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Red-hot Islanders down Devils to clinch playoff spot

You can pick your spot during the Islanders’ season, when things looked bleak.

There was the overtime loss in Chicago on January 19, after which Lane Lambert was fired and replaced by Patrick Roy with the team at 19-15-11.

There was the Stadium Series collapse against the Rangers in mid-February, the most emotional loss in a season full of them.

Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his goal against the New Jersey Devils. Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

There was a six-game losing streak in March that immediately followed a six-game winning streak, during which the Islanders’ playoff hopes appeared to be gone.

But there’s no denying that things looked brightest.

It would be now.

The Islanders celebrated like it was 2007 Monday night as they clinched a playoff berth and third place in the Metropolitan Division by defeating the Devils 4-1 at Prudential Center, the culmination of a pursuit that had swung back and forth enough to cause the unsuspecting seasickness. fans by giving them something to celebrate.

Some triumphalism from Roy and general manager Lou Lamoriello would be well-deserved, with the head coach helping to engineer a turnaround that has the Islanders regaining their ability to get wins on time.

Islanders defenseman Alexander Romanov (28) and New Jersey Devils left winger Tomas Nosek (92) fight for the puck. Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov (40) makes a save against the New Jersey Devils. Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Despite all the challenges of maintaining the core and the lack of personnel moves over the summer and at the deadline, Lamoriello’s Islanders are in the playoffs for the fifth time in his six years as general manager .

And the way they’re playing right now, going 7-0-1 in their last eight games, no one should consider them an easy out.

New York Post

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