SEATTLE — The Islanders can’t seem to stop taking penalties, but Anders Lee feels they are doing the right things and getting sent to the box anyway.
“You guys have seen how they’re calling these things,” Lee said following the Islanders’ 4-3 shootout loss to the Kraken in which all three of the goals they allowed in regulation came on the penalty kill. “Some are battles and they’re calling them. Some are penalties and it is what it is. You can go out there and play hard, control [what you can].
“No one’s going out there trying to be dumb. Right now it’s just ending up in the back of our net.”
It is not the first time this season Lee has mentioned feeling like officials are calling things more tightly.
But it is costing the Islanders in a different way now that they have lost seven games in a row, thanks in no small part to both untimely penalties and a penalty kill that looks sapped of confidence.
“You look at like, Scotty [Mayfield], he’s boxing out in front. Stick breaks. What do you do about that?” the Islanders captain said, referring to a first period slashing call on Mayfield that resulted in an Alex Wennberg goal. “That’s his job. It happens to me 20 times a game. My stick doesn’t break, there’s no penalty.
“Guy’s in the middle of a battle. You can’t fault him for that. He’s doing his job and you get a bad break.”
Bad breaks or not, the Islanders have now allowed goals on 10 of their last 17 penalty kills. And it has directly cost them all three games so far on this road trip.
“At times I think there’s maybe been like that,” Noah Dobson said, informed of Lee’s take. “But also there’s times where we can control stick penalties. Stuff like that, we got to have more discipline. We got to be aware of our sticks at times.
“Usually earlier on in the year there’s a lot more power plays compared to later in the year. We got to be aware of that and we got to just find a way to keep our discipline and go from there.”
Lee’s first period goal broke a scoreless streak that had reached 10 games and marked his first point of the season on the power play.
Matt Martin was out of the lineup with what Lambert deemed an upper-body tweak.
Hudson Fasching drew in on the fourth line with Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck.