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Islanders Back-to-Back News: A satisfying win last night; let’s make it a double

The Dream ain’t dead yet, folks.

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NHL: New York Islanders at Carolina Hurricanes
The elation!
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

What a finish. It looked like the New York Islanders just allowed the Carolina Hurricanes to send the game to overtime, snapping Ilya Sorokin’s shutout with less than a minute to play and putting two points in danger.

But Kyle Palmieri had other ideas. Ooh, and you could see the dejection in the face and body language of former stinky Ranger Brady Skjei, who got his butt handed to him on that sequence. I love beating Carolina. And the fact that Barry Trotz alluded to them chirping the Isles’ bench after they tied it only to give up that goal just warms my heart. They’re an arrogant bunch, and after the last couple of years—great regular seasons, followed by five-game playoff flameouts against experienced contenders—you have to wonder why. Probably because they employ six former Rangers. Or perhaps it’s the showering of praise from all the analytics writers on Twitter and at The Athletic. Either way, that was one satisfying victory.

Anyway, the Islanders earned themselves another regulation win and two standings points, putting them eleven back of the Washington Capitals, each with 12 games remaining. The Caps host the slumping Pittsburgh Penguins this afternoon at 3:00 p.m. on ABC, if you dare to watch.

After that at 8:00 p.m., the Islanders visit Dom’s St. Louis Blues to close out this five-game road trip. The Blues also played last night, topping the Minnesota Wild in overtime. However, they didn’t have to travel, so the Isles may be at a bit of a disadvantage. But the last time they were there, the currently red-hot J-G Pageau scored his second goal in as many games as an Islander. Some sort of pandemic hit after that, but maybe Pageau has a little more magic left in him. To keep the Impossible April Dream alive, they’re going to need it.

First Islander Goal picks go here.

Islanders News

About last night:
  • This must have been a fun one to write. It was a tense, playoff-like atmosphere. [LHH]
  • Palmieri’s goal came with 14.1 seconds left on the clock. [Newsday]
  • That was Trotz’s 1,800th game coached. He sits second only to Scotty Bowman. [NHL]
  • Trotz knew, too, that it had been a while since the Islanders beat the ‘Canes in Carolina. [3 Takeaways]
  • They held the Hurricanes to just nine shots over the game’s final forty minutes. [Rapid Recap]
  • Casey Cizikas will have a hearing for boarding Brendan Smith, though. [Twitter] We’ll know before tonight’s game if anything will come of it.
  • What unfolded in the final minute of that game was a real rarity (and the factoid at the end is just [chef’s kiss] mwah): [NYI Skinny, courtesy of the great Eric Hornick]

The Isles led 1-0 through 59 minutes, allowed the tying goal but then scored the winning goal in the 60th. Sounds rare, right? It is.

It is only the 4th time in the 105 year history of the NHL that it has happened. The last time was in 2007 when the Bruins beat San Jose; Zdeno Chara also played in that game.

Looking ahead to tonight and some other stuff:
  • Keys to tonight’s game include Pageau having scored five goals in his last three games. This link also notes that last night’s win was the Isles’ first against Carolina since October 2018, the first month of Trotz’s tenure. [Islanders]
  • The Islanders are playing to win and to evaluate, and they’ll let the chips fall where they may. [Newsday]
  • Another article about Noah Dobson’s growth, but one that paints him as a “budding superstar.” I hope so! [TFP]
  • Anson Carter guests on the latest episode of Island Ice, Andrew Gross’s podcast.
  • A column within a column: That’s the innovation you need to be a successful writer at age 90. Maven’s Memories presents Stan’s Fans, where he profiles Islanders fans. His first fan is Vinnie Catania, an NYPD officer.

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores include the Bruins outlasting the Lightning on the road.

  • Now that Michigan has been eliminated, many of its players are turning pro, including 2021 no. 5 overall pick Kent Johnson, who has signed with the Blue Jackets [NHL], and 2021 no. 1 overall pick Owen Power, who has signed with the Sabres. [NHL]
  • Minnesota State goalie Dryden McKay took home the Hobey Baker Award as the top college player. [NHL]
  • Evander Kane got fined for kneeing a player on Thursday night. He’ll pay $5,000, the maximum allowable. [NHL]
  • The Sharks will look immediately for Doug Wilson’s replacement, while Pierre LeBrun envisions Wilson returning to the game in a Jim Rutherford-like President of Hockey Operations role. Also some scheduling updates. [The Athletic]
  • Bruce Boudreau deserves a coaching job in the NHL next season, and he really deserves the Canucks job. [Sportsnet]