In the Islanders third year in the NHL, 1974-75, they made the playoffs for the first time. After two abysmal seasons -- only 31 wins in 156 games -- they finished 33-25-22 in '75 and tied the Rangers for second in the Patrick Division with 88 points. The two teams met in the first round of the playoffs for a best-of-three series that would vault the Islanders into the New York sports consciousness when they knocked out the long-established Rangers. The Islanders took Game One at the Garden, 3-2, and were routed 8-3 two nights later at the Coliseum. That setup a decisive Game Three the next night at the Garden. The Islanders held a 3-0 lead early in the game before the Rangers mounted a furious comeback to force overtime, which is where we'll pick up the story. The following is an excerpt from Dynasty: The Oral History of the New York Islanders, 1972-1984 and is republished with permission from author Greg Prato.

EDDIE WESTFALL: I had been there before in the playoffs and overtimes. So my thought was, ““What did we do when I was a Boston Bruin when we got to the playoffs and overtime?”” One thing we always said in the Bruin dressing room was, ““When you’’re going to go to overtime, you’’ve got to win as quickly as possible. You’’ve got to be aggressive, you’’ve got to take a little bit of a chance. You don’’t want to sit back.”” So that’’s what we had drummed up in the dressing room. They put out the oldest line on the team - JP Parisé, Jude Drouin, and Ed Westfall. And that’’s all we talked about - ““Win the face-off, get the puck in, put pressure on them, and we’’ll take our chances down in their end of the ice. They can’’t score if the puck’’s in their backyard.””

JP PARISÉ: I think it was Dave Lewis who dumped the puck into the Rangers corner. And at that time, Jude and I had a play, where he would go to the puck, and just kind of bang it behind the net. I would automatically go to the far corner and receive that pass. We bought time so I could make a play - give him a chance to get back in front of the net or follow behind the net. We had different options. And for some reason, I decided to go to the net, instead. And Jude got to the point, first. One of the Rangers didn’’t pick up the puck, so Jude was right on top. He’’s the guy that made the whole play - he spotted me going towards the net. All of a sudden, it was right on my stick, and I had a whole open net. I scored, and that’’s the last I remembered, because after I scored, I got hit from behind. Brad Park hit me, and I fell down on the ice. But we all went nuts, and the game was over. It was just a great, great feeling.

STAN FISCHLER: The overtime happened so fast, it was a blink of an eye. The whole sequence was surreal - so fast and very little replay availability in those days. I watched it on television. I still can’’t believe it.

EDDIE WESTFALL: That was a playoff record at the time [the goal was scored eleven seconds into overtime]. We were surprised. You don’’t know you’’re going to score. You can’’t set it up to say, ““This is how you’’re going to score it.”” You set it up so you give you and your teammates the best opportunity to win the hockey game. And that’’s really what that whole thing was about - to give yourself a chance to win it.

JEAN POTVIN: I remember sitting on the bench, and watching a lot of the fans still trying to make their way back from the hot dog stand to their seats, when JP scored eleven seconds into overtime. I will never forget with all the cheering we were doing, you couldn’’t help but when you were skating off the ice, to notice all the fans that were still in their seats - many of them were just there with a blank stare. They could not believe that this had taken place. And you had people who were still coming back from the hot dog stand, rushing to see what the roar was, and they couldn’’t believe it! People were telling them, ““It’’s over. They scored.”” It was unbelievable.

GLENN ““CHICO”” RESCH: To get the early goal in the overtime really helped. I wouldn’’t have wanted that to go too much further than that.

AL ARBOUR: It really sticks out. Beating the Rangers is really something. We were just starting at the time, and that made our team go. It was a very big win for us.

CLAIRE ARBOUR: I certainly do remember that! Oh my gosh - I was there. I went to very few Rangers games. It wasn’’t an easy thing for me to do. Our neighbors down in the courtyard, they knew nothing about hockey, but they said, ““Claire, if you want to go to the game, we’’ll take you.”” So off we go to the game. We’’re sitting, and we’’re very politely applauding every time the Islanders scored. So people around us kind of knew we were Islanders fans. They didn’’t say anything. Then, when they tied it up and we were going into overtime, they tapped us on the shoulder, and said, ““Oh, you guys had a great season.”” They were kissing us goodbye. ““We go to the Coliseum, we have season tickets there too, and it’’s really nice. You can be proud of your team.”” And of course, the overtime lasted so little - I still don’’t know how I got the courage to turn around and say, ““Well……see you at the Coliseum!”” I was so excited; it was such an unexpected thing. Poor Al - he was in tremendous pain with his back. And they all got up at the same time. The bench went flying on his feet, and he’’s trying to cheer that he’’s happy, but he’’s trying to get the bench off his feet. [Laughs]

BILLY HARRIS: We get down the back freight elevator to the bus, and there’’s a mob scene out in the street. They’’ve got beer bottles; they’’re throwing shit at us. We had to get a police escort to the Midtown Tunnel.

