Islanders Insight’s Top Shelf: 3/7/16

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The New York Islanders are in a better position to make a run at home ice advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs thanks to a 6-4 victory over the New York Rangers last night at Madison Square Garden. It was the Isles biggest win of the year as the team is now three points behind the Blueshirts for second place in the Metropolitan Division with three games in hand.

Johnny Boychuk, Brock Nelson and Kyle Okposo all scored within the first five minutes of the first period and it looked as if the Islanders were on their way to a much needed laugher after an arduous road trip that started in New Jersey, spanned across parts of Canada and ended minutes from their Brooklyn home. But a Ranger’s timeout was followed by a flurry of more scoring and the Islanders went to the dressing room with only a 4-3 lead.

Goaltenders Jaroslav Halak and Antii Raanta were not pulled by their respective coaches during the intermission, but both came out during the second period and put on a goalie clinic. The Rangers continued to grind and did get the tying tally they were looking for in the third when Derick Brassard ripped home a power play goal at 11:39.

If you’re looking for evidence these aren’t last year’s Islanders, the team responded well after blowing a three goal lead. After Casey Cizikas won a faceoff, Cal Clutterbuck deposited his signature hard wrister in the top corner of the Ranger’s net at the 18:32 mark for the game winner.

The victory concludes a road trip in which the Islanders won six of seven contests. Cal Clutterbuck was quoted on after the game, “Did we play our best hockey? I don’t think so. But at the end of the day, 12 points out of 14 so we can’t really argue with that.”

The Islanders don’t get a break from important Metro opponents as the Penguins visit the Barclays Center on Tuesday.

Islanders Links:

Eric Recaps Last Night’s Big Win

Newsday’s Summary of the Isles’ Victory

The Rangers Talked About How Losing to the Isles Sucked

Isles will invest heavily in new practice facility

NHL Links:

Jets will Host Oilers in the Heritage Classic

Phaneuf honored by Leafs


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