It was a tight game, but the New York Islanders kept their hot streak going with a 5-4 shootout win against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. That pushes them to sixth place in the East – at least for now – and extends their point streak to 10 games (8-0-2).
Several Islanders enjoyed two-point performances (including Lubomir Visnovsky’s two assists and a one-goal, one-assist output by Frans Nielsen) while John Tavares ended up notching the shootout winner to make an impact in a rare instance where he didn’t get on the scoresheet in regulation.
In case you weren’t aware, this contest had significant playoff implications, with the only bummer for Islanders fans being that the victory made life a little easier for the New York Rangers:
6. NY Islanders – 53 points with three games remaining
7. Ottawa – 52 points with five games remaining
8. NY Rangers – 50 points with four games remaining
9. Winnipeg – 49 points with three games remaining
Still, it’s probably safe to say that the red-hot Isles will take it. They’re also that much closer to clinching a postseason berth.
No doubt about it, the Jets could have used this extra point. According to Sports Club Stats, they’ll probably need to rack up five of their remaining six points to have better than a 50-50 chance to get to the playoffs themselves.
Thomas Greiss will be between the pipes for the New York Islanders when they host the Blackhawks tonight in Brooklyn.
Greiss was signed this offseason to back up Jaroslav Halak, who skated this morning but remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
“Jaro’s not 100 percent right now, so it was an easy decision,” coach Jack Capuano told Newsday. “Jaro’s progressing well and we’ll see how he is moving forward.”
Greiss will be backed up by J-F Berube, who was claimed off waivers from Los Angeles earlier in the week.
Corey Crawford will be in goal for Chicago.
These two teams meet again tomorrow at United Center.
— Michael Hutchinson goes for the Jets in New Jersey after Ondrej Pavelec got the win last night in Boston. Cory Schneider for the Devils.
— Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers. Sergei Bobrovsky for the Blue Jackets in their opener.
— Jonathan Bernier for the Leafs. Jimmy Howard for the Red Wings in their opener.
— Mike Smith for the Coyotes. Jonathan Quick likely for the Kings, who will need a better effort than the one they had Wednesday against San Jose.
Related: Mike Smith seeing benefit from sports psychologist
Winnipeg forward Alex Burmistrov isn’t in line for a disciplinary hearing for his elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron on Thursday night, an NHL spokesman confirmed to PHT.
Burmistrov was tagged with an illegal check to the head minor late in the first period. Bergeron received a minor roughing penalty for retaliating on the Russian forward, but was able to finish the contest.
Afterward, B’s head coach Claude Julien expressed frustration with the hit.
“It will be interesting how that is being reviewed, and especially to an elite player in the league who’s had some [concussion] issues in the past,” Julien said, per WEEI. “I hope they look at it seriously. In my mind, I don’t see why there wouldn’t be further consequences [for] that.”
Bergeron said that, while it was “definitely a hit to the head,” Burmistrov did come up to him afterward and apologized.
According to sources of CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, Burmistrov received a warning from the Department of Player Safety.