With the Florida Panthers winning last night, the New York Islanders have dropped to a tie for fourth in the Eastern Conference wild card standings (where the “top” two teams get the playoff spots).
The Isles and Panthers have the same number of games played, which is four games more than the Pittsburgh Penguins, who sit one point ahead entering tonight’s action. The Capitals are two points ahead, with just one game in hand.
Maybe the Isles will get a point or two tonight against the Ottawa Senators — who are on a bit of a role — to keep us hanging on to those hopes that they can make something worthwhile of the final quarter of the season. But if they don’t, it will be another in a series of sky-is-falling, “season is over” losses.
The Senators, by the way, are playing on back-to-back nights, after erasing a 3-1 deficit with just 2:15 left last night against the Flames in Ottawa.
#Isles Lane Lambert also acknowledges that every game has essentially become a must-win for his team.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) February 14, 2023
In lineup news, Otto Koivula is up as a potential replacement for the sick (but not sick in a good way) Casey Cizikas, who is a “gametime decision.” But Cizikas skated this morning and declared his fine-ness, according to Andrew Gross of Newsday:
Koivula came off the ice with most of the team, as did Cizikas, who said he was feeling fine. I'm expecting Lane Lambert to declare Cizikas a game-time decision.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) February 14, 2023
Wotherspoon and Johnston remain on the ice. Sorokin was the first goalie off, Varly worked with the extras for a bit.