It’s been a long time since the Islanders won a shootout, an even longer time since they won one against the Washington Capitals. And longer still since all three NY/NJ metro teams were in the postseason at the same time.
That’s looking increasingly likely as the Devils and Smurfs have already clinched, and the Islanders came two steps closer with their shootout win in D.C. last night.
About last night:
- Methodical first 40, then an impressive third, chaos in OT, joy in the shootout. [LHH]
- Simply put, two huge points. [Newsday]
- That’ll strengthen the grip on a playoff position. [Post]
- Lane Lambert briefly mixed lines, then reverted: “We’re just looking for a little something and I really have a reasoning for it, but I’m not going to share that right now.” [THN]
- Three Takeaways: Lambert, channeling Trotz these days: “Our game is about being patient and it’s about being patient on both sides of the puck.” [Isles]
- Pierre Engvall, the opener. [AM NY]
- Upon further medical review, Brock Nelson will need to wear a full face shield for the next two weeks. Didn’t seem to hinder him last night. [Newsday]
- Before the Islanders were a juggernaut, and then a dynasty, they were absolutely terrible. Stan Fischler recalls his favorite Isles from the expansion days. [THN]
- Speaking of history, as MLB opens play, some tales of Islanders who could’ve chosen a different career path. [Isles]
Last night’s other scores included the Panthers coming back to beat the Leafs in OT in Toronto. (Teehee.) That puts Florida just one back of Pittsburgh for the second wild card spot. The Penguins host the Predators tonight in a game that has wild card stakes for both.
- Oh, but speaking of those other metro teams, the Rangers and Devils have a showdown tonight, a likely preview of the first round — and home ice is still up for grabs. [Post]
- The Smurfs also extended Filip Chytil for four years; not that, as Howie Rose might say, I particularly care. [NHL]
- People panned the Mikael Granlund acquisition by the Penguins and they continue to do so. You hate to see it. [PensBurgh]
- Paul Maurice, who had a right royal rant on the bench [Sportsnet] last night, says the Panthers must learn how to play harder, tougher hockey if they want to be taken seriously as a playoff team. [NHL]
- Updating the top five prospects in the upcoming NHL draft. (Newsflash: Connor Bedard is still #1). [Sportsnet]
- Canadian billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos has joined the bidding process for the Ottawa Senators. [TSN]