Last time the New York Islanders were only four games under five hundred was November 6th.
This team was twelve games under five hundred on January 26th. The season low was thirteen games under December 13th at 5-18.
Four points in the Bermuda Triangle for the New York Islanders, long time since that has happened. No, it was hardly a classic tonight.
Nice rush by Hillen, you knew he would get the puck past MA Bergeron, Martin made a perfect shot to beat Roloson, who has to stop Nielsen's short-handed slapshot.
Roloson was solid enough, he defended the 2-0 break perfect, but the Islanders made some good plays for goals. Strange game when two Jurcina shots lead to goals, but any night Okposo-Bailey score is key. Bailey a rebound, Okposo a very nice deflection.
No big complaints besides officiating which seemed to find a lot to call so Tampa had every chance to get back in the game on the pp in the third, before finally giving Bergenheim his usual offensive-zone penalty as Guy Boucher looked like many Islander coaches when Bergenheim got overzealous. A dive on Hillen for touching stick while falling? Four minutes to Martinek?
A 5-2 win almost any way you get it is a solid win and the Islanders did some very good things tonight but they are not at that high skating/crisp level they were at on the homestand when they were just dominating. Tampa has been struggling and it's easy to see the Bolts are out of sync, even with the thirty plus shots they had.
On defense, it seemed Tampa's forecheck from fourth line caught MacDonald off guard one shift, Martinek was more aggressive tonight, and overall the team played well enough on defense.
Still, if Montoya is not sharp the Islanders do not win this game, more than a few times Tampa was buzzing it seemed they did everything but finish.
I'm more impressed with Grabner's back-checking then his offense, he skates hard both ways.
Nate Thompson looks like a much faster and skilled player for Tampa. LeCavalier was getting frustrated and he brushed Montoya's crease.
Buffalo wins again, the number to be eliminated stands at five/with tie-breaker favoring Sabres so number really is four. New Jersey's historic run is over, they stand two points ahead of the Islanders after another loss.
Now we see what happens at home against Atlanta/Flyers.
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