Dec 17, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov (20) makes a save on a shot by Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson (9) during the second period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Top Shelf: Islanders Daily 1/17/14

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Jan 16, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald (47) shoots against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t pretty, but they got it done.

The New York Islanders were outplayed, and at times out-muscled, but they found a way to win their fourth game of their ongoing road trip.

Kevin Poulin came up big last night, as he looked like a veteran, with his coolness late in the game while Tampa Bay was smothering him with shots. He made 29 saves in the game, and went 3-for-3 in the shootout to give the Islanders a huge win against the Atlantic Division co-leading Tampa Bay Lightning.

The offense had their sparks, but generally didn’t generate much, save for a gorgeous power play goal late in the second period by Thomas Vanek. The play of the first line wasn’t great tonight, but the role-playing lines came up big tonight, as they helped hold a high-scoring Tampa Bay offense in check for most of the night (and the goalpost did its fair share as well).

With the win, a New York Rangers win and a Philadelphia Flyers shootout loss, the Islanders find themselves 7 points out of the 8th and final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. They are inching their way forward, and if they can continue to find ways to win like they did last night, they’ll only get closer and closer to the ultimate goal.

-Peter (@PJMcEntee)

 

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Around the NHL 

  • New York Rangers 1, Detroit Red Wings 0
  • Montreal Canadiens 5, Ottawa Senators 4 (OT)
  • New York Islanders 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 1 (SO)
  • San Jose Sharks 3, Florida Panthers 0
  • Los Angeles Kings 4, St. Louis Blues 1
  • Minnesota Wild 4, Edmonton Oilers 1
  • Boston Bruins 4, Dallas Stars 2
  • Colorado Avalanche 2, New Jersey Devils 1 (SO)
  • Winnipeg Jets 5, Calgary Flames 2
  • Phoenix Coyotes 1, Vancouver Canucks 0

 

Across the Sound 

Rank Northeast Division GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT GF GA STK P10 S/O PIM
1 Springfield Falcons 37 25 8 1 3 54 0.730 115 92 0-3-0-0 5-4-0-1 6-3 652
2 Albany Devils 37 21 11 3 2 47 0.635 113 94 0-1-0-0 4-4-1-1 3-2 569
3 Adirondack Phantoms 36 20 14 0 2 42 0.583 89 84 2-0-0-0 7-3-0-0 2-2 849
4 Bridgeport Sound Tigers 39 14 20 1 4 33 0.423 96 126 1-0-0-0 3-6-0-1 3-4 1038
5 Hartford Wolf Pack 36 11 20 0 5 27 0.375 82 119 0-5-0-1 2-6-0-2 2-5 866
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