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Lambert frustrated after Isles fumble lead vs. Sharks: Losing that game 'is sin'

Eliot J. Schechter / National Hockey League / Getty

New York Islanders coach Lane Lambert was feeling a little biblical after his team fumbled a three-goal lead en route to a 5-4 overtime loss to the woeful San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

"We had the game under control with eight and a half minutes left," the bench boss bemoaned postgame. "To lose that hockey game is sin."

The Islanders held a 4-1 advantage midway through the third period, but Sharks winger Kevin Labanc cut into the deficit with a tip-in 12 minutes into the frame.

All was quiet until the final three minutes of the game when Tomas Hertl scored twice in a 1:41 span with the goalie pulled to complete his first hat trick of the season. William Eklund struck in the dying seconds of overtime to secure the Sharks' improbable comeback victory.

The Islanders dominated everywhere but the scoresheet during the defeat, dictating 69.8% of the scoring chances and 68.7% of the expected goals at five-on-five while outshooting San Jose 37-32 at all strengths, per Natural Stat Trick.

New York has been outscored 34-17 in the third period so far this campaign. Tuesday's collapse marked the sixth time this season the Isles have surrendered three goals in the final frame.

Islanders forward Brock Nelson described his team's play versus San Jose as "unacceptable," according to Newsday's Andrew Gross, while captain Anders Lee was displeased with New York's lack of execution.

"This is our game sometimes, unfortunately," Lee said. "We played a really good hockey game and messed it all up in the last four minutes. Just unhappy with this, it just can't happen anymore. We really gotta figure this out."

The Sharks, meanwhile, were far more jubilant after improving to 7-17-2 on the campaign.

"I couldn't be prouder of them and I couldn't be happier for them," head coach David Quinn said, per NBC Sports. "There's a lot of real happy faces in there tonight and there have been a lot of happy faces lately."

Hertl seemed to be feeling particularly loose coming off the heels of his three-goal outing.

"I would lie if I don't like f-----g (scoring) - sorry - if I don't like to score a hat trick," he said, according to San Jose Hockey Now's Sheng Peng.

The Islanders fell to 10-7-7 on the campaign with the loss, good for fourth place in the Metropolitan Division. Their next opportunity to turn things around will come Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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