Wow, that was incredible. I’m sorry for the delay in posting this, folks. I had only a few beers, so I am not hungover from booze. I’m really just recovering from that atmosphere last night.
The New York Islanders hosted the first official playoff game UBS Arena had ever seen—last Wednesday, when the Montreal Canadiens came to town with a playoff berth on the line, was pretty close, but not an official playoff game—and the Islanders did not disappoint, although they made it tense. Great theater.
The building was so loud after Kyle Palmieri’s game-winner and especially after Matt Martin’s insurance marker. So, so loud. My voice is nearly gone; it’s certainly hoarse. I have a slight headache from yelling.
The Carolina Hurricanes controlled the first period of Game 3, more than doubling the Islanders’ shot totals. But Ilya Sorokin stood tall on the dangerous tries while the Islanders, possibly over-amped, settled down. The building exploded when Casey Cizikas scored the first playoff goal in the new arena. Though it quieted after Jesper Fast’s shorthanded goal tied the game back up, it exploded again after Palmieri and Martin’s goals, and the party was back on.
About last night:
- Palmieri, who also assisted on Martin’s insurance goal, was the hero as the Islanders scored the four fastest goals in Stanley Cup Playoff history. [LHH | NHL]
- The fourth line, the penalty kill, and Alex Romanov’s return all fueled that win. [3 Takeaways] Romanov finished the night a plus-3 and didn’t miss a beat. [Newsday]
- And man, that place was rocking. [Islanders] The fans really showed up last night and made it a party. [Newsday]
- The Isles finally got some puck luck, too. [Newsday | Newsday Video]
- And the heroics had a little local flavor, too, with Smithtown-born Palmieri scoring the winner and Long Island staple Martin adding the insurance. [Newsday]
- They just had to stick with it. [THN]
- It’s a series again, thank god. UBS Arena is off to a good start as a playoff fortress. [NY Post]
- VIDEO: The four fastest goals in NHL playoff history. [NHL]
- All that late-third-period firepower has the potential to carry momentum over to Game 4, and if the Islanders win that, it’s anybody’s series. [The Athletic]
- Long Island native Mark Lazerus, now a beat writer for the Blackhawks, calls bullshit on the narrative that the “ugly” style of play of the Islanders is bad for hockey. It’s only bad if you’re playing against them because it hurts and frustrates you. [The Athletic]
- Some photos from Game 3. [Newsday]
- A game like that warrants a detailed NYI Skinny.
- This looks like a condensed version of the MSGSN post-game from last night.
Check out all the postgame highlights, analysis, player reaction, and Lane Lambert's thoughts from tonight's statement 5-1 #Isles win https://t.co/xZ3RtgGtYz— x - Isles on MSGSN (@IslesMSGN) April 22, 2023
- Palmieri and Ryan Pulock have been the best Islanders so far in these playoffs. [THN]
- Stan Fischler recaps it in his own inimitable way. [THN Video]
- Mathew Barzal had a rough go of it last night after a strong Game 2, but he said before Game 3 that he’s feeling “back to normal.” [amNY] He acknowledged that it often takes time to get back up to speed but that he has to try to do it a little quicker. [Newsday]
- They did it last night and they’ll do it again tomorrow: The Islanders and Heineken are hosting a Plaza Party just outside the arena before home playoff games. [Islanders]
Oh yeah, there were other Games 3 last night, too. The Bruins temporarily silenced the doubters by taking a 4-0 lead on the road in Florida en route to a 4-2 win, all without both Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci; the Wild went back to Filip Gustavsson in net, and it paid off, as he gave up only one goal in a 5-1 win (with some Minnesota empty-netters); and the Kings once again erased an Oilers lead before winning in overtime on a play that possibly should’ve been blown dead for a high stick, but the replays were inconclusive. So the Bruins, Wild, and Kings all hold 2-1 series leads.
- Bergeron did not even travel to Florida, so he’ll be out in Game 4, as well. [NHL] But the Bruins are hopeful and confident he’ll be back for Game 5. [TSN]
- Meanwhile, in Game 3, Aaron Ekblad collided with Charlie McAvoy, and Ekblad left the game. [Sportsnet]
- The Wild got a boost because three important players returned to the lineup: Joel Eriksson Ek, Ryan Hartman, and John Klingberg. [Sportsnet]
- The Maple Leafs, down in Tampa for Game 3, need to be prepared for the Lightning’s pushback. They rarely lose two games in a row in the playoffs. [Sportsnet]
- NHL Network is premiering the NHL Regular Season Awards Show today at 12:30. [NHL]
- Brock Boeser has rescinded his trade request, although he might still be traded. But grief is not linear, and he has finally found some peace after the death of his father, allowing him to get back to loving hockey again. [Sportsnet]