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Panthers 3, Islanders 0: Sure, okay

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Finally, the math has done what the spirit began in December: Eliminated the Isles from the playoff chase.

Florida Panthers v New York Islanders
We are defeated.
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The New York Islanders were mathematically eliminated from any remaining meteor-strikes-several-rivals chance of making the playoffs in a 3-0 loss to the Florida Panthers in Brooklyn Monday night.

That was no surprise, but I guess passes for your “news” from the night.

Nothing else of interest happened. Florida’s win keeps them well in the wild card chase behind New Jersey, as they continue a 20-6-1 run since the All-Star Break. I’m not going to look up the Isles record in that same time because you know and I know that it is terrible.

[Game Sum | Event Sum | Corsica | Natural Stat Trick | HockeyViz]

With the score still 0-0 the Islanders had the first power play of the game, and it looked alright, with them again finding ways to feature Ryan Pulock’s shot (and threat of a shot) to open up good looks. They had a couple such good lucks, but no luck and no conversion.

The Islanders then gave up the first goal of the game, a seeing-eye point wrister by Keith Yandle, and took the next five consecutive penalties — four from very unlikely sources — to keep them on the penalty kill for half the middle section of the game and ease Florida toward comfortable victory.

Anthony Beauvillier (twice), Mathew Barzal (a double-minor) and John Tavares each took turns following Ross Johnston to the penalty box. The Panthers made it 2-0 on their second power play, with Barzal in the box for four minutes after drawing blood on a high stick. It came on the rush, a really nice cross slot feed from Jamie McGinn to Nick Bjugstad, who reacted quickly to beat Christopher Gibson.

Florida added a third goal late in the period to reach the second intermission leading 3-0 and outshooting the Isles 35-21.

Then the teams came out for the third period as mandated by league bylaws.

Micheal Haley took a clumsy tripping penalty while defending (heh) Chris Wagner. That gave the Isles a final-minute chance to spoil James Reimer’s 31-save shutout bid, with Gibson pulled for a sixth attacker.

But you knew how that would go, didn’t you?

They Said It

In the post-game presser broadcast on MSG, Brian Compton of NHL.com asked how tough it is to fathom this team isn’t a playoff team despite the top two lines and Ryan Pulock’s emergence. Not that you can say too much of coherence immediately following a game, but Doug Weight’s answer was long and...lost sounding:

“Yeah it’s tough. It’s tough for everyone. It’s tough for us, not good enough, tough for the fans, tough for everybody involved. All we can say is we gotta be better and we’re gonna be better soon. And I believe it. We all gotta be better. We gotta find...find a way to make our team better here, quickly. I think we have the ingredients and we have the drive, we’re gonna work at it. You can’t ignore it. But we have a good team and a good group, we’ll figure some things out, but we just gotta keep working right now, and not look at the big picture. Just look at tomorrow night. Like I said, 3-0 game, it’s not good enough, but we battled, we played hard, we had some great opportunities and we came up short.”

So there.

Up Next

We are not put out of our misery just yet. Games must continue, and soon, as the Isles visit fellow playoff outsiders in the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night.