CLAIRE ARBOUR: We came back home, and sat there in total disbelief, that we had won the series. But that was always what he aimed at - to win the playoffs.

AL ARBOUR: It was really great to beat the Rangers in the first round, the first time we were in the playoffs. I mean, it was unbelievable.

BOB NYSTROM: In just the first round with the Rangers, I think it was as if we had grown up. That series really put us on the map, because we beat ““the big bad Rangers.”” From that standpoint, it was a real feather in our cap. We finally got a little bit of recognition.

GARY ““BABA BOOEY”” DELL’’ABATE: With the Rangers series, my dad was really excited about it - he always loved the underdog. So after they beat the Rangers, it was a huge statement.

STAN FISCHLER: That series was without a doubt the turning point for the team. The enormity of the upset - considering the relative talent on the team - cannot be measured. It was one of these hundred-to-one shots, and the way it was done was even more amazing. It was so tremendous in so many ways. First of all, it established that this was an exciting team. There were individuals now who were becoming personalities, like Potvin and Gillies. And of course, the fact that they were young and were underdogs, there was a romance about these guys. It was the key. It was the kind of thing that’’s missing in teams like the Blue Jackets, for example, or the Thrashers - these guys never won. And the Islanders won. It started with that playoff.

GARY ““BABA BOOEY”” DELL’’ABATE: Everything after the Rangers win was gravy.

GLENN ““CHICO”” RESCH: It was just sort of our year. It was meant to be our ““Cinderella year/coming out year.””

JEAN POTVIN: I’’ll never forget in the paper the next day [after the Islanders eliminated the Rangers], Derek Sanderson was quoted as saying, ““This is a terrible hockey team”” - the Islanders are. ““They were lucky to beat us. I predict they will never win another game this year in the playoffs.”” And we almost didn’’t.

---

Greg Prato is a Long Island based journalist who has been featured in Rolling Stone and is the author of several popular books including the one excerpted here, Dynasty: The Oral History of the New York Islanders, 1972-1984. The book is available here as an ebook and paperback. This excerpt has been reprinted with permission.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jPLH0cWQVo]

Tags: al arbour, billy harris, bob nystrom, Book Excerpts, book excerpts, claire arbour, dynasty, ed westfall, gary dell'abate, glenn resch, greg prato, History, Islanders, jean potvin, jp parise, News, stan fischler
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Sep 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (18) skates toward the puck during the third period against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)
Sep 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (18) skates toward the puck during the third period against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)

Two days before the Islanders' 2019-20 season officially gets underway Friday at 7 p.m. from Nassau Coliseum in East Garden City, New York, odds became available Wednesday for the Stanley Cup.

According to Odds Shark, the Islanders are a notch above the Rangers, tied with the Montreal Canadiens at +3500.

The entire list can be seen below.

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Jan 3, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang (26) and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Gustav Forsling (42) fight for a loose puck during the second period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 3, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang (26) and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Gustav Forsling (42) fight for a loose puck during the second period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Forward Josh Ho-Sang, the New York Islanders' 2014 first-round pick, was placed on waivers by the team on Monday. 

Ho-Sang, 23, will report to the team's AHL team, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, if he clears waivers and is not claimed by another NHL team by Tuesday. 

Joining Ho-Sang on waivers are defenseman Thomas Hickey and forward Tanner Fritz

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Jon Ledecky reacts to Belmont 00:02:27
Islanders owner Jon Ledecky reacts to the Belmont ground breaking ceremony. The new home means much more than just a new place to play.

Islanders owner Jon Ledecky recently reacted to the groundbreaking of the team's new Belmont arena, and he's happy to be building a new home for "the greatest fans in sports."

"We've doubled our season ticket holder base moving some games to Nassau (Coliseum), and we're going to double it again because now all of the surrounding communities have the ability to enjoy hockey here in a couple of years."

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Trotz reflects on Belmont arena 00:01:14
Barry Trotz is excited for the Isles new arena, he says it's great security for the Islanders and their fans for years to come.

Barry Trotz is excited for the Islanders' new arena with the team officially breaking ground on Monday.

Trotz said the new arena will offer great security for the Islanders and their fans for years to come. 

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Islanders finally break ground 00:01:46
New York Islanders announced today that they are breaking ground on the site of their new arena, Belmont Park.

With Governor Andrew Cuomo and other dignitaries on hand, the Islanders officially broke ground on their new arena in Belmont Park on Monday afternoon.

