Author: James O'Brien

John Tavares

Tavares triggers Isles’ comeback (and Okposo may return Tuesday, too)


It seemed like the New York Islanders would squander two valuable standings points against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday. Instead, they roared back and won 4-3 in overtime with John Tavares’ winning goal capping the turnaround.

Islanders GM Garth Snow’s facial expressions … could have told the story.

OK, maybe not so much.

Still, the Islanders found themselves down 2-0 and 3-1 in this contest, yet a third-period surge helped them get to OT and then eventually win the game. Here’s video of Tavares’ winner:

If that’s not enough good news for the Isles, consider the notion that Kyle Okposo could return from his scary eye injury as soon as Tuesday, at least according to New York Newsday.

It might not be enough to coax a smile out of Snow, but Islanders fans can’t be blamed for grinning tonight.

One thing to look out for, however, is the status of Nick Leddy. He was banged up during this contest:

Reign of error: Oilers’ loss clinches ninth straight season without playoffs

Edmonton Oilers v Carolina Hurricanes

There hasn’t been any doubt where the Edmonton Oilers’ season was going for some time, but Monday marked the night that they’ll know for sure that it’s safe to make vacation plans.

TSN 1260’s Matthew Iwanyk notes that tonight’s 5-2 defeat to the Detroit Red Wings means Edmonton has been mathematically eliminated from the 2015 playoffs, extending their postseason drought to nine season.

They’re now at risk of matching the Florida Panthers’ reign of error that spanned 10 bleak seasons:

This loss was another example of the Oilers squandering a lead (or snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, from a “tanking” standpoint?) as they were up 1-0 to Detroit.

This marks the fifth straight loss for Edmonton, a team that is 5-10-2 since February began. Edmonton is currently the second-worst team in the league, and while Buffalo sits four points “ahead” of them, both squads (not to mention the Arizona Coyotes) are doing a great job of doing a very bad job with a month-and-change to go.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though. It’s a lot more depressing to play this broken record in Edmonton.

Kesler shakes off puck to head to start for Ducks

One injury break went the Anaheim Ducks’ way as James Wisniewski will be able to play against the Vancouver Canucks, but it remains to be seen if Ryan Kesler will enjoy the same luck.

Kesler left Ducks’ warm-ups after taking a puck to the head, HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman reports.

This post will be updated when more is known about Kesler’s condition, including if this mishap will sideline him against his former team.

Update: You never know how these things can progress, but it’s certainly a good sign that Kesler was in the Ducks’ starting lineup. If there are any noteworthy updates, PHT will pass them along. At the moment, it seems like Anaheim dodged a bullet, though.