The New York Islanders became the latest team ready for the playoffs after beating the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 at home at UBS Arena on Thursday night Swedish time.
The game was the Islanders’ 82nd and final regular season game, and the team is back in the playoffs after missing last season. The Islanders’ win also meant the Pittsburgh Penguins missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
The Islanders were whipped to win to ensure they secure a playoff spot. The team had just suffered a tough loss to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night, where it looked like the playoff spot was about to slip away from them.
– 48 hours ago when we left Washington, we weren’t happy with ourselves and were just talking about trying to get ready for the next game, Islanders coach Lane Lambert told NHL. com/sv. I think we did a good job mentally and arrived with the right attitude.
– It was a tough game here tonight. It’s a good hockey team and they play hard. I think we did a really good job, especially in the last 40 minutes, of not giving them much in the offensive zone.
Brock Nelson came on for the Islanders and scored two of the goals against the Canadiens, and the 31-year-old American finished the regular season with 36 goals in 82 games. He also won the internal points league with 75 points, 24 points ahead of second-placed. Mathieu Barzal – which was limited to 58 games. The Islanders dominated the game for long stretches, winning shots 35-19 and winning 68% of ties, which led to a lot of puck possession.
Video: NYI-MTL: Nelson directs the puck on goal
“It’s satisfying at that point,” Lambert said of the feeling after the final whistle. It’s a cliché that this is only the first step, but it’s a very difficult step. It is a stage which required 82 matches. It doesn’t always take all 82, because it does for us now.
– There’s a lot going on whether it’s injuries or something else that you have to go through and fight. I think our group up and down, the coaching staff, everyone has done a tremendous job of getting through this and finding a way to get us to where we are now.
The Islanders finish the regular season with 93 points in 82 games (42-31-9) and find themselves in the top wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. However, it remains to be seen whether the team will stay there or find themselves in the second wild-card spot, as the Florida Panthers still have a chance to pass when they face the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night in their final game. .
– It shows how tough this league is that it’s an 82-game battle, says Islanders defender Noah Dobson at NHL.com/sv. I think we have fought well recently and deserve to be there. It’s a relief and now we’re taking a day to regroup. That’s when the fun begins.
Video: NYI-MTL: Lee scores in third period
– We did a good job managing the task ahead of us and it’s crazy how quickly things can change. When we left Washington, the feeling was the opposite of what we feel now.
The Islanders went 8-4-1 over the last 13 games, which put the team past the Penguins and advanced to the playoffs. The home game was a beacon of hope for the team this season as they went 25-13-3 at Long Island.
– Since the all-star break, we’ve worked hard to give ourselves the opportunity we had tonight, says Islanders team captain Anders Lee at NHL.com/sv. We made it, the guys worked extremely hard and now we have our foot in the door and a seat at the table. Now we take it day by day and see what happens.
– We’ve overcome a lot of adversity at different times this year and I can’t say enough good things about our players and what they’ve achieved so far, Lambert said.
Lambert also appreciated the crowd at UBS Arena who did what they could to support the team and gave the players a standing ovation.
– I think the fans have been cruel, said Lambert. We are strengthened by it and the last minutes have been incredible. We hope they will be even stronger in the playoffs.
The Islanders will now have to wait for the results of the meeting between the Panthers and the Hurricanes to see if they will face the Hurricanes or the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs which begin next week.
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