When you reach this point in the season and you’re a team on the outside looking in, as the New York Islanders are, the best thing you can hope for is to play spoiler.
The Pittsburgh Penguins would have clinched a playoff spot with a regulation win Tuesday night, but instead, they fell in the shootout—to the Islanders. It was just the second time in eight tries that the Islanders won the shootout,
For the Penguins to clinch now, they’ll need to take two points in any fashion from the second half of this back-to-back. But anything less than two points tonight means an Islanders win and the potential for them to hit 97 points, which would make the clinch mark 98 points and prevent the Pens yet again from clinching.
So the Islanders can spoil the Penguins’ party two times in a row. That’s what I’m rooting for.
- Despite giving up four goals, Ilya Sorokin was the star of the game because of his 43 saves. [3 Takeaways]
- He didn’t even need to make the final save! [LHH]
- Even while chasing individual marks, Anders Lee and Brock Nelson are thinking team first and helped get the win. [Newsday]
- Something encouraging, and an attainable goal to make next season successful: With that win, the Islanders improved to “a perfect 27-0-0 in games that they have a 2-0 lead at any point; this was only the second time all season (3/31 vs CBJ) that the opponent tied the game at any point.” [NYI Skinny]
- Also encouraging is the below tweet; home-ice dominance has been a staple of the Trotz-Lamoriello era and was lacking early this year in the new building. Glad to see them restoring it, and hopefully, we get a full season of it next year.
- Keys to tonight’s game, which are eerily similar to the keys to last game... [Islanders]
- Andrew Gross on spoiling the fun. [Newsday]
- J-G Pageau and Kyle Palmieri finally have brought the offense that they were signed to bring. How much can Lou rely on that offense when making decisions this offseason? [The Athletic]
- Mike Bossy didn’t fit the NHL mold, but that didn’t matter when he was filling NHL nets. [The Star]
- The Baby Isles agreed to terms on an amateur try-out contract with former Minnesota-Duluth forward Koby Bender. [B-Isles]
- This (Yester)Day in Isles History: John Tonelli saves the dynasty by completing the comeback over the Penguins in the preliminary round Game 5.
- 2021 second overall pick Matty (?) Beniers has signed with the Seattle Kraken. He made his debut Tuesday night with his team in Calgary. [ESPN]
- The Kraken were supposed to visit the Jets last night, but a crazy blizzard in Winnipeg changed those plans. That game will now be on May 1. [NHL]
- Owen Power has made his NHL debut, and the Buffalo Sabres are abuzz. [NHL]
- The Maple Leafs no-showed against Buffalo last night, angering their coach. [Sportsnet]
- The Anaheim Ducks have exercised their club option in Dallas Eakins’ contract, bringing him back for at least one more year. [NHL]
- Quinn Hughes is on the verge of setting Vancouver Canucks franchise records, but he just wants to win. [Sportsnet]
- The Detroit Red Wings signed Magnus Hellberg, former system goalie of the Rangers, to a minor-league deal. [TSN]
- And the Colorado Avalanche landed the big fish among college free agents, Ben Meyers. [TSN]
- Finally, we get two deserving teams that never got a chance to play in an outdoor game: We knew the Boston Bruins would host the ‘23 Winter Classic at Fenway; their opponent, we now know, is the Penguins. Another original and bold idea from the NHL. [NHL]