When we last saw Rick DiPietro, he was getting his face crushed by goalie Brent Johnson of the Pittsburgh Penguins. I'm happy to say that Rick played his first game since that incident on Saturday (3/19) night, and secured the win as well.
The Islanders defeated the Florida Panthers, 4-3, in a shootout. The win pulled the Isles into a tie with Florida at 68 points. Neither team will make the postseason, though. For Florida, this will be their tenth consecutive season outside of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Islanders fans, having missed 'only' four seasons of playoffs, have it relatively good, I suppose. Perhaps 'good' isn't the right word...
Michael Grabner, waiver wire pickup extraordinaire, notched his 30th goal of the season. What a find he has been. Though he may not win the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's best rookie, he deserves serious consideration.
Kyle, on the other hand, is in another one of his funks. He took a -3 in the game, and one friend of mine expressed concerned that he doesn't look completely healthy. While I don't think that's the case, I would like to see Kyle silence his critics with a goal and/or a few points in the upcoming games.
The Isles next take on Tampa Bay on Tuesday, the return home for games against Atlanta and conference leaders Philadelphia. The season, as a Rangers fan friend gently reminded me, has only 9 games remaining.