Casey Cizikas

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Isles still irate with Wilson for Visnovsky hit

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Safe to say Tom Wilson is now the Islanders’ public enemy No. 1.

The day after wiping out d-man Lubomir Visnovsky with a fierce hit — which netted a two-minute charging minor — Wilson, who Kyle Okposo called “an idiot” during postgame media availability, was a hot topic of discussion again on Wednesday:

The hit happened midway Washington’s eventual 2-1 OT win. Here’s the video:

Visnovsky left the game following the blast and didn’t return, finishing with just 7:50 TOI. Isles head coach Jack Capuano, who originally suggested Wilson left his feet to deliver the blow, had no comment on the hit today and no status update for Visnovsky, who didn’t practice and isn’t expected to play Game 5 on Thursday.

It is worth noting that, prior to Tuesday’s game, Wilson alluded to upping the physicality:

“I know Latts is fired up to get in tonight, hopefully, and it’ll be good to get back together and give them some of their own medicine,” Wilson said, referring to the Islanders’ fourth line of Matt Martin [22 hits], Clutterbuck [17 hits] and Casey Cizikas [7 hits].

Per ESPN, Wilson won’t face any supplemental discipline for the hit.

Related: Caps’ Fehr to miss Games 4 and 5 after Okposo hit

Okposo blasts ‘idiot’ Wilson after physical outing versus Isles

Washington Capitals v New York Islanders
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Kyle Okposo is not a Tom Wilson fan.

Wilson, a major physical presence for the Caps in their 2-1 OT win over the Islanders Tuesday night, was ripped by Okposo after dishing out big hits on Isles forward Josh Bailey and d-man Lubomir Visnovsky in Game 4.

“He’s an idiot,” Okposo said, per Newsday. “The guy runs around, hits reckless, leaves his feet. There’s no place for that.”

Wilson finished the night with a team-high five hits and a brief tangle with Cal Clutterbuck, but it’s the penalties taken in conjunction with the Bailey and Visnovsky collisions that likely drew Okposo’s ire:

The Visnovsky hit didn’t sit well with Isles head coach Jack Capuano either, as he suggested Wilson left his feet to deliver the blow. Visnovsky left the game following the blast and didn’t return, finishing with just 7:50 TOI.

It’s worth noting that, prior to tonight’s game, Wilson alluded to upping the physicality:

“I know Latts is fired up to get in tonight, hopefully, and it’ll be good to get back together and give them some of their own medicine,” Wilson said, referring to the Islanders’ fourth line of Matt Martin [22 hits], Clutterbuck [17 hits] and Casey Cizikas [7 hits].

Related: Caps’ Fehr to miss Games 4 and 5 after Okposo hit

Penguins lose to Islanders, fail to clinch playoff spot

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The Pittsburgh Penguins will play for their playoff lives in their regular season finale against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

A win in any fashion over the New York Islanders on Friday, and the Penguins would’ve clinched a post-season berth. Instead, on home ice, Pittsburgh fell by a final score of 3-1, failing for now to lock up a spot in the Stanley Cup tournament.

According to the NHL, the Islanders will now face the Washington Capitals in the opening round of the playoffs. It will be the seventh post-season meeting between the two clubs.

The Penguins held the edge in shots over the Islanders, but minus a goal from an unlikely source in Rob Scuderi, they were unable to beat Jaroslav Halak.

An early turning point came before the midway point of the first period. Pittsburgh thought it scored to take the lead, only the video review was inconclusive and the call of no-goal on the ice stood. Eight seconds later, the Islanders opened the scoring on a short-handed goal from Casey Cizikas.

Halak made 37 saves for the win. John Tavares, with his 37th goal of the season, scored the winner less than three minutes into the third period.

Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic left the game with an undisclosed injury and did not return.

There are now three teams fighting for the final two playoff spots in the East. All three teams are in action — on the road — Saturday.

The Penguins still hold the final Wild Card spot in the East, with 96 points. They’re on the road to face the Sabres.

Trailing the Penguins by a single point are the Boston Bruins, who conclude their regular season on the road against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Ottawa Senators, at 97 points, hold the first Wild Card spot and will play the Philadelphia Flyers.

Video: Cizikas short-handed goal puts Penguins behind in crucial game

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Eight seconds after the Pittsburgh Penguins thought they opened the scoring, only to have video review prove inconclusive and confirm a no-goal call on the ice, Casey Cizikas scored for the New York Islanders on a short-handed breakaway.

That gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead over the Penguins before the midway point of the first period in a crucial game for Pittsburgh. That was the score after 20 minutes, despite Pittsburgh coming away with a 17-5 edge in shots. A win in any fashion over New York in Game 81 of the season would secure a playoff spot for the struggling Penguins.

Here’s the explanation for the Pittsburgh no-goal call from the NHL:

At 7:52 of the first period in the New York Islanders/Pittsburgh Penguins game, the referee initiated a video review to further examine a play at the Islanders net. Video review was inconclusive in determining if Patric Hornqvist’s shot completely crossed the Islanders goal line. Therefore the on-ice decision stands – no goal Pittsburgh.

Roundup: Grabner, Braun activated from IR; Volchenkov put on

Michael Grabner

Some news and notes as we get closer to this evening’s puck drops…

Isles activate Michael Grabner

Grabner will draw in tonight — his first action since Feb. 7 — and, in a corresponding move, New York has placed Casey Cizikas on IR. Grabner will skate with Frans Nielsen and Ryan Strome on the club’s second line; on defense, the Isles will insert Calvin de Haan at the expense of Lubomir Visnovsky, who sits.

Sharks activate Justin Braun

Braun will play for the first time since Jan. 19 when the Sharks take on the Preds in Nashville tonight. Braun, who’s missed the last 11 games with a left hand injury, will skate on a pairing with fellow blueliner Brenden Dillon, which is where he was skating before he came out of the lineup.

Nashville puts Anton Volchenkov on IR

The veteran Russian rearguard went on injured reserve today after speculation suggested he could be ready to rejoin the Preds lineup. Volchenkov, who last played in a win over Winnipeg a week ago, has appeared in 42 games for Nashville this year but could be hard pressed to get minutes in the future, especially with Cody Franson now on board and Ryan Ellis a week or two away from returning from injury.