday.
“You don’t win the series in two games, but we dug ourselves a hole,” Trotz said. “We’ve been resilient all year.”