For the second time this week, the Islanders lost in regulation time a game that they led heading to the third period. Their previous losses [in regulation] after leading after two periods came on: December 21, 2002 [Washington] and January 6, 2001 [Phoenix]. Thus, the Isles have gone pointless in two games they led after two periods in a three game stretch after having only done that once in the previous 322 games. The Isles have lost three games in the last five weeks that they led after two periods [counting their shootout loss on November 23 to Buffalo] That's three times in sixteen games after having lost only three times in the previous 309 games. [In addition to the games above, they lost in overtime to Pittsburgh on January 24, 2002.] The Isles finish December 5-6-1; it's their first losing December since 2001. They are below .500 at New Year's for the first time since 2000. It's only the second time in Islander history that they've ended December with a losing streak of at least 4 games. In 1997, the Rick Bowness-led Isles lost the final five games, and then book-ended it by losing the first five games of 1998. By early March of that season, Bowness was history too. Happy New Year to all!
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