It’s over. It’s mercifully over. The Islanders 14-game losing streak has come to an end and, incredibly enough, it was embattled franchise goalie Rick DiPietro who led the way. DiPietro’s 29 save shutout and calm, cool demeanor late while the Islanders killed a 5-on-3 power play earned the 2-0 victory for the team. The Islanders avoid tying the franchise record for consecutive losses and stay out of the running for all-time longest losing streak of 17 games.
Jesse Joensuu and Rob Schremp had the goals for New York while Devils starter Johan Hedberg made 18 saves in the loss. Amazingly enough, the win puts the Islanders just one point behind the Devils for 14th in the Eastern Conference and the Atlantic Division. Think about that for a second, the Islanders snap a 14-game losing streak, a streak in which they earned just three points from games reaching overtime or the shootout, and now find themselves one point behind New Jersey.
Now with the Islanders incredible futility streak over and done with, the attention will be turned once again to the moribund Devils. After all, you’d think that in an NHL that awards points wantonly throughout the season the Devils, despite their issues, could’ve gotten a bit more cushion from the absolute basement in the Eastern Conference. Instead, they’re now just one point ahead of the Islanders and dead last in the league. Head coach John MacLean was feeling the heat already in Newark, he’s going to be getting the fire turned up on him even more now after losing to the league’s worst team.
As for the Islanders, they’ve played tough of late and now they’re going to have to get tougher as the Isles announced after the game that Trent Hunter will be out indefinitely with a grade three MCL tear. Hunter’s replacement Joensuu did all right today in getting his first goal of the season.
You know a playoff series is starting to rev up when teams can’t even peacefully share an ice surface during warm-ups.
The New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to draw a red line in the sand between each other before Game 3, with the two sides exchanging a couple bumps and mean looks.
It’s … honestly a pretty amusing spectacle.
You can watch it all in the video above. Perhaps this GIF will fuel a meme or two:
Brian Boyle downplayed the exchange(s):
The Pittsburgh Penguins recalled tough guys Tom Sestito and Steve Oleksy from the AHL on Tuesday.
This move makes a sense for a couple of reasons.
Most clearly, things are getting nasty between the Penguins and Washington Capitals, so Pittsburgh is bringing in a couple of brutes. Each player isn’t shy about piling up penalty minutes, whether that be in the NHL or AHL.
The other reason: with injuries and Kris Letang‘s suspension, Oleksy could provide some depth. Justin Schultz is motivated to prove himself, yet Oleksy provides a little insurance.
Is it the ideal scenario in a big playoff game? Nope, but if brute force ends up being a factor, the Penguins added some muscle.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to take the series lead for the first time against the New York Islanders, who are trying to regain the advantage on home ice at the Barclays Center after a split in Tampa Bay. You can catch Game 3 between these teams on NBCSN (7 p.m. ET) or online with the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.
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Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
Strome saga continues, will be a healthy scratch for Game 3
Halak practices fully, hoping to be back soon
Artem Anisimov on Tuesday underwent successful surgery on his injured right wrist, the Chicago Blackhawks announced.
“We anticipate his return to full hockey activities in approximately six to eight weeks,” said team physician Dr. Michael Terry in a statement.
The news comes eight days after the Blackhawks were ousted in the first round, eliminated in seven games by the St. Louis Blues.
Acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in last summer’s blockbuster deal for Brandon Saad, the 27-year-old Anisimov enjoyed the second 20-goal season of his career and fell just two points shy of his previous career best of 44 when he was with the New York Rangers.
He played the bulk of this season on a line with two highly skilled players in Patrick Kane, the league-leader in points with 106, and Artemi Panarin, named as a Calder Trophy finalist on Monday.
In March, Anisimov was named to Russia’s preliminary roster for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey, although the recovery schedule outlined above should allow plenty of time for Anisimov to be physically ready for the tournament when it begins in September.
Related: Three major challenges facing the Chicago Blackhawks, who won’t be champs in 2016