It was also announced that the Isles will play 28 games at Nassau Coliseum this season -- seven more than originally planned. 

"The Islanders belong on Long Island - and today we start building the state-of-the-art home this team and their fans deserve while generating thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity for the region's economy," Governor Cuomo said. "With seven more Islanders games at the Coliseum this season, fans will have even more opportunities to see their favorite team and generate momentum for the move to their new home in two years. At the end of the day this project is about building on two great Long Island traditions - Belmont Park and the Islanders - and making them greater than ever."

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Apr 28, 2019; San Jose, CA, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Derick Brassard (18) reacts after missing a shot against the San Jose Sharks in the second period of game two of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)
Apr 28, 2019; San Jose, CA, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Derick Brassard (18) reacts after missing a shot against the San Jose Sharks in the second period of game two of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)

According to Arthur Staple of The Athletic, the Islanders have officially signed center Derick Brassard to a one year deal worth $1.2 million.

Brassard, 31, has played in 786 career NHL games with six different teams over the course of his career. He entered the league in 2006, when the Columbus Blue Jackets selected him with the No. 6 overall pick, and played there until 2013. Among his other stops are the New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, and most recently the Colorado Avalanche. 

Last season, which he spent with the Penguins, the Panthers, and the Avalanche, Brassard played in 70 games and managed 14 points off goals and 23 points total. It was definitely the worst season of the veteran's career, but he does bring some offense to the third line.

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Jan 22, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello and New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman watch the Toronto Raptors play against the Phoenix Suns at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Jan 22, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello and New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman watch the Toronto Raptors play against the Phoenix Suns at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

The Islanders were a true upstart and underdog story last season in the NHL, rolling to a surprise second-place finish in the Metropolitan Division and a first-round sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

That dream run ended when the Carolina Hurricanes returned the sweep favor in the second round, but Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello says a major key to continue the franchise's recent successes was the approval of the organization's new Belmont arena. 

"You know how big it is. Without a new arena, there would not be the Islanders on Long Island. I think that says it all," Lamoriello told Newsday.

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Apr 28, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period of game two of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 28, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period of game two of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Former Islanders goalie Robin Lehner was awarded the 2018-19 Masterton Trophy, given annually to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.

On Saturday, he shared a photo of the trophy on his Twitter account, with one glaring error.


Apr 4, 2019; Sunrise, FL, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his game winning goal in a shootout against the Florida Panthers with left wing Anders Lee (27). Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)
Apr 4, 2019; Sunrise, FL, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his game winning goal in a shootout against the Florida Panthers with left wing Anders Lee (27). Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)

Disappointing seasons from the Rangers and Devils prompted impressive offseason work from both organizations. It certainly helped that both teams had the top two picks in the NHL Draft -- selections that netted potentially franchise-altering talents in Kappo Kakko and Jack Hughes, respectively.

While they didn't have a high draft pick or significant free agent signing, the Islanders made a handful of moves, mainly in the form of re-signings. For the most part, their roster enters 2019-20 relatively unchanged.

Taking all of this into consideration, here's a closer look at the biggest moves each organization made...

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Mika Zibanejad, Robin Lehner, Taylor Hall
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Apr 28, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period of game two of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 28, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period of game two of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

On the heels of the Islanders' winningest season since 1984, the expectation was that the team would try its hardest to keep Vezina Trophy finalist Robin Lehner around.

Once free agency started though, Lehner might as well have been voted off the Island.

According to Lehner, he was given an "ultimatum" from the Islanders, and they moved on without hearing his decision.

Tags: Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss
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Semyon Varlamov (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)
Semyon Varlamov (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders lost out on goalie Robin Lehner but replaced him with Semyon Varlamov.

After Lehner agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal with the Chicago Blackhawks, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie, the Islanders announced they agreed to a four-year deal with Varlamov.

Varlamov, 31, had a 2.87 goals against average and .909 save percentage in 49 games for the Colorado Avalanche last season. His contract will carry an average annual value of $5 million.

Tags: Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss
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Nov 13, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) shoots against Vancouver Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher (51) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 13, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) shoots against Vancouver Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher (51) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The captain is coming back to the Island. 

Anders Lee has reportedly agreed to a seven-year deal with the Islanders worth $7 million per season, reports TSN's Pierre LeBrun. Lee confirmed the deal on his Twitter...

CHECK OUT LEE'S REACTION BELOW

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Feb 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Valtteri Filppula (51) skates with the puck against the Minnesota Wild during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Feb 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Valtteri Filppula (51) skates with the puck against the Minnesota Wild during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

The Islanders lost a productive member of last year's playoff team on the first day of NHL free agency.

Valtteri Filppula, the team's third-line center, has left the Island to return to the Detroit Red Wings.

