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Islanders Daily: Tough Loss to Rivals, COVID’s Back, Lafleur’s Passing

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UBS Arena New York Islanders New Home

The New York Islanders are off today as they head to Buffalo for a matchup with the Sabres on Saturday at 12:30 PM. The New York Islanders had no answer for their rivals, the New York Rangers, early on Thursday night as they eventually fell by a score of 6-3. Prior to the contest, the Islanders announced some personnel were in COVID-19 protocol along with another player injured. Also, fifth-round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft, William Dufour, has signed his entry-level contract.

These stories and more in today’s daily links!

The New York Islanders had no answer early for their cross-town rival New York Rangers as they were defeated 6-3 at UBS Arena. Andrew Copp netted a natural hat trick, puck management was an issue and more. The New York Islanders are now 19-14-5 on home ice, 35-32-10 on the season. (NYI Hockey Now)

What else could possibly go wrong for the New York Islanders with just a week left to go in what has been a nightmarish season? A lot. The New York Islanders have a player and two coaches in COVID-19 protocol, along with another player out injured. (NYI Hockey Now)

It was a matter of time before the New York Islanders and 2020 fifth-round draft pick (152nd overall) William Dufour came to terms on a contract. And that day was Thursday. The 20-year-old forward currently leads the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) in goals (52) and points (109) through 61 games with the St. John Sea Dogs. His 109-point season (and counting) is a new record for the Sea Dogs. (NYI Hockey Now)

It was the best effort by the Pittsburgh Penguins in several weeks. Winger Jake Guentzel scored the hat trick capped by a later third-period empty netter, the Penguins got secondary scoring and the defensemen played well. Head coach Mike Sullivan did a little bit of line-matching to get Sidney Crosby and Guentzel away from Boston Bruins Selke-quality center Patrice Bergeron and the Penguins beat their black-and-gold-clad guests 4-0 at PPG Paints Arena. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)

The Boston Bruins had nothing going against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night. Defenseman Brandon Carlo had a tough night, but the story was Penguins netminder Casey DeSmith who stopped an astonishing 52 shots for the shutout. These talking point and more. (Boston Hockey Now)

Florida Panthers coach Andrew Brunette talked about his team having their sights set higher than winning a divisional title — or even the Presidents’ Trophy for most points in a season. While that is all fine and dandy, you can’t exactly cross home plate without rounding first base. Man, are the Panthers flying around those bases right now. On Tuesday night, the Panthers not only tied a franchise record by winning their 12th consecutive game but they also snared their third divisional title and first in six years. (Florida Hockey Now)

In the third period of the Washington Capitals’ Wednesday tilt with the Vegas Golden Knights, Alex Ovechkin found himself with the puck on his stick and plenty of time and space for his second of the night — and his history-making 50th goal of the 2021-22 campaign. He made no mistake. (Washington Hockey Now)

Montreal Canadiens legend Guy 22 has sadly passed away from cancer at the age of 70 years old. The famous #10 for the Montreal Canadiens holds most of the team’s records, such as assists (728), points (1246), single-season points (136), and single-season goal totals (60). He was the club’s last true offensive superstar and was remembered fondly by the fan base for his flair for the dramatic and his clutch goal-scoring, especially during the Canadiens’ dynasty years in the 1970s. (Montreal Hockey Now)

The Philadelphia Flyers ended a six-game losing streak Thursday, and, at the same time, extended the Montreal Canadiens’ skid. Flyers 6, Canadiens 3. James van Riemsdyk (two), Ivan Provorov, Oskar Lindblom, Travis Konecny, and Morgan Frost scored for the Flyers (24-43-11) at the Bell Centre. Montreal (20-47-11) has lost seven straight. (Philly Hockey Now)

t was a sarcastic gesture but still, Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Logan Thompson had quite the response when asked what it was like to go up against the soon-to-be all-time goal-scoring leader Alex Ovechkin for the first time in his career. “He’s ok,” Thompson said. The kid’s confidence is at an all-time high right now and that’s a great thing for the Vegas Golden Knights. (Vegas Hockey Now)

It’s that time of the year, the final push toward the finish line, both for NHL teams competing in the regular season and in those of us who’ve survived another winter and are ready for spring and Hot Avs summer. Is Cale Makar your Norris Trophy winner? (Colorado Hockey Now)

The San Jose Sharks welcome the high-powered St. Louis Blues to SAP Center tonight. Noah Gregor gave the Sharks a quick lead, but the Blues took the game 3-1. Here are the talking points from the loss. (San Jose Hockey Now)

The Vancouver Canucks were already wounded, recently losing their captain Bo Horvat and top-six forward Tanner Pearson and even their back-up netminder Jaroslav Halak to injury. Multiple players have been banged up or out with illness lately and the 6-3 loss Thursday night against the Wild seemed like a microcosm. (Vancouver Hockey Now)

Is this the quietest 100-point season in NHL history? Not that Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk should ever be mislabelled as silent – especially on the ice – but the 24-year-old’s massive year has been a bit under the radar. Linemate Johnny Gaudreau has already cracked the century mark. And with a real shot at the scoring title, Gaudreau’s name is being spoken more loudly by the day in the Hart Trophy conversation. (Calgary Hockey Now)

In the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 8-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, captain Steven Stamkos had a goal and two assists. Stamkos’s three-point now gave him 956 points in 917 games, passing former teammate Martin St. Louis (953 points). (NHL)

In the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils, the Sabres no. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, Owen Powers, scored his first career NHL goal. “It was pretty surreal,” Power said. “It’s obviously nice just to get it out of the way.” (NHL)

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