NEW YORK (AP)Patrick Kane scored the only goal in the shootout and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Islanders 3-2 Sunday night, sending New York to its 11th straight loss overall and its sixth straight setback its new arena.
Kane beat Semyon Varlamov with Chicago’s second shootout attempt, and Marc-Andre Fleury denied all three chances by the Islanders to secure the win. The victory was the 499th of Fleury’s career. With his next victory, Fleury would join Martin Brodeur (691) and Patrick Roy (551) as the only goalies to reach 500 wins in the NHL. Fleury is 499-285-82 in his 18 seasons.
”Hats off to Marc-Andre, a great game again. Especially shootouts. He’s been doing a tremendous job,” Blackhawks coach Derek King. ”Our guys are buying into a having to take teams to a 2-1 win or 2-2 tie into overtime. Good for them to compete all three periods and get us to that point.”
The Islanders tied the game at 2-all with four seconds left in the third period on a goal by defenseman Noah Dobson. Despite another defeat, the Islanders were heartened by getting a point and pressing the Blackhawks until the end of regulation.
”It was nice to bury one in those finals seconds,” Dobson said. ”We have to continue to do that and play with confidence.”
Brandon Hagel and Dylan Strome scored in regulation for Chicago. Fleury finished with 22 saves.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored for the Islanders, who earned a point for the third straight game but fell to 0-8-3 in their losing streak. Their last three losses have been in overtime or shootouts after eight-straight regulation losses. Varlamov finished with 24 saves.
”We brought some good things in last three games, we are building right now,” Pageau said. ”We are going in the right direction. Varly kept us in the game, gave us chance to get that extra point. To get that goal was huge for us.”
Strome had put Chicago ahead 2-1 at 5:59 of the third with his second goal of the season, beating Varlamov with a high shot from the right faceoff circle. Alex DeBrincat and Erik Gustafsson assisted.
”We’ll take the two points and move on,” Strome said. ”It’s nice to chip in. Personally it feels great.”
The last-place Islanders, missing leading scorer Brock Nelson and defenseman Ryan Pulock due to injuries, fell to 0-4-2 at UBS Arena as their winless streak reached 11 (0-8-3). The skid dropped their season record to 5-10-5.
The Islanders’ longest winless run came from Nov. 21-Dec. 20, 1972, when they went 15 games (12 losses, three ties) without a victory. New York lost 12 straight games twice in franchise history, from Nov. 22-Dec. 15, 1988, and Dec. 27, 1972 to Jan. 16, 1973.
The Blackhawks are 12-3-2 in their last 17 games against Islanders.
Hagel opened the scoring with a power-play goal, beating Varlamov at 6:49 of the first period with his eighth goal of the season. Assists went to DeBrincat and Seth Jones.
Jones, who had two assists in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Rangers, has 19 assists this season. Only Adam Fox of the Rangers has more assists among NHL defensemen, with 20.
Jones leads the Blackhawks in points with 22. Patrick Kane has 21 points, while DeBrincat, who scored both goals against the Rangers on Saturday, has 20 points.
Chicago outshot the Islanders 10-8 in the first period.
The Islanders tied the contest at 8:03 of the second on a power-play goal by Pageau. Sebastian Aho and Mathew Barzal assisted. It was Pageau’s second goal of the season.
Pageau’s goal against Fleury gave the UBS Arena crowd – starved for a victory at the new arena – a chance to celebrate.
The Islanders held a 7-4 shots advantage in the second period, and couldn’t muster much in the third until Dobson’s heroics.
The Islanders had a power-play chance at 11:18 of third, but Fleury denied New York’s best chance, a blistering shot by Oliver Wahlstrom.
Fleury also denied a close-in shot by Adam Pelech with just over two minutes left, and chance by Wahlstrom with 58 seconds left with Varlamov pulled for an extra skater.
The Islanders, who were coming off a 4-3 overtime loss on Saturday at Detroit, haven’t won since Nov. 6, a 2-0 victory at Winnipeg.
”We would love to get our first win in the building – for our fans, our confidence,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said.
Chicago is 8-4-0 under interim coach and former Islanders player Derek King.
The Islanders beat Blackhawks 4-1 at United Center on Oct. 19.
The Islanders will not leave the Eastern time zone until Jan. 4 when they head to Seattle. New York will not spend consecutive nights on the road at any point. By the time the Islanders hit the Olympic/All-Star break, they will have played 25 of their 47 games at home.
Under Barry Trotz, the Islanders are 22-7-5 (.727) in back-ends, the best record of any NHL team in back-ends during this stretch. Tampa has the next-best record: 22-9-3 (.691).
NOTES: The Islanders scratched forwards Matt Martin and Otto Koivula, plus defenseman Robin Salo. They continued to be without center Casey Cizikas in COVIVID-19 protocol. . The Blackhawks scratched defensemen Conor Murphy and Jake McCabe and forward Mike Hardman. . Chicago’s interim head coach Derek King scored 211 goals and had 288 assists in 638 games with the Islanders, including a 40-goal season in 1991-92.
Islanders: At Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.
Blackhawks: Host New York Rangers on Tuesday.
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