Filppula signed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Red Wings, coming back to the city that drafted him. Filppula played eight years in Detroit and won a Stanley Cup in his first stint with the team.

Tags: Anders Lee, Casey Cizikas, Mathew Barzal, Valtteri Filppula
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May 2, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Boston Bruins in the first period during game four of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
May 2, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Boston Bruins in the first period during game four of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

The top free agent in the NHL market this summer is by far Artemi Panarin, the Blue Jackets' left winger that has been a consistent points machine for four seasons. The Islanders are expected to be very aggressive in trying to land him, but they don't seem to be the favorite at the moment. 

According to The Post's Brett Cyrgalis, the Panthers are the leading candidate to land the 27-year-old. The two main reasons Cyrgalis has the Panthers at the top is the fact that Florida doesn't have any state income taxes, and the Panthers have hired Joel Quenneville as head coach. Quennevile coached Panarin during his first two seasons with the Blackhawks. 

Why does income tax matter? Florida can actually offer Panarin more than the Islanders, or even the Rangers, when it comes down to contracts. Panarin is looking to settle down with a seven-year deal at $11-12 million per season. 

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Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

The Islanders have announced their schedule for the 2019-20 season.

Check out the full home schedule below and click here for the full 82-game schedule.

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New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee handles the puck against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek during the second period in Game 1 of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. (Catalina Fragoso/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee handles the puck against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek during the second period in Game 1 of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. (Catalina Fragoso/USA TODAY Sports)

Now that the NHL Draft is over, the Islanders must turn their full attention to avoiding a second consecutive summer defined by the departure of their team captain.

John Tavares infamously bolted for hometown Toronto as an unrestricted free agent last July, and the Isles are moving precariously close to his replacement wearing the "C" - left wing Anders Lee -- hitting the open market. Free agents can begin speaking with other teams beginning Sunday, with the signing period slated to open on July 1. 

"I never thought it would get to this point, but I guess it's the nature of what this week means," Lee told Newsday at a charitable function to raise money for children with cancer on Saturday in New York.

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Jun 21, 2019; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Simon Holmstrom after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the New York Islanders in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports (Anne-Marie Sorvin)
Jun 21, 2019; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Simon Holmstrom after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the New York Islanders in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports (Anne-Marie Sorvin)

The Islanders selected RW Simon Holmstrom with the 23rd-overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

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Feb 21, 2019; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports (Perry Nelson)
Feb 21, 2019; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports (Perry Nelson)

Islanders goalie Robin Lehner is no stranger to long odds. Suggesting at this time a year ago that he would be a Masterton Trophy winner and a Vezina Trophy finalist might have even surprised Lehner, though.

Lehner took home the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy Wednesday night, awarded to the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game. Earlier this season, he shared his inspiring story about his battle with addiction and bipolar disorder, which resulted in an outpouring of support and admiration from players and fans alike. Lehner responded by leading the Isles to the playoffs with the best season of his career.

Before he collected his award, Lehner spoke about his looming contract situation. He isn't signed for next season, but made it very clear on Tuesday's media day that he desperately wants to be back on the Island.

Tags: Anders Lee, Robin Lehner
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Mar 28, 2019; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Islanders Head Coach Barry Trotz looks on during the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports (James Carey Lauder)
Mar 28, 2019; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Islanders Head Coach Barry Trotz looks on during the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports (James Carey Lauder)

Islanders head coach Barry Trotz was awarded the 2019 Jack Adams Award, given annually to the NHL coach who contributed the most to his team's success.

Trotz is the second Islanders head coach to ever win the award, joining Al Arbour in 1978-79.

In his first season with the Islanders, Trotz led the club to a 103-point campaign, their highest point total since the 1983-84 season. The Islanders' fourth-place Eastern Conference ranking was their best finish since the conference was created in 1993. 

Tags: Robin Lehner
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Mar 24, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against the Arizona Coyotes during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 24, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against the Arizona Coyotes during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Robin Lehner took home some hardware at Tuesday's NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

The Islanders goalie was awarded the 2019 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, given annually to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.

He's the third Islander to win the award, along with former captain Ed Westfall in1976-77 and goalie Mark Fitzpatrick in the 1991-92 season.

