The New York Islanders locked up home-ice advantage with a 3-0 win over the Washington Capitals and a Jennings trophy in the process.
One point is all the New York Islanders needed to secure home-ice advantage in the playoffs. With a 3-0 win against the Washington Capitals, they did just that.
The Islanders hero might have been Valtteri Filppula with a first-star display, but the entire team did exactly what they’ve been doing all year. Discipline, hard to play against, defense first. And it got them the ‘W’
There wasn’t a goal scored in the opening frame, but both teams traded good opportunities. If not for Pheonix Copley and Robin Lehner between the pipes the score would have surely looked different.
Neither team was taking the game lightly or approaching it conservatively, they both came out to play. Both teams wanted to win.
Through 20 the shots were tied at eight. But the high danger ledger painted a slightly different picture. The New York Islanders had three high danger chances to the Washington Capitals two in the first period.
The Islanders were creating the better of the chances but Copley was coming up big for the Capitals. Again, a backup looking like a starter against the Islanders.
Just under three minutes into the second period, Devon Toews finds Valtteri Filppula coming off the bench with a chance for a breakaway. Filppula went over Copley’s right pad for the 1-0 lead.
He came back weeks before we were told he’d be back and almost immediately picked up where he left off. Incredible stuff from the 34-year-old.
The Islanders killed off a penalty and couldn’t find a way to convert on a power play of their own to see out the period.
The Islanders were expecting a huge response from the Washington Capitals. It never truly materialized. And then Valtteri Filppula got back to work.
Skating up the middle of the ice from the red line Filppula drops it off to Adam Pelech at the blueline and just keeps skating forward. Pelech dishes off to Filppula who redirects through Copley’s five-hole for a 2-0 lead.
And they weren’t done. With 3:20 left in the third period and the score at 2-0, the Washington Capitals pulled their goalie for the extra skater.
With a huge block from Cal Clutterbuck at the blueline, Casey Cizikas springs Matt Martin free down the middle. As Kuznetsov closes the gap on Martin he fires a safe and steady shot right into the empty net to kill the game.
With the 3-0 win the New York Islanders picked up their eleventh shut out of the season. They locked up home-ice advantage for the opening round of the playoffs. And in the process won the NHL’s Jennings trophy.
A trophy awarded to the goalie (or goalies) on the team with the fewest number of goals against. With 196 goals against that honor falls to the New York Islanders and their tandem of Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss.
Just a season ago, the Islanders allowed, wait for it, a league-worst 296 goals against.
Their depth, veteran presence, and defensive ideology won them this game and the 47 games before it. Everything that Lou Lamoriello told us they’d do from day one.
Want your voice heard? Join the Eyes On Isles team!
If you haven’t already you need to apologize to Lou Lamoriello for doubting him at the start of the season. I’ve already done it, but I’m going to do it again.