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Islanders & NHL Playoff News: Battle of Alberta off to explosive start

Also, the Smurfs played well in Carolina but shot themselves in the foot for a Game 1 OT loss.

Edmonton Oilers v Calgary Flames - Game One
On night two of round two, the late game was a barnburner.
Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

The dust has blown over on the Islanders’ big announcement of Lane Lambert as the replacement for Barry Trotz, so NHL eyes turned back to the hectic start to round two of the playoffs.

But first, Isles-centric things:

  • Once every 202 episodes of the Islanders Anxiety podcast, Mike and Dan step out of their heads to take listener questions. In a director’s cut episode they discuss Lane Lambert, the playoffs, and then get to those questions. (Thanks to everyone who submitted!) [LHH]
  • Is Winnipeg, or Vegas the best fit for Barry Trotz? (We’re talking about the teams not the cities, I presume.) [TSN]

Elsewhere

  • In Game 1, the Smurfs carried play in the first two-thirds of the game but defended like clowns with a one-goal lead in the third to allow Sebastian Aho to tie it at 1-1 late. Then Ryan Lindgren deflected a shot into his own goal to give Ian Cole and Carolina the OT win.
  • Former Ranger Antti Raanta got the best of his old team in Game 1. [Brooks @ Post]
  • Game 1 of the Battle of Alberta was C.R.A.Z.Y. Franchise records were tied and broken — including the Flames scoring twice in the opening 51 seconds. The Flames chased Mike Smith but blew a four-goal lead as the Oilers tied it at 6-6 early in the third. Matthew Tkachuk capped a hat trick with an empty-netter for the 9-6 Calgary win. Yes, nine to six.

It was proper Battle of Alberta intensity early in the first:

Also, after a tizzy with Matthew Tkachuk in which Tkachuk appeared to ask Kane if he needed money, Tkachuk came out of the box and scored to restore the Flames’ two-goal lead, while Kane stayed in the box to feel shame (does he ever feel shame?):

  • Oilers and Flames alumni recall past Battles of Alberta. [TSN]
  • Florida’s Ben Chiarot was only fined for head-butting Tampa’s Ross Colton in Game 1. [NHL]
  • Kyle Connor, Jaccob Slavin and Jared Spurgeon were named Selke Trophy finalists. [NHL]
  • Brayden Point will remain out for the Lightning in Game 2. [NHL]
  • Stan Fischler dips into the annals when the Rangers thought they would beat Toronto in 1962 — 22 years into their infinite Cup drought in a six-team league — but were derailed when a ref didn’t blow the whistle. [NHL]
  • Gary Bettman knows he can’t be commissioner for ever but isn’t planning to quit anytime soon. [Sportsnet]
  • Rob Blake has reached a three-year extension to remain as Kings GM. [TSN]
  • Jason Spezza keeps taking minimum deals to try to help the Leafs get over the hump, but he’s not sure whether there’s still a spot for him. [Sportsnet]