New York Islanders Take Care of Business, Extend Season
Apr 6, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his first period goal with defensemen Thomas Hickey (14) and defensemen Calvin de Hann (44) against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders took care of business in a crucial victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

  • New York Islanders 3 (39-29-12, 90 points)
  • Carolina Hurricanes 0 (35-31-14, 84 points)
  • NHL, Final (OT), Box Score
  • PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC

Talk about a Cinderella story — multiple actually.

With their backs to the wall, the Isles have scratched and clawed their way back into contention. Despite John Tavares’ hamstring injury, New York is two wins and two Maple Leafs losses away from making the postseason.

One of the reasons has been Jaroslav Hálak, the veteran netminder who has been en fuégo in his return to Brooklyn. “Obviously no one wants to really go through anything like that after being in the NHL,” Hálak told Arthur Staple of Newsday.

“Obviously being sent down to the minors is not really the best way to do it. But I just wanted to go down there with a good attitude and just work hard and start having fun again and start winning games.”

Hmmm… Doug Weight again dressed seven defenseman and slotted Thomas Hickey, yes, that Thomas Hickey, on the second line. After netting the winner in overtime on Tuesday night, Hickey had another solid game.

Well, well, well… Since the Isles recalled goaltender Jaroslav Hálak from Bridgeport (AHL), he’s started six of the Isles’ last nine games, giving up an equal number of goals over that span.

It’s complicated… With Erik Karlsson sidelined, the Ottawa Senators beat the Boston Bruins, 2-1, to clinch a spot in the postseason. However, the Leafs fell to the Lightning, 4-1, to extend the Isles’ season.

The standings… Here’s where the Isles currently stand:

6. Ottawa Senators (x) — 43-27-10, 96 points, 38 ROW
7. Boston Bruins (x) — 44-31-6, 94 points, 42 ROW
8. Toronto Maple Leafs — 39-26-15, 93 points, 39 ROW
9. New York Islanders — 39-29-12, 90 points, 37 ROW
10. Tampa Bay Lightning — 40-30-10, 90 points, 36 ROW

With the win… the Isles jump to within three points of the eighth-place Leafs. It’s pretty much over, unless Toronto implodes.

Coming up next… the Isles head to the Prudential Center to take on the New Jersey Devils on Saturday evening.

Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.