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Islanders clinch playoff spot despite loss

Apr 23, 2013, 10:14 PM EDT

islescanesgetty Getty Images

For the first time since the 2006-07 season, the New York Islanders are playoff bound.

Excessively negative folks will crow about them clinching a spot with a shootout loss (4-3 to Carolina on Tuesday), but even that defeat parallels the Isles’ successes. They finished strong and John Tavares was prominently involved.

The potential Hart Trophy candidate scored his 27th goal of 2013 at a crucial time, tying it up 3-3 with about a minute left in regulation.

While some might say that the Southeast Division champion Washington Capitals are the hottest team in the NHL, the Islanders deserve to be in that conversation. They’ve registered a standings point in every April game (8-0-3) and have really been red-hot since March 24, going 11-1-3 in their last 15 games.

If the Islanders maintain control of the sixth seed, they might just get to prove that they’re hotter than the Caps by way of a first-round series.

Merely having that conversation with the guarantee of a playoff spot has to be a sweet sensation for Isles fans.

  1. bcisleman - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    Its a mark of a good team that they find a way to succeed even when they aren’t playing well. The Isles were not very good tonight but still found a way to get a critical point. The Ranger loss to the Cats gives the Isles a little breathing room in that 6th spot. Isles have to finish strong w/ wins vs Philly & Buf.

  2. jr507 - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    drinks all around gentlemen. now let’s lock down the 5 or 6 and hope the Rangers get eliminated.

    • tuberippin - Apr 24, 2013 at 9:17 AM

      here here!

  3. jdrew506 - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Not only did they clinch a spot in the playoffs tonight but they could also end up in the 5 seed when it is all said and done. They are only 1 point behind Toronto for the 5th spot, though Toronto has a game in hand. With the Rangers failing to win or get a point against the panthers gives the Islanders a bit of space. Just really happy that the Islanders are going to the playoffs again after being out since 2007.

    • jpelle82 - Apr 24, 2013 at 10:45 AM

      definitely want the 5 spot over the 6th if they can get it. playing the hot and cold canadiens or bruins is a much better prospect than the red hot caps.

  4. rsl22 - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    As a Caps fan, I think the Isles are the only team in the East I don’t want to see in the first round. Who cares about shootout point, they earned their spot the hard way.

    • bmoreredfury311 - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:05 PM

      Agreed, I’d hate to see the Isles, for the first round. Tough team with hart.

  5. pmars64 - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    John Tonelli to Bobby Nystrom who shoots past Pete Peeters…

  6. multiplemiggs - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Welcome back welcome back welcome back!

  7. sdelmonte - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:33 AM

    Our long way is over, and the Coliseum will rock again!

  8. jlilly67 - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    Once upon a time the Isles were the Caps playoff nightmare. It’s been a long drought since the last postseason series win. Thankfully they didn’t panic on Capuano early on.

  9. islesjb - Apr 24, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    We would be in a different position right now if Tukka Raask hadn’t put that puck off the post on a wide open opportunity- divine intervention?

    Either way, I’ll take it- and with the way this team has been playing, clinching was only a matter of time. It is nice to see that little “X” next to the Isles name in the standings. This run has been amazing. Let’s keep it rolling

    WE GOT PLAYOFFS

    • islesjb - Apr 24, 2013 at 9:35 AM

      Edit: Ruttu, not Tukka Rask. The Bruins goalie did not miss a wide open net.

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