Tags: Robin Lehner
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Toronto Maple Leafs NHL hockey general manager Lou Lamoriello speaks to reporters in Toronto, Friday, April 27, 2018. The Boston Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press via AP) (COLE BURSTON/AP)
Toronto Maple Leafs NHL hockey general manager Lou Lamoriello speaks to reporters in Toronto, Friday, April 27, 2018. The Boston Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press via AP) (COLE BURSTON/AP)

NHL DRAFT DETAILS

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Round 1: Friday, June 21 at 8 p.m.; TV: NBCSN
Rounds 2-7: Saturday, June 22 at 1 p.m.; TV: NHL Network

PICKS

No. 23 (First Round)
No. 57 (Second Round, via Calgary)
No. 147 (Fifth Round)
No. 178 (Sixth Round)
No. 209 (Seventh Round)

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Apr 14, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The New York Islanders celebrate a goal by right wing Jordan Eberle (7) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Apr 14, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The New York Islanders celebrate a goal by right wing Jordan Eberle (7) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The Islanders surprised many by re-signing winger Jordan Eberle last week to a five-year, $27.5 million contract. Although Eberle's numbers took a dip last season, he was important during the playoffs and fills an important void as a top-six winger.

Eberle took a slight pay cut to re-sign and has said that he enjoys playing on Long Island. Still, the deal came as a bit of a shocker to some fans, who are still waiting on clarity regarding the futures of captain Anders Lee and Vezina Trophy finalist Robin Lehner.

Don't worry, Isles fans. There is likely still enough money to bring back Lee and Lehner. The team has $22 million in cap space, with only Lee, Lehner, a few depth pieces and restricted free agents Anthony Beauvillier and Michael Dal Colle to sign. There should be enough room to at least sign Lee and Lehner and the RFAs.

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Anthony Beauvillier, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal, Michael dal Colle, Nick Leddy, Robin Lehner, Thomas Hickey
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Apr 1, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrates the goal by New York Islanders right wing Jordan Eberle (7) against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Apr 1, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrates the goal by New York Islanders right wing Jordan Eberle (7) against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Jordan Eberle is sticking with the Islanders. 

The 29-year-old winger, who was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, agreed to a five-year, $27.5 million contract extension with the Islanders on Friday. The new deal will carry a $5.5 million cap hit. 

The Islanders originally traded for Eberle before the 2017-18 season in a deal that sent Ryan Strome to the Edmonton Oilers. 

Tags: Jordan Eberle
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Apr 14, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) skates with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. The Islanders won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Apr 14, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) skates with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. The Islanders won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Cal Clutterbuck and Andrew Ladd have been through surgery, but they are on different recovery timelines.

After undergoing back surgery, Clutterbuck -- who had two slipped discs, two rotated vertebrae and a stress fracture -- has a good chance to be ready for training camp.

"It's my understanding he will be," Lou Lamoriello told The Athletic. "But honestly it's a process I don't know much about. He's doing well right now. I get updates all the time, he's been here. We just have to trust the process and the doctors. It turned out the way the doctors felt it would."

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck
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Oct 4, 2018; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders center Tanner Fritz (11) looks up during the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The New York Islanders defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in the overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Oct 4, 2018; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders center Tanner Fritz (11) looks up during the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The New York Islanders defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in the overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

The Islanders announced on Friday they re-signed impending free agent Tanner Fritz to a two-year contract.

According to multiple reports, Fritz will get $700,000 next season on a one-way deal, but he'll be on a two-way deal for the 2020-21 season. He'll earn $700,000 that season in the NHL, or have a $250,000 salary in the AHL but will get $275,000 guaranteed. 

The 27-year-old forward provides depth up front for the Isles. He was thrust into a pivotal role in March as the third-line center when Valtteri Filppula went down with an elbow injury.

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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Although no New York-area teams made it to the Stanley Cup Final this year, the Empire State will still have a large impact on hockey's grandest stage. Twelve players from the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues have connections with the New York metro area in some way, so local fans still have plenty of reasons to tune in.

Boston Bruins

The Bruins have one of the largest collections of American-born hockey players of any team in the NHL. Not surprisingly, several of them have called New York home for at least part of their careers.

Tags: Boston Bruins, Jaroslav Halak, John Moore, Marcus Johansson, Paul Carey, Steven Kampfer, St. Louis Blues
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New York Islanders center Brock Nelson reacts with right wing Josh Bailey after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in Game 3 of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center Brock Nelson reacts with right wing Josh Bailey after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in Game 3 of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders announced they re-signed forward Brock Nelson to a six-year deal on Thursday.

The 27-year-old Nelson ranked third on the team with 53 points this season, scoring 25 goals and tallying 28 assists in 82 games.

Tags: Brock Nelson
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Apr 4, 2019; Sunrise, FL, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his game winning goal in a shootout against the Florida Panthers with left wing Anders Lee (27). Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)
Apr 4, 2019; Sunrise, FL, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his game winning goal in a shootout against the Florida Panthers with left wing Anders Lee (27). Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)

With about a month-and-a-half remaining until the start of free agency on July 1, and just more than five weeks until the interview period, there's nothing certain yet regarding which of the Islanders' pending unrestricted free agents will be back with the team.

