Islanders aiming to make most of two playoff contender wins

Islanders aiming to make most of two playoff contender wins

The Islanders aren’t taking any stock in whether their pair of wins on the road looked ugly on the ice or on the shot clock.

All they care about is coming into a six-game homestand with momentum after beating two playoff contenders in their own buildings.

“Don’t let the shot clock get in the way of what are actual true scoring chances,” coach Lane Lambert said. “We played two teams that are high-shooting teams and always have been and we did a good job of limiting — for the most part — scoring chances.

“I thought our team [was] battling. We battled hard in front of net, we blocked a lot of shots. There’s a lot of commitment out there. I’m not too concerned about the shot clock the last two games. We paid the price and we won the hockey games.”

Carolina outshot the Islanders, 43-16, in an eventual 5-4 overtime win for the Isles while the Panthers did so, 45-27, as the Islanders beat them 4-3.

In terms of high-danger scoring chances, as measured by Natural Stat Trick, the Islanders had a 36.9 percent share over the two games.


Panthers center Carter Verhaeghe (23) shoots the puck on New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) during the second period.
Panthers center Carter Verhaeghe (23) shoots the puck on New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) during the second period. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

“I think we can be a little bit better [defensively] but as long as we keep those shots to the outside and they’re not grade-As down the middle or high-quality scoring chances, I think we’re doing our job,” Bo Horvat told The Post. “A lot of teams, especially those last two teams, like to throw pucks from everywhere. But I think we can do a little better job of breaking out of our own end. Still need to work on that, but I feel like we’re doing a good job.”


Noah Dobson and Brock Nelson both missed Monday’s practice with what the Islanders termed maintenance.

Nelson briefly went to the dressing room during Saturday’s win over the Panthers after appearing to hurt his left knee, but finished the game.

Lambert did not say whether the pair would play against San Jose on Tuesday, calling them both day-to-day.


Brock Nelson #29 celebrates scoring his second goal of the game with Bo Horvat #14 and Noah Dobson #8 in the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Brock Nelson #29 celebrates scoring his second goal of the game with Bo Horvat #14 and Noah Dobson #8 in the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Paul J. Bereswill

In Nelson’s absence, Pierre Engvall centered Kyle Palmieri and Oliver Wahlstrom on the second line as the Islanders elected to keep Mathew Barzal and Horvat together instead of moving Barzal to center.

Lambert refused to entertain questions about whether that would carry into Tuesday’s game should Nelson not play, calling it “a hypothetical.”


Lambert said that Matt Martin is “still getting close” to full health despite having been activated off injured reserve ahead of last Tuesday’s game.

Martin has yet to play in a game since being activated and was out late following practice, indicating he will likely be scratched against the Sharks.


Barzal was named the NHL’s Second Star of the Week after recording seven points in two games.

He also returned to practice after missing Saturday’s game with illness.

Source:

https://vk.com/@thaiuchingbhau4k-4-kings-ii-2023-4kings-2

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