The Islanders escape with 3 wins, all very close games. We had two big overtime wins! The Islanders coaching staff still has hope that we can make the playoffs. “As a team, we feel like we are playing our best hockey right now, late in the season. We have Devan playing outstanding in place of James. We are getting healthy; Cammy coming back for the playoffs… we feel we can take on anyone” – Coach Huet
Tampa – Patrice Bergeron got the Islanders on the board first, but that 1-0 lead was quickly erased a minute later with Dustin Brown beating Dubnyk. Cam Fowler would take a slap shot early in the 2nd period and give the Islanders a 2-1 lead. Later in the period, former Islander, Kyle Okposo scored on the powerplay! Nick Ritchie would score his first goal of the season to give Tampa the lead. 1st star of the game and ex-Islander Morgan Rielly would notch a late PP goal in the 3rd to seal the Lightning victory 4-2. Lehner 36 saves, 6/6 ratings.
St. Louis – Both Carey Price and Jame Reimer were outstanding in net. A combined 18/18 rating saves (12 for Price)! Toews opened up the scoring in the 2nd period, Kuznetsov got the only other goal in regulation early in the 3rd period. 1:35 into Overtime, Big Buff picks opponent defense 11 on Ekman-Larsson… PENALTY SHOT! Dustin skates in, shot, 8! Modified to goal… Islanders win! 2-1 final, fun ending.
Chicago – Dubnyk was not good in this game… 5-3 final, win for the Blackhawks! Tavares, Thornton, Nielsen, Chara and Giordano all scored for Chicago. Holtby played good enough for 3rd star, 30 saves, 6/8 ratings! Islanders were 1/5 on the power play and the effort was just not there. Coach Huet has been stressing that we need to play the entire 60 minutes, we were lazy in the 3rd period, allowing 4 goals!
Los Angeles – A back and forth contest. At one point the Islanders had a 3-1 lead and were flying high, but the high powered LA offense came storming back with 3 straight goals to take a 4-3 lead. But the captain Patrice Bergeron was calm and collected netting a powerplay goal early in the 3rd period to tie it at 4 goals each. In OT, Alex Steen with his 3rd assist of the game found an open Dustin Byfuglien who quickly buried the puck 29 seconds in. New York picked up a big 2nd point there. Ex-Islander Martin Jones was BAD, 5 goals on 25 shots… 3/7 on ratings.
Philly – In for the injured Cam Fowler was Michael Del Zotto. With the powerplay winding down, Del Zotto took a deep slap shot and it trickled by Crawford. That was his 1st goal of the season AND the ONLY goal of this hockey game! The Islanders played intense defense, only allowing outside shot after outside shot. Devan Dubnyk stopped all 40! 3/3 on rating saves. Crawford 5/6. Dubnyk made his best save of the game with 2 cards left, and deserved first star! Skinner 2nd star with 7 shots.