Mining for information from a Lou Lamoriello-run team can often be an exercise in futility. So The Athletic's Arthur Staple spoke with several outside sources to try to get a better sense of what may happen with Anders LeeBrock NelsonJordan EberleRobin Lehner and Valtteri Filppula.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Robin Lehner, Valtteri Filppula
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The Islanders face free agency 00:01:46
Lou Lamoriello, Anders Lee, Robin Lehner, and Barry Trotz look ahead to an offseason of change and growth for the New York Islanders.

The Islanders cleaned out their lockers on Monday and officially closed out their 2018-19 season, which saw them reach the second-round of the playoffs only to be swept by the Carolina Hurricanes. 

While the team lost John Tavares to the Toronto Maple Leafs last summer, the Islanders still exceeded expectations behind first-year head coach Barry Trotz and first-year team president Lou Lamoriello. 

Lamoriello and Trotz both addressed the media on Monday on what lies ahead for the franchise. Center Mathew Barzal, captain Anders Lee and goalie Robin Lehner, the latter of whom are free agents, also discussed the future of the team as well as what could be in store for their own futures. 

Tags: Anders Lee, Mathew Barzal, Robin Lehner
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Mar 23, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) passes the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports  (Bill Streicher)
Mar 23, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) passes the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Islanders winger Cal Clutterbuck had a plethora of back issues that will likely require surgery. 

Per Arthur Staple of The Athletic, Clutterbuck has a stress fracture, two slipped disks and two rotated vertebrae. Brett Cyrgalis of The Post, reported Clutterbuck plans to meet with doctors soon to discuss surgery options. 

The extent of his recovery time could be anywhere between four to six weeks or four to six months and it is hard to imagine it will not be the latter, which would likely mean he would start next season on the IR. 

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck
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May 3, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner (40) and left wing Anders Lee (27) looks on during warmups before the game against the Carolina Hurricanes in game four of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Islanders 5-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
May 3, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner (40) and left wing Anders Lee (27) looks on during warmups before the game against the Carolina Hurricanes in game four of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Islanders 5-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

There will be a sour taste in the Islanders' mouths after being swept by Carolina, one round after sweeping Pittsburgh. This surprising season was indubitably a success given their low expectations, but knowing that the Eastern Conference was wide open and there for the taking will leave the Isles closely examing the hows and whys of their elimination.

It leads into what will be a crucial summer for the Islanders. They've got the coach, they've got the GM and they've gone from having a bleak outlook to legitimate contenders. Now they need to figure out how to take the next step toward winning the Stanley Cup. Here are five big questions the Islanders face entering the offseason.

1. Will Robin Lehner remain with the Islanders?

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Josh Ho-Sang, Michael dal Colle, Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss, Tom Kuhnhackl, Valtteri Filppula
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May 3, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz looks on from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period in game four of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Islanders 5-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
May 3, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz looks on from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period in game four of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Islanders 5-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

Barry Trotz couldn't find the right buttons to push as the Islanders were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs Friday evening.

Different line combinations, a goaltender swap early in the second period and the threat of elimination weren't enough as the Hurricanes defeated the Islanders 5-2 and advanced to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 2008-09.

Several teams have won 4-0 and then lost 0-4 in consecutive playoff series. However, the only team to do that in the first two rounds of a postseason since the NHL expanded the first round to best-of-seven in 1986-87 was the Sabres in 1993 when they swept the Bruins and then were swept by the Canadiens (per Elias Sports Bureau.)

Tags: Adam Pelech, Anders Lee, Carolina Hurricanes, Mathew Barzal, Robin Lehner
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Canes complete sweep of Isles 00:02:01
Head coaches Barry Trotz and Rod Brind'Amour comment on the Hurricanes sweep of the Islanders.

Four up, four down. That's how it went for the Islanders in the playoffs as after they swept the Penguins in the first round, they just couldn't make enough plays to pull out a victory against the Hurricanes. The Isles dropped Game 4 Friday night, 5-2, and were swept out of the postseason.  >> Box Score

Six takeaways from Friday's game...

Tags: Carolina Hurricanes, Mathew Barzal, Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss
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Apr 28, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period of game two of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 28, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period of game two of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

After more than a day of speculation, Robin Lehner keeps the Islander net for Game 4 Friday night, with Thomas Greiss remaining on the bench.

Cal Clutterbuck, who played in Game 3 despite dealing with an apparent leg injury, is out Friday. Michael Dal Colle enters the lineup.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Michael dal Colle, Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss
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Mar 3, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders Head Coach Barry Trotz yells during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Mar 3, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders Head Coach Barry Trotz yells during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

After saying Thursday he was considering wholesale changes to the Islanders' lineup, Barry Trotz wouldn't reveal his plans Friday hours before their do-or-die Game 4 in Raleigh.

