Clutterback takes questionable penalty shot

NEW YORK – Henrik Lundqvist said it himself -- he needs to be better.

But there was at least one Grade-A scoring chance that he probably never should have had to face.

Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck was awarded a surprising penalty shot in the first period as defenseman Ryan McDonagh was whistled for hooking him down on the play at 14:42.

Replays of the sequence showed McDonagh using his stick to lift Clutterbuck’s as he was streaking toward the net on a shorthanded breakaway.

Both McDonagh and coach Alain Vigneault looked exasperated after the call, and the fans didn’t like it either, especially when Clutterbuck beat Lundqvist one-on-one for a 1-0 Islanders lead.

“I was shocked it was called a penalty shot,” Lundqvist admitted. “When you think about the calls in the last few weeks, we’re just in that slump right now where things go against us a little bit.”

Lundqvist said there was no point dwelling on it, though. The team made its own costly mistakes throughout the game as well.

“There’s no point of thinking too much about it. You just have to move on and keep working hard,” he said. “But I was really shocked that they called it a penalty shot.”

Vigneault said he did not receive an explanation from the officials about the call and didn’t seem interested in disputing it after the fact.

“It is what it is,” he said.

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Top Islanders prospect Ryan Strome, recalled from the AHL last week, registered his first NHL point with an assist on defenseman Brian Strait's third-period equalizer. It was Strait’s first NHL regular-season goal.

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Michael Grabner notched a pair of goals Friday night, the first time he has scored since tallying two on opening night back in October.