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The Daily: Islanders Playoff Hopes Soar, Rival Penguins Go Splat

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New York Islanders

At this pace, the New York Islanders could make the 2023 NHL playoffs without playing another game. They have 11 games to go, but the Pittsburgh Penguins can’t beat anybody. The Penguins were unable to score more than one goal Monday despite 49 shots on a minor-league journeyman goalie in a loss to the Ottawa Senators. The Islanders’ playoff position is getting stronger with each Penguins’ faceplant. The Florida Panthers have caught the Islanders and Penguins with six wins in seven games. Elsewhere in the Metro Division, the Capitals are ready for their last stand, and John Tortorella wants to chop some veterans this summer.

NYI Hockey Now is undergoing a transition before the postseason, assuming the Islanders complete their turnaround and are invited to Lord Stanley’s big dance.

It’s a far cry from February when the top-six forwards had a death grip on their sticks, eh? However, Mathew Barzal doesn’t yet appear closer to a return.

New York Islanders & National Hockey Now:

Monday was the first day back for the New York Islanders. The boys returned home from their 2-1-0 road trip out west and will face the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at UBS Arena. Samuel Bolduc was recalled for injured defenseman Sebastian Aho.

The Islanders are two points ahead of the Penguins, who have one game in hand, and one point ahead of the Florida Panthers.

Florida Hockey Now: The Motor City kitties handed one to the Red Wings and lept the Penguins for the second wild-card spot. They have points in seven straight games. The three-team battle is on. The Florida Panthers are hot.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Penguins bombarded Ottawa with 49 shots, but Dylan Ferguson (who?!) stopped 48, and Ottawa handed the Penguins their fourth-straight loss. You can enjoy this one — Go inside the locker room for sour faces. The Pittsburgh Penguins free fall.

Washington Hockey Now: Evgeni Kuznetsov’s injury, John Carlson is working back from a fractured skull, and it’s the last stand for the Washington Capitals.

Philly Hockey Now: C’mon, you have to love John Tortorella. When asked about the coming offseason, Torts opined that he wants new GM Danny Briere to chop some veterans, “There needs to be subtraction.” Philly Flyers news.

The Flyers haven’t had the horses to compete this season, but they have made teams earn it.

Boston Hockey Now: Former Islanders defenseman and Bruins captain Zdeno Chara will run the Boston Marathon for charity. The Boston Bruins full story.

LA Hockey Now: Points in 10 straight. Former second-overall pick Quinten Byfield is joking about his goal-scoring heater, and the Kings doused the Flames 8-2. Go inside the LA Kings locker room.