What makes the Islanders' loss to the Red Wings on Monday night so frustrating is also what, at least in Casey Cizikas' mind, makes it an anomaly.
The 2-0 lead that turned into a 4-3 overtime defeat following three goals allowed in a five-minute span during the final period, Cizikas said, came because the Islanders started turning pucks over in an uncharacteristic manner.
“We gotta take care of the puck,” he said. “We knew they were gonna come hard. We gotta be crisp with our plays and make sure that when we have it on our stick we do the right thing. We get to the red [line], we get it in and we don’t turn pucks over.
“That’s where they got their chances, that’s where they got their zone time. And that’s an easy thing to fix.”
The Islanders' collapse seemed to come out of thin air after they controlled the first two periods and extended their lead early in the third.
In other words, if the Islanders stick to their identity, they still feel like things can be just fine.
Oliver Wahlstrom skated the third period on the top line in place of Mathew Barzal, with No. 13 dropping to Wahlstrom’s spot on the third line, for the second straight game.
“They're creating a lot of chances offensively," Lambert said. “Just defensively, we've gotta shore things up.”
Scott Mayfield (leg) skated with the team Monday morning but did not play against the Red Wings as Lambert continued to describe him as day-to-day.
Lambert called the death of former NHL player Adam Johnson due to a skate cut in his neck over the weekend "tragic" but stopped short of saying there should be widespread use of neck guards as a result.