Half of the first round’s Games 1 are in the books, with the other half happening tonight across the NHL. The Islanders, of course, were the last team to qualify for the playoffs and the first team to lose last night.
The Isles and Hurricanes kicked off the busy slate with a 2-1 victory for the home team, which converted on two of four power plays while the Isles went 0 for 4.
It was close on the scoreboard, but a frustrating slog to generate offense made it feel worse. The Isles, however, feel their game got better and better as the game wore on, so they’re hoping to build off that heading into Wednesday’s Game 2.
- On paper, the game turned on the power play success/failure. But beyond that, there were signs of the kind of game we were expecting. [LHH]
- Yeah yeah, we’ve all heard (and made) the Sebastian Aho jokes, but this standoff presents challenges for TV and radio announcers. [Newsday]
- Rod Brind’Amour: “That game went pretty much how we thought it would. They made great saves, we had good saves. Both teams were going pretty hard.” [NHL]
- But one struggled with special teams. [Newsday]
- It took the Islanders time to find their legs. [AM NY]
- Three Takeaways: “It came down a little bit to zone entries at times,” Lambert said of the power play. “We know they have a pretty good hard stand.” [Isles]
- “Considering the [power play has] generally looked confused, ineffective or both with a man advantage, it was a worrying sign that the club isn’t going to get that part of its game together in time to become a serious threat in the playoffs.” [Athletic]
- The Hurricanes were opportunistic, and the Isles are taking a half-full approach. [THN]
- Barzal’s return was not an immediate fix for the power play. [Post]
- After being mentored by lots of vets, Noah Dobson finds himself ready to lead. [AM NY]
Three minutes of Lane Lambert, post-game:
Lambert Postgame Availability pic.twitter.com/PUGem4qtPI— x - New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) April 18, 2023
Anders Lee: “It’s one game. It didn’t go our way tonight. But like I said I thought we built our game pretty well throughout it. Stuck with it and we got better as the game went on.”— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNHL) April 18, 2023
If you didn’t catch it earlier and you’re outside the MSG broadcast area, here’s the announcer lineup for the next few Isles games (and the other series, too):
- Game 2 (same as Game 1), ESPN2: Mike Monaco, AJ Mleczko and Dom Moore
- Game 3, TBS: Dave Randorf, Keith Jones and Bryce Salvador
- Game 4, TNT: Kenny Albert, Keith Jones and Bryce Salvador
Not playoffs but: Cory Schneider enjoyed an extra moment on the ice with family to cap what is likely his retirement farewell. [CT Post]
Chico Resch discusses what makes Ilya Sorokin a great fit for the Isles. [THN]
- David Pastrnak got the Bruins started with a power play goal early in the first, and they never relinquished the lead in a 3-1 win over the Panthers.
The other two games went to overtime, with the road teams stunning the home crowds:
- The Oilers got off to an intimidating 2-0 start, only to allow three third-period goals by the Kings to force overtime. The tying goal came on a power play and with a sixth attacker with just 17 seconds remaining. The Kings’ OT winner came on a power play, too.
- Three of the four regulation goals between the Wild and Stars were scored on the power play, as they headed to two exhausting overtimes. For a while in the second OT the Wild were being dominated and they were desperate, but things settled down for their winner from Ryan Hartman.
Joe Pavelski’s head hit the ice after a late and devastating hit from Matt Dumba:
Matt Dumba lays a late hit on Joe Pavelski and receives a 2-minute minor penalty for roughing. pic.twitter.com/a6XTWf4Hup— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 18, 2023
- Brad Treliving is out as Flames GM, after nine years, and apparently by his own choice. [NHL] He had his reasons, says interim replacement and friend Don Maloney. [Sportsnet]
- And perhaps one of those reasons was a deteriorating relationship with Darryl Sutter, says Elliotte Friedman in 32 Thoughts. [Sportsnet] Here are his best and worst moves as GM. [Sportsnet]
- Barry Trotz will evaluate John Hynes: “We’re going to talk about his plan for next year and go from there. That’s the process, and you’ve got to respect the process.” [NHL]
- Despite their frustrating season, the Blue Jackets remain bullish on their future. [Blue Jackets]