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Islanders Gameday News: Filppula practices; Scoreboard watching

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It’s a big night in the Metro Division. The top two seeds could be decided. Still an outside chance at the Division title.

NHL: New York Islanders at Florida Panthers
Just missed it.
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Today is an important day in terms of seeding. All the teams jockeying for position in the top of the Metro will be in action tonight, and here’s a reminder of how the Islanders can maximize their evening:

The Islanders are in Florida tonight as the Panthers play host. The Panthers hosted the Capitals Monday night and beat them in regulation, so they’re no pushover. The Islanders need to play desperate — or at the very least, come out of the gate taking care of business the way they did against the Sabres in the clincher. FIGs for this game go here. 7:00 p.m. ET puck drop.

The Penguins host the Red Wings tonight to complete the home-and-home set, while the Capitals host the Canadiens. These also start at 7:00 p.m. ET, so we’ll be watching and scoreboard watching. We need more points than both Metro Division foes. We need a couple favors from steaming-hot Detroit and desperate Montreal.

Islanders News

  • Third-line center Valtteri Filppula practiced yesterday with the Islanders for the first time since hyperextending his elbow in the blowout loss to the Bruins. There’s a chance he returns in time for the playoffs. [Islanders | NHL]
  • When teams say they’re not scoreboard watching, they’re usually lying. At least the Islanders are honest about it! They were all following intently Tuesday night’s game between Pittsburgh and Detroit. [Newsday]
  • The Islanders’ defense and goaltending have been stellar this season, but will their offense be enough to carry them through the playoffs? [The Athletic]
  • Whatever the case may be, Carey says the Isles would be wise to keep this defensive pairing and these two lines together as they head toward the playoffs. [LHH]
  • The Islanders used Jeremy Smith in practice yesterday to give Robin Lehner a day off, and the Sound Tigers sent Mitch Gillam to the Railers to help them fight for their playoff lives. At one point yesterday, the Sound Tigers had no healthy and dressed goaltenders. [Soundin’ Off]
  • Bridgeport’s captain, Ben Holmstrom, was named the team’s Man of the Year for his work in the community. [Sound Tigers]
  • LISTEN: The fan that yelled at John Tavares while he sat in the penalty box Monday night called into Alan Hahn’s show to explain why he did it. [ESPN]
  • A full-time LIRR station at Belmont is under study, so there is hope for it yet. [Newsday]
  • Former Islanders co-owner Stephen Walsh is trying to reduce his prison sentence of 20 years for a fraudulent investment scheme he ran with other former Islanders co-owner Paul Greenwood, who got 10 years. The argument is that the sentencing judge, who is now dead, was “cognitively impaired” by a stroke. [Newsday]

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores include nothing of interest nor importance to Metro Division seeding, but the Senators defeated the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, and the Blues missed a chance to tie for the Central Division lead by only taking a point from the Blackhawks in their shootout loss.

  • The Penguins could get Evgeni Malkin, who was full participant in practice yesterday, back in the lineup tonight. He hasn’t played since March 16 against St. Louis with an upper-body injury. [NHL]
  • Roberto Luongo turns 40 today and isn’t sure what his plan for next season is just yet. [Sportsnet]
  • Alex Ovechkin is only 237 goals off Wayne Gretzky’s all-time mark of 894, and if he can stay healthy and keep scoring, he could catch him. [NHL]
  • Tyler Dellow has resurfaced in an NHL position, joining the Devils as vice president of analytics. He did a Q&A on The Athletic explaining why it was the right fit for him.