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Islanders Back-to-Back News: Let’s try to play hockey tonight, yes?

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The Islanders did not play their game last night. They should try to do that tonight.

New York Islanders v Buffalo Sabres
Congratulations to Michael Houser.
Photo by Joe Hrycych/NHLI via Getty Images

The New York Islanders lost in regulation to the Buffalo Sabres last night. That’s bad enough. What’s worse is that they led 2–0 and led 2–1 to start the third period, losing in regulation after taking a lead into the final frame for the first time all season. [checks earpiece] What’s that? [presses earpiece again] They lost to an ECHL goalie? Really? Okay, so the worst part is that they lost to an ECHL goalie.

These four games against the Sabres and New Jersey Devils really should have equated to eight points with a few regulation wins thrown in the mix. Instead, they’re already down to six possible points coupled with a blown lead to the worst team in the league. I mean, it’s one game, and all the factors pointed to this being a trap game. But it would have been nice to see them actually avoid falling into that trap.

The good news is that they have another chance tonight to get the two points and the regulation win that they desperately need to improve their seeding in the East Division. The playoff teams are now set in the division; all that’s left is to determine who will play who and where they will start their series. As of this morning, the Islanders have dropped to fourth place.

FIG Picks go here.

Islanders News

Recaps from last night:

  • As Jenny noted, the Michael Houser story is good enough to soften the blow of the loss. [LHH]
  • The loss, in and of itself, isn’t so bad; it’s blowing the lead and allowing four unanswered goals that stings. [Isles 5 Takeaways]
  • Games against the New York Rangers are emotional, which can cause Ranger hangovers. Not to mention, teams with nothing to play for are dangerous this time of year. [Newsday]
  • The game, of course, broke Semyon Varlamov’s and the team’s shutout streak. [NHL]
  • It was the first time that the Isles lost in regulation after scoring first since early this season and the first time they lost in regulation when leading after two periods since Devon Toews infamously mocked Evgeny Kuznetsov’s bird celebration. [NYI Skinny]
  • Barry Trotz thought that his team played “with a little bit of arrogance.” I concur.

Onto the news:

  • Here’s the preview for tonight’s game.
  • Varlamov, whose shutout streak ended at 248:00 as the 12th-longest all-time and third-longest in the expansion era, was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week. [Islanders | Newsday]
  • On that note, in three short years, goaltender went from the Isles’ weakest position, historically, possibly to its strongest. [The Athletic]
  • The Islanders feel confident that they can go further in the playoffs this year. They say that they’re hungry and have been since Trotz took over. [Newsday]
  • Dan is feeling a bit more relieved with the ‘X’ next to the Isles’ name in the standings. [LHH Back & Forth]
  • Ruslan Iskhakov had a multipoint weekend as his team advanced to the Liiga finals. Robin Salo’s SHL season has concluded and Reece Newkirk remains a point-per-game player. [Prospect Report]
  • The Sound Tigers won again, beating the P-Bruins in a shootout. [CT Post]

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores include the Washington Capitals defeating the Rangers, eliminating them; the Boston Bruins shut out the New Jersey Devils, clinching a spot for Boston; and the Philadelphia Flyers throttled the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 7–2.

  • Evgeni Malkin returned to the Penguins’ lineup after missing a month-and-a-half and Tyler Seguin, recovering from hip surgery, made his season debut for the Dallas Stars. [NHL]
  • Alex Ovechkin suited up for the Caps, though he played only one shift and left the game. [NHL]
  • That wasn’t even the biggest story from the Capitals-Rangers game. Once again, Tom Wilson displayed his lack of regard for everyone else around him and his cowardliness by only going after star players, never answering the bell against an actually tough player.
  • The image on the left is Wilson flexing in the penalty box after the trash above. The image on the right is Wilson shitting his pants at the sight of Matt Martin.
  • The Capitals Twitter account, echoing its tone-deaf fanbase when it comes to Wilson, tweeted about how he lives rent-free in the minds of the rest of us sane people. They deleted the tweet, but the damage was done. [The Athletic]
  • Neil Best says that it’s time for the NHL to throw the book at this piece of garbage. He says not to let him play until October; I’ll go one better and say he shouldn’t play in the NHL ever again. It’s a privilege and he seems to think that it’s his right. [Newsday]
  • Three recently former Columbus Blue Jackets spoke anonymously to The Athletic about living in Columbus and why players leave. [The Athletic]
  • Kevin Bieksa, speaking about the Vancouver Canucks rebuild, says that a rebuild can be done “without missing the playoffs for five years.” [Vancouver Is Awesome]
  • Taya Currie, a goalie, has a chance to become the first female drafted into the OHL. [London Free Press]