Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Islanders find consolation in another win

The SportsXchange

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Finishing an otherwise lost season in winning fashion does not change the reality of missing the playoffs for the New York Islanders, but it sure beats the alternative. Just ask the Florida Panthers.

The Islanders continued their improved late-season play on Tuesday night, when they scored three tap-in goals during a 13-minute stretch spanning the second and third periods in a 4-2 win over the Panthers in a rare matchup of NHL also-rans at Nassau Coliseum.

Defenseman Travis Hamonic, left winger Josh Bailey, left winger Matt Martin and left winger Mike Halmo each scored a goal apiece as the Islanders (30-35-10) won their second in a row and for the fifth time in their last seven games (5-1-1).

The Islanders have allowed three goals or less four times in their last five games. Before that, they allowed three goals or less just four times in 13 games from Feb. 4 through March 18.

"I think it's good that we're kind of gelling and everyone's producing, everyone's playing good hockey right now," Martin said.

The win also staved off inevitable playoff elimination for the Islanders, at least for one more night. New York will officially miss the playoffs for the sixth time in the last seven years with another loss or another win by Detroit.

"Obviously, no one's happy with where we are -- it's a rough year and a year we're not proud of," Martin said. "To be going down the stretch with some wins and playing some good hockey definitely feels better."

While the Islanders are playing out the string in impressive fashion, the Panthers (27-42-8) are stumbling to the finish line. Florida has lost four in a row and seven of its last eight. Five of the losses have been by at least three goals, and the Panthers would have lost by three on Tuesday if not for a power play goal by center Brandon Pirri with 5.9 seconds left.

The Panthers went 17-14-3 in the first 34 games after Peter Horachek replaced Kevin Dineen as head coach but are just 7-19-1 since then and have not won consecutive games since Jan. 20-21.

"It's disappointing -- we got five more games to do what we can," Panthers center Nick Bjugstad said. "We had some momentum, but we let it get away from us."

The Panthers and Islanders -- who began Tuesday with the third- and fourth-fewest points in the NHL, respectively, and were two of just eight teams more than five points out of a playoff spot with 12 days left in the regular season -- combined for two goals, both on an Islanders power play, in the first 2:35 of the first period.

Panthers center Quinton Howden gave Florida the lead with an unassisted short-handed goal at 1:50, but Hamonic scored just 45 seconds later to tie the score.

The Islanders extended their lead to 3-1 in final 10 minutes of the second period when Bailey (with 8:42 remaining) and Martin (with 2:24 left) put back shots by right winger Colin McDonald. Halmo provided insurance at 4:21 of the third when he rebounded his own shot for his first NHL goal.

Hamonic, Bailey, Martin and Halmo -- all of whom are 25 years old or younger -- are four of the many young players on the Islanders who are using the final few weeks of the season to evaluate their prospects. Of the 20 players who suited up for New York on Tuesday, 15 have yet to turn 26.

"There's some guys that management's taking a look at," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said, "When you put that jersey on, you put it on with pride and you play hard. Kids are getting an opportunity and we've got to try to make the best of that opportunity as (they) move forward."

Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, the oldest Islanders player at age 38, made 20 saves.

"Every game you step on the ice, you want to give 100 percent -- doesn't matter the situation we're in, doesn't matter who we're playing against," Nabokov said. "(They're) playing for pride and we don't want to lose. We want to win."

Panthers goaltender Scott Clemmensen had 36 saves.

NOTES: The Islanders scratched two healthy players -- LW Eric Boulton and D Radek Martinek -- as well as RW Michael Grabner (concussion), RW Kyle Okposo (lower body), D Brian Strait (broken hand) and D Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion). ... RW Colin McDonald was selected by the Long Island chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association as the Islanders' nominee for the Masterton Trophy, which is awarded annually to the NHL player "who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication" to hockey. McDonald played in just seven NHL games over his first five professional seasons before making the Islanders during training camp last year. ... The Panthers scratched D Tom Gilbert (hernia surgery), C Jonathan Huberdeau (concussion) and G Roberto Luongo (neck) as well as healthy RW Bobby Butler and D Ed Jovanovski. ... With Jovanovski out, D Jonathan Racine made his NHL debut. Racine, 20, had six points in 46 games this season for San Antonio of the AHL.
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (3)

Recommended for You

  • Mayweather vs Maidana 2: Marcos Maidana's rematch game plan

    Marcos Maidana had some success with Floyd Mayweather in May, but will need to go to another level to beat him on September 13.

    SB Nation
  • Gay NFL player overlooked by teams: report

    Michael Sam, who is seeking to become the NFL's first openly gay player, was passed over by 31 teams Sunday just one day after being cut by St. Louis, USA Today reported. Sam was cut by St. Louis on Saturday as the Rams tried to get their roster down to 53 players for the first game of the season.…

    AFP
  • Report: Durant offered $265 million-plus shoe deal

    Nike pulled out all the stops to prevent Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant from signing a shoe deal with rival Under Armour. Durant's seven-year contract with Nike is expiring and Under Armour offer him a 10-year deal worth $265 million to $285 million. Nike officials on Saturday told Durant…

    The SportsXchange
  • Rumor Roundup (Sept. 1, 2014): Batista WWE return, Zeb Colter, Rob Van Dam, more!

