The New York Islanders lost a thriller in overtime yesterday -- Henrik Lundqvist's first shutout of the season, surprisingly -- but by no means has the club's second-half resurrection stalled.
In fact, it was the sixth consecutive game in which the Isles outshot their opponent by five shots or more. Over this 8-1-2 run, the Isles have only been outshot once (25-21 in the 3-1 win over the Devils) and have averaged a shot differential of 32.7 shots for to 25.6 against.
Shots aren't everything -- goals are what wins, etc. -- but over a stretch of games they're a good reflection of how a team is playing. In this case, though the temptation from the outside is to look at this run and conclude the Isles' luck has temporarily turned in their favor, the reality is the Isles have been improving and making their own luck for the final two-thirds of the season.
- Recaps and more from last night: Keith's LHH recap | Newsday (Staple) (Zipay) | Post | IPB | EyesonIsles | ESPN | Daily News on playoff atmosphere, and on the rivalry | And because the focus is on this rivalry again, there's going to be way too much ink focused on whether Torotorella calls it a rivalry: Post | ESPN
- Cool story in the TImes on the Islanders' three older Europeans and John Tavares.
- The Sound Tigers beat Syracuse on Brock Nelson's OT winner. Matt Donovan had three assists and now has 44 points, +17, in 71 games. At the end of Fornabaio's Frozen Four blog post, a look at Bridgeport's dwindling playoff hopes.
Evgeni Nabokov, always good for some post-game answers:
And Jack Capuano:
The Islanders get back at it with their final home game of the season Tuesday against the Panthers. While that could be a "trap" game given the Panther's standing and the energy hangover from Saturday's battle, if the Islanders keep outshooting opponents by such a strong margin, they'll carve a path to the playoffs.