LOS ANGELES — If the Islanders found reasons to be unsatisfied after a blowout win on Sunday, then they’ll have a whole lot more to work through after Monday night.

The cracks in their game that were evident in parts of wins over San Jose and Anaheim turned into a chasm against the Kings, who came away with a 3-0 victory to snap the Islanders’ six-game winning streak before they returned to the East Coast.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to reset,” captain Anders Lee said. “We didn’t play our best tonight and there’s a reason why we didn’t win the hockey game.”

The California swing can still be counted as a success with wins in two out of three and the Isles tied on points with Detroit for the second wild-card spot, though the Red Wings edged back ahead thanks to the regulation wins tiebreaker on Monday.

But despite pulling themselves back into contention, the Islanders still cannot afford to give themselves any slack, and there was a lot to dislike here in downtown L.A.

Their breakouts were lacking and the forecheck never got going — a recipe for spending too much time in the defensive zone.

When the Islanders did get into the offensive zone, their net presence abandoned them, allowing Kings netminder David Rittich to work unimpeded in an eventual 26-save shutout. They got too cute with the puck, too often — a trend that’s been noticeable for a few games now.

Oh, and the power play was an abysmal 0-for-5, with Mat Barzal negating a first-period five-on-three chance by slashing Drew Doughty after the Kings defender fell on the puck.

“I think Barzy knows that he should not have digged for that puck,” coach Patrick Roy said.

A couple minutes earlier, after noting the game was fairly even at five-on-five, Roy had pinned the loss squarely on the 7:39 over which the Islanders failed to score at five-on-four.

“Obviously we all saw it. If our power play would click, that would have made a difference,” Roy said. “We need more traffic — the puck’s not moving as well as we wish on the power play, we need to do things different and put more traffic in front of the net.”

In a tight, defensive game it looked like the Islanders might be allowed enough slack to get away from Los Angeles with at least a point despite their issues.

They went into the third period down by just a goal after Adrian Kempe’s wrister 7:14 into the second accounted for the only scoring during the game’s first 40 minutes.

But despite a promising first few minutes of the period, the Kings extended the lead at 6:07 of the third as Phillip Danault tapped in Trevor Moore’s feed to the crease at the left post.

A door appeared to creak open when the Islanders had two power play chances around the midpoint of the third, but both proved fruitless, and Trevor Moore sealed the game with an empty-net goal with 2:22 to go.

“I thought we had some zone time, but they got a good kill,” Ryan Pulock told The Post. “They keep it tight and I thought we had to try to find a way to loosen that up a little bit, maybe with some more shots. We knew coming in here it was gonna be a tight game; I think for the most part it was pretty tight five-on-five.”

The Islanders’ struggles on the second end of a back-to-back also remain a noteworthy issue, with an 0-for-7 mark in such games.

There are only two back-to-backs left this season, but in a tight playoff race, those could prove critical.

“Sometimes maybe your legs aren’t quite there, but you gotta muck it out and find a way,” Pulock said. “Simplify things maybe a little bit. When your legs aren’t there, you gotta find another way to be effective, whether that’s just getting pucks in deep or getting on the forecheck and trying to muck that way.”

Of course, no one is ringing alarm bells after 6-0-1.

The momentum remains very much in the Islanders’ corner after they ascended up the standings in stunning fashion over the last two weeks.

But the Islanders don’t have any runway left to go on another losing skid, having composed their latest winning streak in the nick of time.

They can’t wait another two months to start the next one.

2024 © Network Today. All Rights Reserved.