Top Shelf – Islanders Daily 5/3/13


May 1, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) carries the puck up ice against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in game one of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at CONSOL Energy Center. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Astoria, NY – in a surprising turn of events that has baffled meteorologists and NHL prognosticators alike, the sun rose again today over Long Island and the New York metro area.

Fans of the no. 8-seeded New York Islanders should take this as a sign that Game 1 of their team’s series against the Pittsburgh Penguins was not, in fact, the end of the world.

All kidding aside, it appears that the Isles players have put the first game behind them and are ready to play the Penguins at CONSOL Energy Center tonight at 7:00 p.m. As fans, we should move forward too.

The best part about a best-of-seven series is that it can allow for unpredictability. It should be noted that one game does not an entire series make. Being down 0-1 against the Penguins doesn’t prove anything for either team, except the fact that Pittsburgh outplayed the Islanders Wednesday night. Roughly half of the playoff teams – give or take – are down 0-1 at this very moment.

The Islanders have a tough matchup, but as the players have repeated en masse: “It’s the playoffs.” There’s really nothing else to say.

If you’re looking for a viewing party for the game, O’Keefe’s restaurant on Court St. in Brooklyn will be hosting one tonight (H/T @IFiBklyn). So put on your Isles gear and support the team tonight, whether it’s at the bar or in your own home.

Isles Nation, your team needs you.


Can the Isles bounce back after a bad loss in Game 1? (Lighthouse Hockey)

Nabokov is still the Islanders’ best option in net (Rant Sports)

Lars Eller injury overshadows Senators win (CBC)

Is Jack Capuano making the right moves behind the Isles bench? (EyesOnIsles)

Floating Around The Twitter-Sphere

Paul Bissonette said it – as he so often does – but the rest of us were thinking it.

CBSSports and WFAN’s Jeff Capellini cracks wise about the Islanders potentially splitting time between Brooklyn and Nassau, after a proposal was floated by the Brooklyn hockey operations group for the Isles to play six games at the Coliseum after the team relocates.

Isles stat man Eric Hornick cites a Grantland piece about jumping on an NHL team’s bandwagon. Islanders fans will enjoy the author’s choice for the best team to follow for the playoffs…

Last Night In The NHL

Ottawa Senators vs. Montreal Canadiens (OTT 1-0)

The Ottawa Senators beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 behind a stellar effort from goaltender Craig Anderson, who stopped 48-of-50 shots to earn the Game 1 victory.

Overshadowing the Senators’ win was an injury to Montreal center Lars Eller, who had his head down at his own blue line and took a big hit from Ottawa defenseman Eric Gryba and landed hard on the ice.

Eller would leave the game on a stretcher; early reports after the game were that he suffered a concussion, facial fractures and lost a few teeth as a result of the play.

Not only will the Canadiens have to overcome the psychological effect of such an injury to one of their players, but they’ll have to solve Anderson in net to climb back into the series. As hot as Anderson’s played lately for Ottawa, Montreal will have their work cut out for them in Game 2 tonight.

New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals (WAS 1-0)

Alex Ovechkin scored his franchise-record 31st postseason goal as the Washington Capitals beat the New York Rangers 3-1 last night.

All three of Washington’s goals came in the game’s second period, as Ovechkin tallied his at 6:59, while teammates Marcus Johansson and Jason Chimera scored 46 seconds apart later in the frame.

Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist was put to the test, but could not keep the Capitals out of his net in the loss. Despite an early first-period goal from Carl Hagelin, the Rangers mustered little else on offense.

New York will have to match the Capitals in offensive output, it would appear. This series has plenty of scorers on either side.

Los Angeles Kings vs. St. Louis Blues (STL 2-0)

The St. Louis Blues needed some late-game magic again last night, as they defeated the Los Angeles by a score of 2-1 in the second game of their series.

Barret Jackman scored at 19:09 of the third period to break a 1-1 tie and give the Blues their second win in as many postseason games this year. Although St. Louis spent much of the game trailing – the Kings’ captain Dustin Brown scored the game’s first goal halfway through the opening period – their fans would not let them quit.

A timeout by head coach Ken Hitchcock with approximately three minutes remaining in regulation time seemed to settle his troops and prepare them for what would eventually be the game-winner from Jackman.

The series now shifts to Los Angeles, as the Kings return to home ice for Game 3 and look to put a stop to their losing streak at the season’s most critical point.

Detroit Red Wins vs. Anaheim Ducks (Tied 1-1)

A veteran Detroit Red Wings team almost let blowing a three-goal lead in the third period cost them Game 2 of their series against the Anaheim Ducks. Almost.

Detroit kept its composure, however, and capitalized on an overtime penalty against Anaheim defenseman Sheldon Souray to beat the Ducks 5-4.

Gustav Nyquist netted the game-winning goal at 1:21 of the extra period to even the series at one game apiece. After securing the split at Honda Center, the Wings are feeling better about their chances against the Western Conference’s no. 2 seed.

Joe Louis Arena has seen some playoff magic over the past two-plus decades; Detroit is hoping to tap into that postseason aura again, beginning in Game 3 on Saturday.

Senators vs. Canadiens game highlights…

New York vs. Washington game highlights…

Los Angeles vs. St. Louis game highlights…

Detroit vs. Anaheim game highlights…

As always, thanks for reading us at EyesOnIsles. Keep it right here for all of your Isles and NHL playoff coverage. Be sure to check the menu bar at the top of the page for ways to connect with the EyesOnIsles staff.