THE PLAYOFF SKINNY
QUINE’S OT WINNER GIVES ISLES 3- 2 SERIES LEAD
Alan Quine’s power-play goal at exactly 16 minutes of the second overtime gave the New York Islanders a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers early Saturday in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarter-final series. Thomas Greiss stopped 47 shots for the Islanders. They lead the series 3-2 and can wrap it up with a win in Game 6 in New York on Sunday. Roberto Luongo made 40 saves for Florida, which missed a penalty shot in the first overtime and was whistled for two penalties in the second overtime. The game ended at 12:16 a.m.
HATS OVER RATS: WHAT FANS CAN THROW ON ICE
Attention, Florida Panthers fans: Throwing those toy rats on the ice during a game means drawing the ire of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Days after fans in Philadelphia threw light-up wristbands onto the ice during a Flyers playoff loss, Bettman said the league strongly discourages throwing anything onto the ice except hats to celebrate a hat trick. That includes playoff traditions of faux rats in Florida and real octopuses in Detroit. “Putting aside the hat trick, we don’t think it’s a good idea for fans to be throwing things on the ice for a whole host of reasons.” Bettman said Friday.
OVIE VERSUS SID THE KID?
It’s a matchup that never lacks sizzle. But while fans might be looking forward to a potential second round matchup between Alex Ovechkin’s Capitals and Sidney Crosby’s Penguins, the Pittsburgh captain certainly isn’t. Up 3-1 in the first-round series against the Rangers entering Game 5 Saturday, Crosby is well aware the Penguins had that same lead against New York in 2014 only to lose the final three games. “We can’t look ahead,” Crosby said. “That was a different team, a different time. You learn from your mistakes of the past. The only focus is to win one more game, which will be the most difficult one. You can’t get too far ahead of yourself.”
THE ROAD TEAM HAS HAD AN ADVANTAGE
The road team has won every game in the Anaheim-Nashville series with the Ducks looking like the team that dominated the league the second half of the season in evening the series with two wins in Nashville. Now the Ducks’ challenge is to play that way back in Anaheim with a chance to take control. Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau doesn’t want his Ducks relaxing just because they won two games in Nashville. “You put yourself into too many holes, and you won’t dig yourself out,” Boudreau said. “We would certainly like to not do that too much more.”