After rattling off eight straight games with at least one, if not two points, the Islanders failed to earn any points in Pittsburgh.
In gaining four points, the Penguins moved into a four-way tie with the Isles, Capitals, and Flyers for second-place. The Islanders, with the most games played in the East at 17, technically sit in fifth place—and sixth if we go by point percentage because the Devils have only played 12 games thus far.
Perhaps the Islanders can solidify their spot in the top four over the upcoming stretch of home games; they will play nine of their next ten at Nassau Coliseum, mostly against the familiar February foes, the Sabres, Bruins, and Penguins. Moreover, their next three road games only take them to New Jersey. They do not have to board a plane until March 16’s trip to Washington.
Barry Trotz couldn’t be too upset with how his team played last night.
Trotz Postgame Availability pic.twitter.com/RsmTARcatt— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 21, 2021
- Mathew Barzal accepted his share of the blame for the hit put on him by Mike Matheson on Thursday night, saying that he turned late. [Newsday]
- Everyone on the Islanders praised Sidney Crosby ahead of his 1,000th game. [Newsday]
- You have until 10:00 p.m. ET tonight to enter to win a signed copy of this awesome steel-mill poster commemorating the Islanders’ tilt with the Penguins. [Islanders]
- This (yester)day in Isles history: the Islanders defeated Chico Resch and the Colorado Rockies 3–2 to win their fifteenth consecutive game (1982); Pierre Turgeon recorded two hat-tricks a year apart on this date, in 1992 against the Rangers and in 1993 against the Penguins; and prior to that ‘93 game against Pittsburgh, the Islanders retired Billy Smith’s no. 31.
- Jakub Skarek made 36 saves Friday afternoon but conceded one goal late in the third period and the Sound Tigers lost 1–0 to the Providence Bruins. [Sound Tigers]
Yesterday’s NHL scores include the Sabres beating the Devils and the Rangers knocking down the Capitals. Also, in the first Lake Tahoe NHL Outdoors Game—the first intermission of which lasted like nine hours—the Avalanche topped the Golden Knights.
Devon Toews recorded an assist on Nathan MacKinnon’s unbelievable individual effort that became the Avs’ second goal and scored what became the game-winner with time winding down in the third period.
Ah hell, I need to show you the MacKinnon goal, too. Just an absurd play on outdoor ice.
- The first game started at 3:00 p.m. ET. Colorado took a 1–0 lead into the first intermission. Then, we received word that they would not resume play until midnight ET. And then we learned that the sun caused an issue. Because they played so late, they were relegated to NBCSN, while NBC played Saturday Night Live.
- Like the first game, the second Lake Tahoe NHL Outdoors Game, between the Flyers and Bruins, was originally scheduled for 3:00 p.m. ET. So to avoid yesterday’s mishaps, the second game will now be at 7:30 p.m. ET. [NHL]
- But Boston and Philadelphia couldn’t seem to care what time the game will start. They say that they are ready whenever. [NHL]
- Gritty made the trip to Lake Tahoe, snowshoeing and snowboarding around the lake.
- Nico Hischier made his season debut yesterday afternoon for the Devils. New Jersey also revealed a ‘C’ on his sweater, making him the youngest current captain. [NHL]
- Mike Babcock returns behind a hockey team’s bench: the University of Saskatchewan’s. Those poor Canadian college kids.
- NEW! I forgot to mention this, but the Ducks placed Adam Henrique on waivers yesterday. He’s probably still a useful player. But only in the second year of a five-year deal that will count as almost $6 million against the cap, he unsurprisingly cleared. However, we also learned some sad former Islanders news: the Red Wings waived Frans Nielsen. Feels like the end of an era, even if it is just to make him eligible for their taco squad.
Henrique clears. Frans Nielsen (DET) on waivers— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 21, 2021