Trotz said he wanted to keep the Hurricanes "on their toes" and didn't name a starting goaltender. Robin Lehner has started the Isles' first seven playoff games, but he worked in a timeshare with Thomas Greiss during the season. 

Tags: Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss
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May 1, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz speaks to the media after game three of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports  (James Guillory)
May 1, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz speaks to the media after game three of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

The Islanders could look very different in Game 4.

Barry Trotz is considering a lineup overhaul with the Islanders on the brink, trailing Carolina 3-0 in the second round heading into Friday's do-or-die contest. 

And those changes might even including benching Vezina finalist Robin Lehner

"At all positions," Trotz said when asked about where changes could come.

Tags: Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss
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May 1, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; A general view of PNC Arena prior to game three of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Carolina Hurricanes and the New York Islanders. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports  (James Guillory)
May 1, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; A general view of PNC Arena prior to game three of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Carolina Hurricanes and the New York Islanders. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

The Islanders might get swept Friday night in Raleigh, but there won't be any brooms in PNC Arena.

In a message to season-ticket holders, the Hurricanes told fans that brooms won't be allowed inside when Carolina hosts Game 4 of the second-round series.

Tags: Carolina Hurricanes
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May 1, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Calvin de Haan (44) battles for the puck with New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) in game three of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports  (James Guillory)
May 1, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Calvin de Haan (44) battles for the puck with New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) in game three of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

Calvin de Haan played at both Nassau Coliseum and Barclays Center during his five seasons with the Islanders before signing with Carolina last summer. He knows how rowdy the fans can get in Uniondale, and he believes the Islanders playing their second-round home games in Brooklyn helps his current team.

"It's great for us," de Haan said Thursday, according to Newsday. "It's good for the away team. It kind of negates the home-ice advantage to a certain extent. I've played there (the Coliseum) and it's loud and you do feed off of that. Whether you think of it or not, you do feed off the momentum of the crowd and it seemed to elevate everybody on the bench. But it is what it is. That's Mr. Bettman's decision so, whatever."

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Carolina Hurricanes
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May 1, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes right wing Justin Williams (14) celebrates after a goal against the New York Islanders during the third period in game three of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports  (James Guillory)
May 1, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes right wing Justin Williams (14) celebrates after a goal against the New York Islanders during the third period in game three of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

The New York Islanders left Barclays Center believing the results were not a reflection of their effort through the first two games of the Second Round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

However, on Wednesday night at PNC Arena in Raleigh, the Islanders were not the better team and now face a monumental challenge trailing the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-0.

Teuvo Teravainen scored twice and Sebastian Aho recorded a goal and an assist, as the Hurricanes skated to a 5-2 victory in Game 3. Justin Faulk and Justin Williams also found the back of the net while Curtis McElhinney made 28 saves.

Tags: Adam Pelech, Anders Lee, Carolina Hurricanes, Josh Bailey, Robin Lehner
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Trotz realistic after 5-2 loss 00:00:51
Barry Trotz is realistic after the 5-2 loss against the Hurricanes. The Isles have a steep hill to climb as the Canes can clinch on Friday.

The Islanders are in a big hole after the Hurricanes handled them in a 5-2 loss on the road to give themselves a 3-0 lead in this Second Round series. >> Box Score

Five takeaways from Wednesday's game...

1) It was the Hurricanes getting on the board first, as Teuvo Teravainen buried it right next to the goal line. But Devon Toews quickly made it a tie game at one apiece with a power play goal. It was the rookie's first Stanley Cup Playoff goal of his career. 

Tags: Carolina Hurricanes, Josh Bailey, Robin Lehner
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New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee handles the puck against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek during the second period in Game 1 of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. (Catalina Fragoso/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee handles the puck against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek during the second period in Game 1 of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. (Catalina Fragoso/USA TODAY Sports)

Islanders coach Barry Trotz said their objective this week is to put wins together, one at a time.

"You can't win two unless you focus on the first, so we'll focus on the first and go from there," he said.

The Hurricanes have already knocked off the defending champion Capitals. Now they're trying to topple the team coached by last year's title-winning coach. >> Read More

Tags: Carolina Hurricanes
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Mar 23, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) passes the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports  (Bill Streicher)
Mar 23, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) passes the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Cal Clutterbuck will be a game-time decision for Game 3 in Raleigh, Islanders coach Barry Trotz said Wednesday morning.

The right wing will warm up with the team before the start of the game to determine whether he can go. 

According to the New York Post, Clutterbuck was on the ice Wednesday morning with the extras. Michael Dal Colle, who'd likely replace Clutterbuck if the veteran can't play, was also on the ice.

