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Islanders to Face Penguins in First Round of Playoffs & More



New York Islanders puck

The Islanders fell to the Bruins in overtime Monday night to cap off their regular season. With that loss, the Islanders will head to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. More fans than initially expected will be able to attend playoff games at Nassau Coliseum. These stories and more in today’s daily links!

The Islanders already had a playoff spot locked up but could’ve moved into the third seed with a regulation win. Despite a late push, the Islanders couldn’t get it done and lost to the Boston Bruins, 3-2, in overtime on a spectacular individual effort from Taylor Hall. So as the regular season comes to a close, the Islanders know they will play the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the postseason. (NYI Hockey Now)

They may have the Islanders name, but they’re all in on Bridgeport. That was the messaging executives on Monday after the Bridgeport Sound Tigers were rebranded as the Bridgeport Islanders. The change was a long time coming but had been teased by the organization over the last week. (NYI Hockey Now)

The New York Islanders will see even more fans at the Nassau Coliseum for the playoffs than originally anticipated following an announcement by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday. (NYI Hockey Now)

Casey Cizikas was named as the New York Islanders 2020-21 nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The award is handed out each year to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game of hockey. The winner and nominees are voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. (NYI Hockey Now)

If there was any team that Kyle Palmieri would break out of his shell against it seemed destined to be the New Jersey Devils. And the veteran forward did just that on Saturday night in the New York Islanders 5-1 win over New Jersey at the Nassau Coliseum. (NYI Hockey Now)

Boston Bruins winger Ondrej Kase suffered another upper-body injury in the Bruins’ 3-2 overtime victory over the New York Islanders Monday. After returning to the lineup for the first time in 52 games, Ondrej Kase lasted just two periods before leaving the game. (Boston Hockey Now)

It’s the simplest of things. Get 25 guys who are really good at hockey, make them like each other, the coach, and embrace the situation. Add Sidney Crosby, and the Pittsburgh Penguins should sip champagne for a decade, right? The best-laid plans rarely come to fruition, but occasionally from the hottest fires emerges the toughest steel. The Penguins have persevered through a tough season, in which the adversity extended well beyond the compressed schedule and a training camp that wasn’t as long as a quarantine period. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)

Joel Farabee reached the 20-goal mark, Claude Giroux had a few nice assists, and Brian Elliott made 23 saves as the Flyers beat the Devils 4-2 in the season finale. (Philly Hockey Now)

The Florida Panthers will start the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs at home after beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0 on Monday night. By beating the Lightning for the second consecutive game, the Panthers clinched second place in the Central Division over Tampa Bay. (Florida Hockey Now)

Vegas Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer left his post-game media availability in a huff after growing frustrated with questions following his team’s 2-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. Usually on an even keel, DeBoer seemed short of patience to begin the session. But when the questions came around to pointing out mistakes, giving credit to Colorado or examining miscues, DeBoer’s patience waned quickly. (Vegas Hockey Now)

The Vegas Golden Knights only dressed 16 players for this very important game; 10 forwards, five defenseman and goalie Robin Lehner. The Colorado Avalanche dressed 19 players – 12 forwards, six defensemen and goalie Philipp Grubauer. At times, it seemed like the only player the Avs really had in this one was Grubauer. But that’s all it takes sometimes in the game of hockey: a red-hot goalie. (Colorado Hockey Now)

Kevin Labanc – like Timo Meier – is another example of a San Jose Sharks player whose production plateaued in 2018-19. Two years ago, Labanc notched a career-high 56 points. Last year, his production dropped to a 39-point pace over 82 games. This season, he’s on a full-season 43-point pace. (San Jose Hockey Now)

The Montreal Canadiens clinched the final berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers at Bell Centre on Monday. (NHL)

The North Division playoffs could start day season ends, says deputy commissioner Bill Daley. He talked U.S.-Canada border situation, the NHL Draft, and next season with (NHL)

The Pittsburgh Penguins will play the New York Islanders in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Pittsburgh (37-16-3) won the MassMutual East Division and will have home-ice advantage against fourth-place New York (32-17-7) in the best-of-7 series. (NHL)

The Tampa Bay Lightning had three Black players — Mathieu Joseph, Gemel Smith and Daniel Walcott — start on the same forward line in a 4-0 loss to the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Monday. “It’s a step in the right direction,” Joseph said. (NHL)

The Washington Capitals will play the Boston Bruins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Washington (34-15-5) will finish second in the MassMutual Division and will have home-ice advantage against third-place Boston (33-14-7) in the best-of-7 series. (NHL)

Jack Eichel expressed frustration and uncertainty about his future with the Buffalo Sabres on Monday in the aftermath of a season that was disappointing on an individual and team basis.  The center said he was bothered that he and the Sabres had differing views on how to best treat a herniated disk in his neck, which kept him out of the lineup since March 7. (NHL)

Pekka Rinne made 30 saves for his second shutout of the season for the Nashville Predators in a 5-0 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at Bridgestone Arena on Monday. Rinne, starting for the first time since April 10, won his 369th NHL game to tie Tom Barrasso for 19th place in NHL history. His 60 NHL shutouts are 19th all time. (NHL)

Who was the best rookie in the NHL during the 2020-21 regular season? That will be officially decided when the Calder Trophy, voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, is revealed during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Though the regular season isn’t scheduled to end until May 19, staff writers already have their candidates for the award. (NHL)

The Canucks topped the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 on Monday but the victory wasn’t enough to keep Vancouver’s faint playoff hopes alive. The Canucks (21-26-3) were officially eliminated from the playoff race earlier in the day when the Montreal Canadiens clinched the North Division’s fourth and final spot with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers. (TSN)