After the team's stunning 6-2 rout of the Rangers, they'll take today off before yet another chance to play spoiler--this time against 9th place Carolina--on Saturday.
Until then, some thoughts from last night (Newsday's Rangers beat writer Steve Zipay wrote the game story. Read it here).
--If there is any such thing as a "statement game" for a playoff-eliminated team, that was it. The Islanders outworked what should've been a desperate Rangers squad start to finish.
"I don't even know what to say, I'm so happy" defenseman Radek Martinek said after the game. "We just played so hard from the first shift to the last. That's how it should be."
--Killing off all seven Rangers penalties without both Michael Grabner and Frans Nielsen (not to mention the numerous other injuries the Islanders have suffered this week) was an impressive feat. Especially given the Rangers success rate against NYI this season--9 for-20--coming into the game.
"That was something we identified before the game," Kyle Okposo said."We knew what they were against us coming in."
--Speaking of Okposo, the 22 year-old had to pinch-hit on defense for a shift because of third-period injuries to Ty Wishart (shoulder) and Jack Hillen (upper body). Even with the game already in the bag, Okposo was not happy that Brandon Prust scored on that same shift with 14 seconds remaining.
--Several Islanders in the team's dressing room believed Marian Gaborik's hit on Frans Nielsen should've earned a five-minute major. None of them, however, thought Gaborik's intent was to injure Nielsen on the play. Don't expect Gaborik to face any supplementary discipline on the play.
--I asked Jack Capuano after the game if Rangers coach John Tortorella said anything or indicated that he was unhappy with the personnel Capuano elected to use on the power-play late in the third.
"Yeah, and I don't blame him," Capuano said, considering the circumstances.
But while he said he respected Tortorella's "perogative" to take issue with the first power-play unit being out there with a big lead, Capuano said his coaching history shows he's not one to run up the score. Capuano said he was scrambling, dealing with a couple of injuries and didn't want to call a timeout.
Tortorella would not address the issue after the game
--Congratulations to Michael Grabner and his girlfriend on the birth of their first child, a healthy baby boy named Aidan Johann Grabner.