As mentioned last night, David Ullstrom missed the entire third period with what Newsday (and the team, no doubt) reported as an "upper body" injury. Ullström had been playing with Marty Reasoner and Michael Grabner as Jack Capuano sought to find balance in his bottom six. How did the Islanders adjust?
For the third period, Matt Martin moved up next to Grabner and Reasoner, while Reasoner and Matt Moulson each added an orphan shift with Martin's previous linemates Jay Pandolfo and Casey Cizikas.
Two nicely spaced Penguins penalties in that period broke up the rotation, and the coincidentals-turned-Pens 4-on-3 in the 15th minute made for a mad final dash that included one more Reasoner-Grabner-Martin shift and even a 41-second Kyle Okposo shift with Pandolfo-Cizikas.
Obviously if Ullstrom can't go tomorrow, Nino Niederreiter would step in and add more spice and wonder to our late-season line-gazing. [Update: Ullström was skating but on the 4-pack fourth line today.] The things you ponder when no playoff hockey is imminent.
News and links on the Isles and the rest of the NHL follow below:
Islanders News and Links
- Reactions from last night's 5-3 win from us | PensBurgh | Newsday | IPB with KQ | Hornick's Skinny | the AP (Crosby: "We got what we deserved") | Pens post-game "just not playing the right way lately"
- Matt Moulson, Lady Byng
- Speaking of which: Lost in this season are a few good signs about the Isles who stay outta da box. [FanShot]
- Figuring out the Sound Tigers' crazy win last night.
- SNY.tv/IPB with a host of fan callers and media guests for their wrapup podcast
- This appears to be a fantasy-related take on Michael Grabner's sophomore "slump". [FanShot]
- Fantasy Hockey Scouts forgives Frans Nielsen's lost faceoffs and hurting the Isles draft position because of his two goals.
- Brock gets an honor: WCHA goal-scoring leader Nelson honored by CHN - UNDSports.com
- Unfortunately, Benden Kichton sustained a broken jaw in Game 1 and is done for the playoffs.
For tomorrow night:
The New York Islanders are partnering with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) for a special fundraising night Thursday, Mar. 29, 2012 when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum at 7 p.m. To go along with the donations and support of Islanders fans and all hockey fans in the area, Islanders Owner Charles Wang plans to personally match the total donation from the evening.
So who wants to donate a top 4 defenseman, amiright?
By the way, as far as I know there are still TiqIQ options for this weekend's home games.
NHL This and That
- GIF Contest! You have to, have to, HAVE TO vote for the hockey one. It's a hockey massacre, after all.
- Speaking of gifs...dive? Pshh, Steve Staios is just old, so sometimes he falls and can't get up. That's all.
- Yes, yes Brian Elliott really does have three shutouts in a row. Yes, I am an idiot dining on crow. (I will note the franchise record he just broke was held by ... Manny Legace. Just saying.)
- Five playoff bubble teams that really, really need to make it. [SB Nation hub, yours truly]
- Death Watch: Islanders ... still alive? NHL Death Watch: Maple Leafs eliminated; Sabres surge; and is Nashville in trouble? | Puck Daddy
- More playoff talk: NHL Playoff Preview: Who Is Playing Well Down The Stretch? - Broad Street Hockey
- Uh-oh, I know where this debate heads: There’s No Such Thing As Protection, For Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Or Anyone Else | OilersNation
- Taylor Hall is done for the year, by the way. I blame Eager.
- Heh. This will be fun: Is Mikhail Grigorenko the next Vincent Lecavalier or the next Marc Pouliot? | Edmonton Journal
Rematch is tomorrow at home. Maybe we'll get to some "power" talk later, eh?