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3 Takeaways From Islanders 5-2 Loss vs Kings

Ilya Sorokin New York Islanders

The New York Islanders began their road trip the way they left off from their previous game. After a 5-1 loss to the Washington Capitals, they lost 5-2 to the Los Angeles Kings in a game where they scored the first goal but were outplayed afterward.

The recent game was a squandered opportunity for the Islanders to improve in the playoff picture. Instead, the loss suddenly makes the next two games pivotal. They have to earn points and possibly win the next two games on their road trip to maintain their playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

Sorokin Struggles

The Islanders have been carried by their goaltending all season. The duo of Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov has kept them in playoff contention and at times, made them look like a Stanley Cup contender. Sorokin in particular is having a Vezina Trophy-caliber season and is the goaltender who can lead the Islanders in a deep playoff run.

Ilya Sorokin, New York Islanders (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Unfortunately, in back-to-back games, the goaltending has let the Islanders down. Varlamov allowed five goals in the 5-1 loss to the Capitals on March 11 and Sorokin put together one of his worst performances of the season against the Kings, allowing four goals on 36 shots. Moreover, a handful of the goals he allowed were on shots he typically saves with ease and he either failed to pick up or misplayed.

Related: Islanders Must Prove They Are Playoff Worthy on West Coast Trip

The Islanders need Sorokin to rebound from the recent start if they hope to remain a playoff team. They’ve become too reliant on dominant goaltending and can’t win without it. The past two games have seen it struggle and the team as a result has fallen apart.

Islanders’ Penalties Cost Them

The second period is when the Islanders unraveled. They entered it with a one-goal lead and momentum in the game. However, after the Kings tied things up, they failed to respond and never recovered, especially after the scrum which forced them onto the penalty kill.

First came the Matt Martin penalty. During the scrum near the Islanders’ net, he tossed the helmet of one of the Kings players and was sent to the box with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Martin was trying to send a message and set the tone in the game but unfortunately, the move backfired and set the Islanders back.

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