Tonight, the New York Islanders host the Washington Capitals to close out this run of four straight games against fellow wild-card chasers. They have performed marvelously through the first three-quarters of it, coming away with six of a possible six points and moving closer to controlling their own destiny.
With a win tonight, especially in regulation, the Islanders could dent Washington’s playoff hopes. The Caps sold at the deadline but are not yet out of the race. More importantly, the Islanders could get to 78 points and a .574 points percentage and start building themselves a cushion in the race.
However, Washington can sometimes give the Islanders fits, especially when they visit Long Island; last time, the Islanders blew a 3-0 lead and lost in overtime. The Isles will have to floor it and keep their foot on the gas to hold them off.
- A preview of tonight’s game, which is also Bryan Trottier Legends Night, featuring a bobblehead of No. 19.
- So far, so good for the Islanders in this make-or-break stretch. [Newsday]
- And if they can get a win tonight, the Islanders can really put an “exclamation point” on their make-or-break week. [amNY]
- It would also ding the Caps’ chances. [NY Post]
- As the race continues, the Islanders boast something no other chaser can boast: Ilya Sorokin. I would also say the same thing goes for the actual playoffs. [The Athletic]
- Their third-period prowess—pushed by belief in themselves—also helps. [NY Post]
- Coffee, anyone? The current second line has a pregame americano routine from which they do not waver, and they often have company. [Islanders]
- Hockey Night in NY host Sean Cuthbert joined Dan and Mike on Episode 26 of Weird Islanders to discuss two goalies Mike Milbury traded away, one of whom became a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
- A behind-the-scenes peek at Brendan Burke’s call of Brock Nelson’s game-winner on Thursday:
Only two games in the NHL last night: The Panthers, unfortunately, pulled out an OT win over the Blackhawks, while the Flames once again shot themselves in the foot in their playoff chase by losing in regulation at home to the lowly Ducks.
- The Philadelphia Flyers fired President and GM Chuck Fletcher—wisely letting him botch the trade deadline first—and named Danny Briere interim GM. [NHL]
- Where do the Flyers go from here? For one, they will have a separate President and GM, and for another, Briere has the inside track to take one of those roles. [E$PN+]
- And who else’s GM chair is getting warm? A few guys up in Canada and Ron Hextall, to name a few. [The Athletic]
- Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar is concerned about captain Gabriel Landeskog’s recovery from knee surgery. [NHL]
- Since the series is almost certain to happen, Justin Bourne examines how the Toronto Maple Leafs can engage the much more physical Tampa Bay Lightning. [Sportsnet]
- Mitch Marner is relieved that two of the three guys who carjacked him last spring have been arrested. [Sportsnet]