The Islanders are in Pittsburgh tonight, with one point and three games separating the two teams currently holding the wild card positions in the East.
For the Isles, who came back to beat the Pens twice in February, a win would also be a season sweep. (The Isles also beat the Pens 5-1 in December.) Other wild card chasers in action tonight include the Sabres at home to the Stars, and the Senators out west in Seattle.
Leave your First Islanders Goal picks for tonight here.
- The rise of Hudson Fasching. [Newsday | Post]
- Why are the Islanders “surging”? Three stat areas of note include Casey Cizikas and Fasching driving more play, improved defensive coverage (and reduced chances conceded) and Bo Horvat at center. [Athletic]
- “Thriving” is maybe a headline exaggeration, but Josh Bailey has found some success on the 3rd/4th lines. [Newsday]
- From a Toronto writer: one of Pierre Engvall’s strengths as a “high-end third liner” is a consistent ability to exit the defensive zone with control. One of his weaknesses is an inability to consistently generate good scoring chances. [Athletic]
- Bryan Trottier, who’s always up for a good tale, is the latest guest on Talkin’ Isles. [Isles]
- Re-doing the 2013 draft, which was topped by Nathan MacKinnon and included Horvat at #9. [E$PN+]
- Tee hee: Tony DeAngelo suspended two games for spearing Corey Perry. Imagine the punishment if he’d speared a player that anyone cared about! [NHL]
- A written 32 Thoughts, mostly revisiting the trade deadline. [Sportsnet]
- What about the big names that didn’t move, like Erik Karlsson and J.T. Miller? [Athletic]
- The Coyotes’ cap laundering has become a bit of a joke, but who will stop them? [Athletic]
- That should have an effect: Cam Talbot is out three weeks for the Senators. [NHL]
- David Quinn did a bad thing, is fined for “conduct demeaning the officials.” [NHL]
- The Wild beat the Jets with a 46-save Fleury performance but now await word on Kirill Kaprizov, who left with an injury. [TSN]
- Jared Bednar is concerned about Gabriel Landeskog’s return and health. [NHL]