Mar 7, 2014; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders right wing Colin McDonald (13) skates against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Top Shelf: Islanders Daily 3/26/14


Mar 25, 2014; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goalie Anton Khudobin (31) makes a second period save on the shot by the New York Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck (15) during the second period at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

It was sloppy, but we got it done.

It was not pretty, and it wasn’t stress-free, but the Islanders managed to beat the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 5-4. After an explosive first 15 minutes in which four goals were scored, the Islanders went on to give up 3 straight goals after that. Each team exchanged a goal after that, leading us to the game’s final score of 5-4.

One thing that affected both teams in last night’s contest was goaltending. Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward didn’t make it out of the first period, after giving up 3 quick goals. Anders Nilsson didn’t look much better, despite having played the entire game. He looked very shaky in net, and gave up a pair of goals on tough angles.

Nilsson has been getting beat up high in recent games, and last night’s contest was no exception. A guy with Nilsson’s height shouldn’t be getting beat up high as much as Nilsson is, and it’s certainly something the young goaltender needs to correct if he wants to be a starting NHL goaltender.

On a more positive note, the Islanders fourth line looked very strong last night. Matt Martin and Colin McDonald scored two goals apiece, and as usual were able to bring a physical presence to the game. The fourth line has had its ups and downs this year, but they played very well last night, and hopefully we’ll see more of that next season as well, as that bottom trio can make a tremendous impact on the team.

So we now look towards the final 10 games of the season, a time that has become riddled with justified frustration. The Islanders will play the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow night. It’s a meaningless game for the Islanders, who are already eliminated from playoff contention, but the game has implications for a Tampa Bay team who is trying to gain leverage in the Atlantic Division.

-Peter (@PJMcEntee)

In Case You Missed It

Op/Ed: Bailing Out on Bailey (EOI)

Isles’ Injury Woes Continue (EOI)

Young Players Firing On All Cylinders (EOI)

Isles Must Prepare For Life Without Visnovsky (EOI)

Around the NHL

  •  St Louis Blues 5, Toronto Maple Leafs 3
  • Phoenix Coyotes 2, Pittsburgh Penguins 2
  • Los Angeles Kings 5, Washington Capitals 4 (SO)
  • New York Islanders 5, Carolina Hurricanes 4
  • Montreal Canadiens 2, Buffalo Sabres 0
  • Florida Panthers 3, Ottawa Senators 2 (SO)
  • Columbus Blue Jackets 4, Detroit Red Wings 2
  • Chicago Blackhawks 4, Dallas Stars 2
  • Colorado Avalanche 5, Nashville Predators 4 (SO)
  • San Jose Sharks 5, Edmonton Oilers 2

Across the Sound

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are essentially playing for pride at this point, as it looks to be too much for the team to climb into the last seed of the Calder Cup Playoffs. If the team’s first line was still there and not with the Islanders, the story might have been a bit different. The Sound Tigers were cruising with their first line in tact, as they won 14 of the final 16 games the scoring trio played in.

Rank Northeast Division GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT GF GA STK P10 S/O PIM
1 Springfield Falcons 65 39 20 1 5 84 0.646 208 184 0-2-0-0 6-3-0-1 8-5 1132
2 Albany Devils 65 34 20 4 7 79 0.608 193 170 4-0-1-0 5-2-1-2 4-7 932
3 Hartford Wolf Pack 65 28 30 1 6 63 0.485 172 201 1-0-0-0 5-4-1-0 5-6 1337
4 Bridgeport Sound Tigers 65 27 31 2 5 61 0.469 168 204 0-2-0-1 1-7-1-1 4-5 1612
5 Adirondack Phantoms 64 25 34 1 4 55 0.430 151 188 0-2-0-0 2-7-0-1 2-4 1624

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