Islanders Point Blank Podcast: Arthur Staple calls in

It’s not the end of the world as we know it, but Isles’ fans don’t feel fine. Brian Compton and Christian Arnold discuss Sunday’s win over Detroit. Plus, Brian chats with Newsday’s Arthur Staple about the team’s recent funk and the fans’ reaction to an almost winless month at home.

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Isles’ resiliency re-emerges in win over Red Wings

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

There was some relief in the Islanders dressing room on Sunday.

Isles Celebrate Having dropped seven of their last eight games and going 0-6-1 at home in the month of March, the Islanders were finally happy to put that behind them with the 5-4 win over the Detroit Red Wings. For the first time all month, music
blasted as reporters filed into a victories Isles’ room.

“The win obviously feels good,” captain John Tavares said after the win. “Especially at home. It’s been a while and our fans have been waiting for it, and we’ve been waiting for it. It’s just good work ethic tonight. It was obviously an odd game at the start and then it got into that playoff kind of style in the second half of the game.

“We did a good job of digging deep.”

The recent slump has caused panic among the fan base as the Rangers took control of the Metropolitan Divisions, and teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals gained ground in the standings. Even as the Islanders lost footing, and their chances for home-ice in the playoffs took a hit, the coaching staff  and team never felt the need to panic. To read more of this story, click here

isles win jaro

This week’s magic number scenarios for the Isles

The Islanders have just five regular season games remaining, and they’re looking to lock up a playoff spot as early as possible.

Over at The Skinny, Eric Hornick has put together the latest Islanders’ clinching scenarios heading into the second to last week of the regular season, which includes two ways Islanders can grab their spot in the postseason as early as Thursday night.

To see the full scenarios, click here.

Brian Erni

The big games to watch are Ottawa’s contests on Tuesday and Thursday. The Sens take a trip to Detroit on Tuesday, then come home for a tilt with Tampa on Thursday. Those are two opponents who are fighting for playoff positioning themselves, so it won’t be an easy task for the Sens to get points in either game. If both the Wings and Bolts can beat Ottawa in regulation, the Islanders could be sitting pretty by the end of their game in Columbus.
strome tavares hug

Secondary scoring resurfaces in clutch Isles win

The Islanders re-discovered their scoring touch on Sunday, en route to one of their biggest wins of the season.

Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome and Frans Nielsen all had goals in the Islander’s 5-4 win over Detroit. Nelson’s snapped a 10-game goal drought, while Strome’s was just his second goal since February 27. The two tallies brought the Islanders back from an early 2-0 hole.

“It was more adversity,” Strome told reporters of the team’s early deficit. “I figured we had to do something big like that to get out of this slump.”

Brian Erni

The Islanders needed this in the worse possible way. It’s no surprise that March’s drought has coincided with a lull for the secondary lines, and Sunday was proof positive how dangerous the Islanders are when they are clicking. Nelson and Strome are two keys to New York’s success moving toward the postseason. The better they are, the more weapons at the Isles’ disposal.

I’d have to think that, with the way Strome looked playing alongside John Tavares, Jack Capuano would be tempted to keep the two together. It’s something some fans — myself included — have been dying to see all season. It’s hard to argue with Sunday’s results. Strome’s natural playmaking ability is lethal alongside Tavares, as seen on their slick drop pass exchange for the second Isles’ goal. If playing with JT is what it takes to get Strome going, and Brock centering a third line that features bigger bodies that go to the front of the nets, the Islanders may have stumbled into a catalyst to carry them into the postseason.

Special teams comes up big in Isles crucial win over Detroit

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

The Islanders snapped a seven-game home losing streak with 5-4 win over the Detroit Red Wings Sunday afternoon.

After struggling to put the puck in the net for the past two weeks, the Islanders exploded for three first period goals and two more in the second. It was the first time since March 9 that the Islanders haves scored four or more goals in a game.

“We wanted a big game today,” Travis Hamonic said. “We have been working hard and those losses haven’t been strome lee nelsonsitting easy. We are pretty aware of what is happening and there are some teams winning as well. I have said all year you just really want to keep pace with everybody and keep pushing forward.”

The first period of Sunday’s late afternoon contest was a shooting gallery for both teams, with the Islanders and Red Wings combine for six goals on 10 shots.

The opening two minutes of the game looked as if it was going to be a long night for the Isles. Tomas Tatar gave the Red wings a 1-0 lead 39 seconds into the game. 1:07 later Drew Miller scored to put the visitor ahead by two, but the Islanders found a way to answer back starting on the power play.

Brock Nelson cut the Detroit lead to 2-1 off a goal on the man-advantage and Ryan Strome scored at 5:38 on his own rebound to tie the game at two. Kyle Okposo scored a tip-in power play goal to give the Islanders a brief 3-2 lead before Niklas Kronwall scored 52 seconds later to even the game up once again.

It was in the first 10 minutes of the game that the two teams combined for six goals on 10 shots.  To read more of this story, click here

Game Recap: Islanders 5 — Red Wings 4

Recap: The Islanders scored three power-play goals as they ended a seven-game home losing streak.


Need to Know: The Islanders remained tied for fourth in Eastern Conference following Pittsburgh’s shootout victory over San Jose Sunday night. The Pens have a game in hand.

New York had only scored 11 non-shootout goals total in its previous eight while going 1-6-1.

It was tied 3-3 after 9:54 of the first period. The Isles led 5-4 going into the third.

Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome and Kyle Okposo scored in a 5:01 span in the first period to give the Isles a 3-2 lead after Detroit’s Tomas Tatar and Drew Miller scored in the first 1:06. Nelson and Okposo’s goals came on the power play.

Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall ended the first-period scoring binge 52 seconds after Okposo’s goal.

Frans Nielsen scored on the power-play 16 seconds into the second period and Cal Clutterbuck scored shorthanded 3:41 later to put the Isles up 5-3. . .John Tavares had three assists and Nick Leddy two.

The Islanders gave up their first power-play goal in March when Pavel Datsyuk cut it to 5-4 with 8:40 left in the second period.

The Red Wings pulled starting goalie Petr Mrazek in favor of Jimmy Howard after Nielsen’s goal. Mrazek allowed four goals on 11 shots after shutting out Tampa Bay Saturday. Howard finished with 15 saves.

Jaroslav Halak had 21 saves for the Islanders, who held Detroit to just five shots in the scoreless third period. The Wings’ first shot of the third came with 9:21 remaining.


Links: AP recap | Box Score


What’s Next: The Islanders visit Columbus Thursday (7 p.m.).