OTTAWA — There was plenty of frustration following the Ottawa Senators‘ 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders Friday night.
Ottawa was looking to win back-to-back games for the first time this season, but failed to put in a 60-minute effort.
“It wasn’t our most complete effort for sure,” said Mark Borowiecki. “We’ve just got to stop this one great game and one kind of lay an egg a little bit. We dug ourselves a hole early. We tried to claw our way back and played a little better as the game went on, but our margins for error are slim right now and we can’t dig ourselves holes.”
The Islanders had their own share of frustration when Matt Martin was checked by J.C. Beaudin midway through the second period and fell into an open door at the Senators bench.
Martin, who had a goal and an assist, left the game, but was able to come back and admitted it was a bit of a scary moment.
“It wasn’t a good feeling,” said Martin. “The door was closed as I was skating up the wall, I knew that, and I just kind of got bumped and it swung open so obviously it wasn’t locked. It kind of went numb there originally.”
Borowiecki ended up having to answer for the Senators as he and Cal Clutterbuck exchanged punches. Borowiecki said the hit was a total accident and was glad to see Martin return to the game.
“It’s not intentional,” Borowiecki said. “If you think it’s a set play to open the door to get a guy hurt it’s just not correct. (Martin) plays a hard game and it was an unfortunate accident.”
Martin said his knee was stiffening up, but preferred to focus on the fact the Islanders pulled off their sixth straight win.
New York (7-3-0) was led by a two-goal effort from Nick Leddy and a solid 30-save performance in goal by Thomas Greiss. Derick Brassard also scored.
“It was a gritty win,” said Leddy. “I don’t think it was our best game, but gritty nonetheless and we got the two points.”
Tyler Ennis scored twice for the Senators (2-6-1). Anders Nilsson allowed four goals on 16 shots before being pulled. Craig Anderson stopped all 13 shots he faced.
The Islanders were playing the second half of back-to-back games, yet the Senators were unable to take advantage.
“That first period was a step in the wrong direction,” said Connor Brown. “We weren’t ready to go right off the bat and they were. That’s a team we caught on a back-to-back and we should have been coming out of the gate and it was a little bit too little too late.”
Ottawa failed to score on a two-man advantage in the second period, but finally got one on the power play midway through the third to cut the Islanders lead in half. It was Ottawa’s first power-play goal on home ice. They are now 2 for 33 overall with the man advantage.
Logan Brown found Ennis for his second of the night.
Leddy appeared to have scored a natural hat trick early in the second period, but Martin got a piece of his shot as the Islanders took a 3-1 lead.
Nilsson’s night came to an end after Brassard, a former Senator, made it 4-1 at the six-minute mark.
“With the way he’s played lately he deserves for us to play so much better in front of him,” said Jean-Gabriel Pageau. “It’s disappointing to see the effort we put together in the first period. We really didn’t help him and he deserved a better effort from all of us.”
The Islanders jumped out to a 2-1 first-period lead.
The Senators opened the scoring as Ennis redirected a Thomas Chabot point shot. The Islanders tied the game as Leddy, with his first of the game, beat Nilsson five-hole on a great individual effort.
Leddy gave the Islanders the lead as he beat Nilsson on a penalty shot after being taken down by Nikita Zaitsev.
Islanders forward Tom Kuhnhackl left the game midway through the first period after falling awkwardly into the boards while battling for the puck.
Notes: Ottawa D Cody Goloubef and LW Mikkel Boedkker were healthy scratches. New York’s healthy scratches included RW Oliver Wahlstrom, LW Michael Dal Colle and Ross Johnston.