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Islanders Playoff News: Dug deep to force Game 6

The Isles bent but didn’t break just enough to send the series back to Long Island on Friday night.

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New York Islanders v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Five
“We gotta get right back to where we started from.”
Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Getty Images

The New York Islanders staved off elimination and a handshake line with a well-executed road playoff game in one of the more difficult buildings in which to play. They withstood the opening rush of the Carolina Hurricanes, got some help from an offside challenge to prevent a power play goal, took advantage of their opportunities, and ultimately weathered the storm.

It wasn’t exactly a pretty game for the Islanders, but they got the win, and that’s all that matters. It was a great effort on the road, and now the Islanders have a chance to force a winner-take-all Game 7 back in Raleigh. However, to do that, they must win Game 6. At least it will be at UBS Arena, which should be electric.

Islanders News

About last night:
  • The word of the day is “gutsy,” as that is the kind of effort we saw last night from the Islanders. [LHH]
  • The team site used the word “gutsy,” and also acknowledged that the Isles finally got some breaks last night. [3 Takeaways]
  • Andrew Gross also used “gutsy,” knowing how hard the Islanders had to work for that one. [Newsday]
  • So did the NY Post, while also crediting Ilya Sorokin. [NY Post]
  • It took some hanging on at the end, but a win’s a win. [amNY]
  • Scott Mayfield caught a break when the first Carolina goal was successfully challenged, as it was his man who scored. He made up for it in spades by killing more than 30 seconds of Carolina’s late power play in the corner. [The Athletic]
  • It was important to get the first goal. [THN]
  • The P-E-N line was back at it, as they combined for the first two Islander goals. Pierre Engvall had the first from Brock Nelson. Then, Engvall’s shot went awry and hit Carolina’s Sebastian Aho in the face; as it was falling, Nelson whacked it into the net. Mathew Barzal and Bo Horvat combined for a four-on-four goal. [NHL]
  • It was a helluva time for Engvall to register his first-ever playoff goal. [NY Post]
  • Sorokin was also back at it, looking mighty sharp in stopping 34 of Carolina’s 36 shots. [Newsday] It was a Sorokin masterpiece. [THN]
  • The Islanders led 1-0 to end the first period. It was the first time in ten tries they scored a first-period goal in a playoff game, and they finally snapped that streak of 25 games without ending the first period with a lead. [NYI Skinny]
  • [Bee Gees start playing in the background]:
Other bits:
  • Last night’s victory required overcoming one of the more raucous buildings in the NHL, where the Islanders had yet to win a playoff game. [Newsday]
  • But the Islanders proved that they were up to the task, in the words of Stan Fischler. [THN]
  • This (Yester)Day in Isles History: Jaroslav Halak stops 38 of 39 shots, and Nikolay Kulemin scores the game-winner late in the third as the Islanders, playing in what we thought was the last game at Nassau Coliseum, staved off elimination and forced Game 7 against Barry Trotz’s Washington Capitals (2015). Don’t ask “What happened next?”
  • Two Islanders prospects are heading to the Conference Final in their respective junior leagues, while a third hit 100 points in the USHL. [Islanders Prospect Report]


We’re into the second week of the playoffs. No one has been eliminated yet, but we’re at the point where an extra day of rest is built into the schedule, so there were only two other games last night, and neither was all that close; interestingly, in each of the two below series, the lower seed led the series 2-1, and now is on the brink and trails 3-2:

  • Just a couple of minutes into the game, the Dallas Stars got a five-minute major power play when the Minnesota Wild’s Marcus Foligno got five and a game for kneeing Radek Faksa—this right after Foligno complained about the officiating. Dallas only scored once on the major, but that turned out to be the game-winner, as Jake Oettinger shut out the Wild while the Stars added three more, a 4-0 win. [NHL]
  • Also, the Edmonton Oilers took 2-0 and 3-1 leads in the first but let the Los Angeles Kings back in at 3-2. However, Edmonton made it 4-2 in the second, which led to the Kings yanking Joonas Korpisalo in favor of Pheonix Copley making his postseason debut. The spark didn’t work, though, and the Oilers won 6-3. [NHL]
Other news and notes:
  • Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar has been suspended one game for his extremely late, Dale Hunter-esque interference on Jared McCann. Makark will miss Game 5 tonight. [NHL]
  • Meanwhile, with a chance to eliminate the Florida Panthers and advance to the second round, the Boston Bruins expect to get Patrice Bergeron back in the lineup for tonight’s Game 5 in Boston. [NHL]
  • The Winnipeg Jets are “hopeful” to have Mark Schiefele in the lineup for Game 5 Thursday night as they try to stave off elimination at the hands of the Vegas Golden Knights. [NHL]
  • The Calgary Flames and the various governments with jurisdiction over them reached an agreement on a new arena in Calgary to replace the old Saddledome. [NHL]