COLUMBUS, Ohio — Kyle Palmieri didn’t mince words.
“[We] wasn’t really ready to play,” he said after the Islanders’ disappointing 5-4 overtime loss on Friday night to the bottom-placed Blue Jackets.
After the Islanders holed up 4-2 in the first two periods and had to scratch and claw to leave Columbus with a point, it’s hard to argue with that assessment.
“We know the importance of every game here,” Palmieri said. “Not sure [what happened]. Things were just sloppy. We don’t move our feet. We couldn’t really generate any speed through the neutral zone or out of our zone.
“It ends up being slow and a bit on our heels, throwing pucks at them with no pressure. Then you sit down for a bit and they find a way through. They found a way to capitalize in our D-zone.”
Despite a two-day layoff following their victory over the Maple Leafs on Tuesday, the Islanders only found the required level of intensity in the third period against an injury-battling and bottom-seeded Columbus team. .
The shot totals were in their favor, but that didn’t tell the whole story.
The Islanders couldn’t throw their forecheck and struggled to move the puck cleanly into the defensive zone.
The Blue Jackets beat them with four goals in the second period, and a fifth was ruled out for goalie interference after a successful challenge from Islanders coach Lane Lambert.
After a three-game winning streak in which the Islanders played their opponents at their own pace, they were playing into the Blue Jackets’ game.
“You’d like to try to get to your game right away and dictate the pace,” Brock Nelson said. “We may not have been able to do it right away during the first two. But in the third, it’s a little more what we were looking for.
Indeed, the game rocked in the third – enough to save a point, but not enough to get two.
“We’ve seen it a bit, the little pockets that have succeeded and found ways to succeed,” Palmieri said. “We had the recipe, we just had to run and play fast and on our toes.”
At the start of a consecutive streak with only 22 hours of turnover, Lane Lambert went with Ilya Sorokin in the net.
When asked if there was any chance that Sorokin, who stopped 22 of 27 shots, would play Saturday against the Sabres, Lambert closed the line of questions.
“We’re not even going to talk about it now,” he said.
Alexander Romanov played Friday without a face shield for the first time since before the All-Star break, scoring 19:53 with three hits and three shots on net.