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Posted On Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 8:07 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Penguins-Islanders series blog

Tavares, Islanders ready to face Vokoun in Game 5

It didn't come as much of a surprise Wednesday afternoon when Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma informed reporters that Tomas Vokoun would replace Marc-Andre Fleury in goal for Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Islanders.

Fleury allowed six goals on 24 shots in Tuesday's 6-4 loss in Game 4 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. With the best-of-7 series shifting back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Thursday tied 2-2, Bylsma is going with Vokoun, who went 3-0-0 with a shutout against the Islanders during the regular season.

Not long before Bylsma made the announcement, Islanders center John Tavares discussed the possible switch with Mike Francesa of WFAN in New York.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 12:52 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Penguins-Islanders series blog

Neal, Orpik could return for Penguins in Game 4

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma wouldn't divulge any information in regard to his lineup for Game 4 of this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Islanders, but there is a good chance forward James Neal and defenseman Brooks Orpik will return Tuesday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN).

Neal and Orpik were full participants at the morning skate, and Neal put in work on the club's top power-play unit. Nine of his 21 goals during the regular season came via the man-advantage.

"It's tough sitting out," said Neal, who suffered a lower-body injury during Pittsburgh's 5-0 victory in Game 1. "It's good to be back on the ice and skating with the guys."
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Posted On Tuesday, 04.16.2013 / 6:43 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Panthers without Mueller against Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Florida Panthers made forward Peter Mueller a late scratch Tuesday, allowing him to go home to be with pregnant wife.

Mueller did participate at the morning skate at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum prior to the game against the New York Islanders before getting the call to come home.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.16.2013 / 12:14 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Islanders understand danger that awaits in Panthers

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- With six games remaining on the regular-season schedule, the New York Islanders will view each match as a must-win situation.

But they know they really can't afford to let two points slip away Tuesday, when the Islanders (21-16-5, seventh place in Eastern Conference) face the Florida Panthers at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

With 32 points, Florida (13-22-6) resides in last place in the Eastern Conference and will be looking to avoid a three-game losing streak. The Panthers have been outscored 10-3 in back-to-back losses to the Winnipeg Jets and Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.

"I know what that feels like the last couple of years," Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic said of the Panthers, a team that is simply playing out the remainder of its schedule. "Those are dangerous teams sometimes. They want to win these games and they want to mess with someone else's season. We have to be prepared."

Here are the projected lineups:

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Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 7:44 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Isles' Strait suffers fractured ankle

If it wasn’t bad enough that the New York Islanders had their doors blown off by the Philadelphia Flyers in a 7-0 rout at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Monday afternoon, they received more bad news later in the day.

Isles defenseman Brian Strait, a waiver-wire acquisition just prior to the start of the season who has emerged as one of the club’s more reliable blueliners, suffered a fractured left ankle and has been placed on injured reserve.

Strait, 25, caught an edge and crashed hard into the side boards and had to crawl back on to the Islanders’ bench. Moments later, he limped off to the team’s dressing room.


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Posted On Saturday, 02.16.2013 / 11:26 AM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Islanders hope to build momentum against Devils

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – The New York Islanders ended a five-game losing streak Thursday night when they rallied for a 4-3 shootout victory against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

The Islanders (5-7-1) hope to build off that win Saturday evening, when they play host to the New Jersey Devils at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. New Jersey, which also rallied for a 5-3 win on home ice against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday, sit atop the Eastern Conference with 21 points (9-2-3).

Johan Hedberg gets the start in goal for New Jersey. Hedberg, who turns 40 in May, has allowed two goals in three appearances this season. He is 2-0-1 with a 0.65 goals-against average and .973 save percentage. Hedberg stopped all 22 shots he faced in the Devils’ 3-0 win against the Islanders on Feb. 3 at the Coliseum.

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Posted On Friday, 10.26.2012 / 10:46 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Erne paces Quebec with five-point night

Forward Adam Erne of the Quebec Remparts in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League continued his torrid scoring pace Friday night.

The 17-year-old American scored four goals and added an assist in a 7-0 victory against Shawinigan. Erne, who had 55 points (28 goals, 27 assists) in 64 games last season (his first in the QMJHL), now has 10 goals and 13 assists in 14 contests in 2012-13.

Erne, who will be eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, ranks second behind only Mikhail Grigorenko for the team lead in scoring. Grigorenko was selected in the first round (No. 12) of this year's NHL Draft by the Buffalo Sabres.

Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.22.2012 / 12:09 AM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Bracket Challenge Blog

Brodeur doing it all for Devils

Martin Brodeur made his 186th consecutive postseason start for the New Jersey Devils on Monday night and came within 5:05 of recording his 25th career playoff shutout in a 4-1 win against the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final at the Prudential Center.

Martin Brodeur
Goalie - NJD
RECORD: 10-5-1
GAA: 1.98 | SVP: 0.923
Brodeur was indeed solid in a 28-save performance to help New Jersey even this best-of-seven series at two games apiece. But stopping pucks isn't the only thing Brodeur is doing well this postseason.

The Devils' goaltender also picked up an assist on Zach Parise's empty-net goal with 1:29 remaining in regulation. It was Brodeur's fourth assist of the playoffs -- the most by any goaltender in a single postseason. No goaltender had more than five assists (Nashville's Pekka Rinne reached that mark) during the regular season.

Entering Wednesday's Game 5 at Madison Square Garden, Brodeur -- who now has 109 playoff victories -- will have more points than 92 players this postseason among those who have appeared in at least seven games. He's now averaging a point every four games in these playoffs.
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Posted On Sunday, 05.20.2012 / 7:45 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Bracket Challenge Blog

Coyotes finally break through on power play

The Phoenix Coyotes finally solved the Los Angeles Kings' phenomenal penalty kill on Sunday afternoon.

Shane Doan
Right Wing - PHX
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 9
SOG: 42 | +/-: 3
Coyotes captain Shane Doan ended the Kings' remarkable streak at 30 consecutive successful kills when he beat Jonathan Quick at 14:19 of the opening period. The goal proved to be the game-winner, as Phoenix staved off elimination with a 2-0 win in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final at the Staples Center.

It was the first goal for Doan in five games, and he added an insurance tally midway through the second period to help send the series back to Phoenix for Game 5 on Tuesday night. Doan's first goal was also his club's first on the power play in since Game 1 of the Coyotes' second-round series against the Nashville Predators -- a span of 22 opportunities.
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Posted On Saturday, 05.19.2012 / 6:09 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Bracket Challenge Blog

Make it three in a row for Kreider

Chris Kreider has quickly made a name for himself this postseason.

Less than two months after finishing up his collegiate career at Boston College, the talented rookie tied a franchise mark with the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon.

Chris Kreider
Left Wing - NYR
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 7
SOG: 22 | +/-: -2
Kreider, 21, notched his fifth goal in 15 postseason games in New York's 2-0 win against the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the Prudential Center. The 6-foot-3 rookie has now scored in three straight contests, becoming the first Rangers' rookie to do that during the postseason since Don Maloney accomplished the feat back in 1979.

Kreider also set a new record for most playoff goals from a player who has never played in a regular-season game. Montreal's Eddie Mazur had four.
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Quote of the Day

It's always a little bit weird, but it moves on. They've got a good team, and they played well tonight. I think that's just part of it.

— Peter Laviolette on facing his former team (Flyers) for the first time since his departure