Tags: Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Josh Bailey, Michael dal Colle, Tom Kuhnhackl
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Apr 28, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period of game two of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 28, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period of game two of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Maybe this can be considered a guarantee, maybe not.

At the very least, Robin Lehner's comments to the New York Post Tuesday before the Islanders traveled to Raleigh for Game 3 reflect the great amount of confidence the Islanders maintain despite trailing 2-0 in their second-round series against Carolina.

"It's not a big deal. We're just going to go down there and win," Lehner told The Post.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Carolina Hurricanes, Michael dal Colle, Robin Lehner
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Isles ready for game 3 00:00:50
Lee, Barzal and Bailey comment on game three against the Carolina Hurricanes. Facing adversity could be helpful in the long run.

The Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes square off on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Game 3 of the second-round playoff series as New York heads down to Carolina in an 0-2 hole. Mathew Barzal, Josh Bailey and Anders Lee talk about the adversity the team faces in a critical Game 3. 

Tags: Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal
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Apr 28, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney (35) makes a save against the New York Islanders during the second period of game two of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 28, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney (35) makes a save against the New York Islanders during the second period of game two of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

No time like the present for your first career playoff start -- even if Curtis McElhinney has already spent 11 seasons in the NHL. 

Yet, McElhinney has never began a playoff game between the pipes. That will change during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, with the Islanders trailing Carolina 2-0 in the series. 

If the Islanders want any chance of leveling the series on the road, they'll need to get to McElhinney, who stopped all 17 shots he faced at the end of Game 2 -- a 2-1 Hurricanes victory Sunday at the Barclays Center -- first. 

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Apr 14, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) skates with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. The Islanders won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Apr 14, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) skates with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. The Islanders won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Barry Trotz did not offer much on Cal Clutterbuck's status for Game 3, but his tight lips could mean that the winger won't suit up for Game 3 of the second-round series against the Hurricanes. 

When reporters inquired about a Clutterback update Monday, the coach responded with a one-word answer: "Nope." 

Given that uncertainty, here are a few options the Isles can turn to in Clutterbuck's absence: 

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Michael dal Colle
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Trotz ready for critical game 3 00:00:42
Ahead of Game 3 on the road, Barry Trotz and the Isles aren't panicked.

There was a lot of talk about reality by the Islanders Sunday after Game 2 in Brooklyn. There was Barry Trotz, whose players generally carry the same poise he presents behind the bench, talking about how his team played a fairly complete game.

"That's the cruel reality sometimes is that you play really well and you don't get the result," he said.

Then there was Robin Lehner, the outstanding goaltender who summed up the game in this way: "We're not going to put excuses on hitting posts and bars and stuff, but the reality is I think we were the better team, and they just scored one more than us."

Tags: Brock Nelson, Carolina Hurricanes, Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal, Matt Martin, Robin Lehner
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New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee shoots against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney in front of Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce and Islanders center Brock Nelson during the third period of Game 2 of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee shoots against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney in front of Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce and Islanders center Brock Nelson during the third period of Game 2 of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

It changed in a matter of moments for the Islanders Sunday afternoon.

The Islanders entered the third period of Game 2 with a one-goal lead, but in the first 65 seconds of the final frame, the game was flipped upside down when the Hurricanes lit the lamp twice and stormed to a 2-1 victory

Warren Foegele wired a wrister from a sharp angle just 17 seconds into the third period, and then former Islander Nino Niederreiter redirected a puck past Robin Lehner 48 seconds later to give the Hurricanes a one-goal advantage they would never relinquish.

"It's pretty simple, we played our game for close to 59 minutes," Islanders captain Anders Lee said. "Credit to them for popping two and holding us at the end."

Tags: Adam Pelech, Anders Lee, Carolina Hurricanes, Josh Bailey, Leo Komarov, Robin Lehner
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Isles fall to Hurricanes, 2-1 00:00:45
Barry Trotz and Robin Lehner discuss missed scoring opportunities as the Islanders fell to the Hurricanes on Sunday in Brooklyn, 2-1.

The Islanders allowed two third-period goals and lost to the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 on Sunday at Barclays Center in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, falling in a 2-0 series deficit. >> Box score

Five takeaways from Sunday's game

1) Leading 1-0 heading into the third period, Robin Lehner and the Islanders allowed two goals in a 48-second span. Warren Foegele tied it 17 seconds into the period for Carolina, and Nino Niederreiter deflected a shot in front of Lehner into the back of the net to make it 2-1.

2) After outscoring the Penguins 14-7 in a four-game sweep, the Islanders have managed just one goal through the first two games of the conference semis.

Tags: Carolina Hurricanes, Mathew Barzal
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