The New York Islanders were in close to must-win territory in Game 4 of their first-round series with the Carolina Hurricanes — and after losing 5-2 on Sunday afternoon and going down 3-1 in the series, the team criticized the refereeing.
The Isles took four first-period penalties, and the Hurricanes capitalized on a 5-on-3 that forward Zach Parise didn’t think should have been an infraction.
“I mean, you got an excited building, you try to feed off that energy, and all of a sudden you find yourself killing a 5-on-3 right away and they bury one,” Parise said, according to ESPN’s Greg Wysynski. “It’s a little deflating. You’ve got to overcome different things, whether it’s calls you don’t like or bounces that don’t go your way.”
Parise was called for goaltender interference after falling on Carolina goaltender Antti Raanta just 2:41 into the contest, although replays showed that Parise may have been pushed into the netminder.
“I thought he got pushed into the goaltender,” Islanders coach Lane Lambert said. “Sometimes that happens.”
The Canes made it 1-0 on the ensuing powerplay, and after it looked like New York might get a 5-on-3 of their own before the end of the period, forward Matthew Barzal was called for a dive after being cross-checked by Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns.
“He got embellishment and I don’t understand that,” Lambert said.
At the end of the day, the Islanders were undisciplined in a game when they simply couldn’t afford to be.
“We created some good momentum, but tonight we were killing and killing,” New York captain Anders Lee explained, per Wyshynski. “The penalties tonight just kind of killed our 5-on-5 flow.”
Lambert echoed his captain’s sentiment after the crushing loss.
“I thought we took a couple undisciplined penalties, no question,” said Lambert. “It totally slowed our momentum. The power-play goal they scored, that second one, was a real stinger.”
The Islanders are now on the brink of going home, and must win three straight games against the Hurricanes, including two in Raleigh, to advance. Game 5 is set for Tuesday night in Carolina.