    Speculating on the rumors surrounding pro wrestling is a favored pastime of many fans, perhaps second only to actually watching the matches. In this daily column, we take a look at the latest rumors being churned out by the pro wrestling rumor mill. Important reminder: Rumors are just that -- rumors.

    SB Nation
  • Glenn Winston among 3 49ers cuts claimed by other teams Sunday

    Glenn Winston is the future ... of the Cleveland Browns. The waiver claim period for the hundreds of eligible players that were released on Saturday has expired, and teams have already started signing players to their practice squads. The San Francisco 49ers have just about filled up their squad,…

    SB Nation
  • Fernando Torres 'set records' in AC Milan medical

    I promise that we won't be paying that much attention to Chelsea loanee Fernando Torres -- at this point I think everyone can agree the poor bloke could do with a rest from pretty much everyone even remotely associated with the club. But there are some things that simply cannot avoid comment, and…

    SB Nation
  • Rajon Rondo wants to be traded, but not to the Kings

    Rondo wants to be traded, but has made it known he will not re-sign with the Kings if traded to Sacramento. While this initially seems like good news for the Kings, who have been reportedly interested in the Celtics point guard, Rondo also indicated he would not re-sign with Sacramento if traded…

    SB Nation
  • Ray McDonald comments on arrest as he leaves jail

    Ray McDonald was arrested early Sunday morning for suspicion of felony domestic violence, and as he departed Santa Clara County Jail, he had some comments. The reporter and cameraman followed Ray McDonald as he left the jail, and eventually got some basic comments on the situation, starting around…

    SB Nation
  • Dana White open to Ben Askren in UFC, Askren responds

    Despite the bad blood between former Bellator and current ONE FC welterweight champion and the UFC, Dana White seems happy to let bygones be bygones. Askren though, predictably, seems willing to carry on with firing shots on social media. Despite passing up the opportunity to sign Ben Askren when…

    SB Nation
  • Sam clears waivers, meets with Fisher

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Michael Sam was probably never an ideal fit with the St. Louis Rams and it had absolutely nothing to do with his sexual orientation.

    Associated Press
  • Play

    Kyle Busch and Truex Jr. tangle

    Contact between Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. brings out a late race caution in Atlanta setting up a shootout for the win. They would have words in the garage after the race.

    NASCAR.com
  • Neither rain, nor lightning, nor empty stands, nor Marcel Granollers could stop Roger Federer Sunday at the U.S. Open

    There was a lot going on at the USTA National Tennis Center during the late afternoon Sunday. But after a slow start, Roger Federer is into the U.S. Open fourth round.

    Busted Racquet
  • Tony Stewart's return to race track ends early

    Tony Stewart climbed from his battered car, took a big gulp of water, and surveyed the damage. In his first event since his sprint car struck and killed a fellow driver, Stewart slammed the wall twice and settled for a dismal 41st-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, leaving him in a…

    The Associated Press
  • UFC Fight Night 50 preview: Will the real Alistair Overeem please stand up?

    When Alistair Overeem crumpled Brock Lesnar with a thunderous liver kick in the main event of UFC 141, which sent the pasty-faced brute back to the land of make believe, one of my fellow mixed martial arts (MMA) writers sent me a text message that read, "This division is in trouble." After all,…

    SB Nation
  • Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Korey Toomer, Cut By Seattle Seahawks On Saturday

    The Cowboys get a promising prospect for the linebacking unit, but Korey Toomer hasn't played football in a while. Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News has the latest roster update for the Dallas Cowboys: Dallas Cowboys have signed LB Korey Toomer to their 53-man roster after he cleared…

    SB Nation
  • UFC 177 results: Ronda Rousey demands Bethe Correia title fight, but Dana White tells her to 'calm down'

    Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey wants revenge for her fallen "Horsewomen," now that undefeated division contender Bethe Correia knocked off Jessamyn Duke and Shayna Baszler, the latter of which occurred at UFC 177 last Saturday night (Aug. 30, 2014)…

    SB Nation
  • Houston Texans Roster Cuts 2014: Texans Waive Case Keenum

    In a move that was destined once the Houston Texans traded for Ryan Mallett, Case Keenum has been released. This is sure to inspire a passionate reaction, from both ends of the spectrum, from the Houston fan base. As expected, Ryan Mallett's arrival necessarily foretold Case Keenum's departure.

    SB Nation
  • Rail Vacation Packages

    Travel by train through Europe for 6 to 10 nights. Book online today.

    AdChoicesGreatValueVacations.comSponsored