THE MORNING SKATE — Isles Back to 8th, Finale Tonight

Kevin Schultz , Islanders Point Blank:

The Islanders dropped back to eighth place — a three way tie for sixth in which they hold none of the tiebreakers — after last night’s loss in Philadelphia. Now, according to Sports Club Stats, they have a 48% chance of staying in the eighth seed even if they win tonight in Buffalo. Their playoff destiny is now out of their hands and, if they win, they’ll have to wait on Saturday’s results to find out exactly what their seeding will be.

On Saturday, the Rangers host the Devils and the Senators host the Flyers in their season finales. The Senators have another game on Sunday in Boston, rescheduled because of the bombing, giving them control of their own destiny.

If the Islanders win in regulation or OT tonight, they’ll need the Rangers to lose in regulation or OT/SO to move ahead of them. To move ahead of Ottawa, they’ll need a lot more help. The Senators will have to earn one point or less in their final two games, or get only one shootout win.

If the Islanders win in a shootout, they’ll need the Rangers to lose or the Sens to earn only one point or less in their final two games.

If the Islanders lose in OT/SO, they’ll need each team to lose in regulation to move ahead of them.

A regulation loss does nothing for the Isles.

No matter what, the Islanders are going to need some outside help to move out of the eighth spot.

BECAUSE IT’S THE CUP
The Islanders now have their own commercial, thanks to NBC:

ALSO: Lighthouse breaks down the biggest goals of the seasonDid you know the Isles are 17-7-5 since demoting Rick DiPietro?… The NYT with a profile of John Tavares’ famous lacrosse playing uncle, John Tavares…