The New York Islanders are back in Pittsburgh Monday for Game 5 against the Penguins with the series tied at two apiece. In Game 4, Ilya Sorokin helped pave the way to a critical win on home ice. This story and more in today’s daily links!
Islanders rookie netminder Ilya Sorokin did not seem phased by the atmosphere or the moment on Saturday. He was calm, compact, and, more importantly, confident right from the get-go. And that is exactly what his team needed after some questionable goaltending in Game 2 and Game 3. (NYI Hockey Now)
The day after they tied their first-round playoff series with the Pittsburgh Penguins at two games apiece, the Islanders couldn’t say enough about the support they got from the 6,800 fans who cheered them on at Nassau Coliseum for the last two games. But now, its “them against the world” when the puck drops for Game 5 in front of the hostile Penguins crowd. (Newsday)
Sidney Crosby and Brock Nelson headed into a corner together at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday, an all-time great against an all-time, under-the-radar Islanders stalwart. By now you know how that battle turned out. Nelson fashioned a nifty-but-subtle move to block Crosby’s stick, regained control of the puck and found Josh Bailey in the left circle for the first goal of the game. That score jumpstarted a 4-1 victory for the Islanders in Game 4 of the teams’ first-round NHL playoff series, and it served as the latest evidence Nelson can be a pain in the neck for opponents come playoff time. (Newsday)
The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders have developed some animosity during their East Division first-round playoff series. There is more than likely some underlying professional respect there, too. But one thing is clear coming from the Islanders: Coach Barry Trotz holds Penguins center and team captain Sidney Crosby in high regard. The highest regard, actually. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
The Washington Capitals are headed home as the Boston Bruin win Game 5 by a score of 3-1. Here are the talking points from the win. (Boston Hockey Now)
The Florida Panthers know exactly what is on the line Monday night when they play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 of their opening-round playoff series. Win and the Panthers season lives for at least a few more days. Lose and that is that. (Florida Hockey Now)
Prior to the series against the Colorado Avalance, St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly told the media that his team would beat the juggernauts. Ultimately his team would get swept and Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog was asked about O’Reilly’s words and if that statement motivated his team. (Colorado Hockey Now)
Timur Ibragimov is projected to return to North America next year. The San Jose Sharks’ 2019 sixth-round pick, who played most of the season with TPS Turku in Liiga, made his North American pro debut last Wednesday in Irvine. Ibragimov had scored eight goals and 14 points in Finland, helping TPS to the Liiga championship round. (San Jose Hockey Now)
Nikolaj Ehlers scored his second goal at 9:13 of overtime to give the Winnipeg Jets a 5-4 win against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup First Round at Bell MTS Place on Sunday. (NHL)
Luke Kunin scored his second goal at 16:10 of the second overtime, and the Nashville Predators evened the Stanley Cup First Round with a 4-3 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 4 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Sunday. (NHL)
Alex Ovechkin wasn’t ready to start thinking about his or the Washington Capitals’ future following a 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup First Round at Capital One Arena on Sunday. The Capitals captain was too busy absorbing the disappointment of being eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third straight season. So talk about his expiring contract or anything else that comes next will have to wait. (NHL)
Ryan O’Reilly said he blamed himself following another first-round exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the St. Louis Blues, this time to the Colorado Avalanche following a 5-2 loss in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup First Round at Enterprise Center on Sunday. “I’m very disappointed in myself; it was pretty pathetic,” the Blues captain said. (NHL)
The Edmonton Oilers have no choice but to forget about their Game 3 collapse and try to extend their season by winning Game 4 of their best-of-7 Stanley Cup First Round series against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. The Oilers blew a 4-1 lead with less than nine minutes remaining in the third period and lost 5-4 in overtime Sunday. (NHL)
The Boston Bruins will play the winner of the series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup Second Round. Boston, the No. 3 seed in the MassMutual East Division, defeated the No. 2-seeded Washington Capitals in five games in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. (NHL)
The Colorado Avalanche will play the winner of the series between the Vegas Golden Knights and Minnesota Wild in the Stanley Cup Second Round. Colorado, the No. 1 seed in the Honda West Division, defeated the No. 4-seeded St. Louis Blues in four games in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Golden Knights, the No. 2 seed, have a 3-1 lead against the No. 3-seeded Wild in the best-of-7 series. Game 5 is at Vegas on Monday. (NHL)
Josh Archibald will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Monday. The Edmonton Oilers forward is facing discipline for clipping Winnipeg Jets defenseman Logan Stanley. The incident occurred with 8:49 remaining in the third period of Winnipeg’s 5-4 overtime win at Bell MTS Place on Sunday. (NHL)
The Leafs struggled to draw penalties during the regular season finishing tied for 20th in power-play opportunities (2.8 per game). But Toronto has already been on the man advantage 10 times through two playoff games. “Montreal has made it very clear that they want to be very physical,” noted coach Sheldon Keefe following Saturday’s win. “I think the term they used was they want to make it a ‘war.'” (TSN)
Colorado forward Nazem Kadri is appealing his eight-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis defenseman Justin Faulk, looking to get it reduced with the Avalanche moving on to the second round. The NHL Players’ Association filed the appeal Sunday night on Kadri’s behalf. The first appeal goes to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and Kadri could then take his case to a neutral arbitrator if he so chooses. (TSN)
Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for cross-checking Toronto Maple Leafs forward Wayne Simmonds during Game 2 of the teams’ first-round playoff series on Satu(TSN)
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