With the playoff pressure on Former Islander contributions have mysteriously tailed off. FIs helped out in only 4 of 11 contests on Saturdays continuing a recent streak of disappointing happenings. Here is a look at the slow FI day in question:
Pittsburgh winger Ruslan Fedotenko had a nice game tallying a goal and adding 2 assists, including the lone helper on the game winner, as the Penguins edged the visiting New York Rangers 4-3. Fedo earned the 1st star for his 3 point effort, his 2nd of the season. Tank snapped a 9 game point-less streak and a 15 game goal-less stretch with the points and now has 14 goals and 18 assists for 32 points on 59 games. Fedotenko has now had 30+ points in 6 straight seasons and 7 times on his 8 year career.
Buffalo center Tim Connolly had yet another good game scoring an unassisted powerplay goal and adding an assist on the game tying goal as the Sabres dumped the host Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in the SO. Connolly had a chance in the 1st of 6 rounds of the SO but was stopped on his attempt by Habs' goaltender Carey Price. With 2 points in each of his last 3 games Connolly is riding a point streak that has seen him notch 4 goals and 2 assists. TimCo failed to score the game winner for a 3rd straight game but was recognized for his effort with the 2nd star honor. He now has 17 goals and 22 assists for 39 points on 41 games. Assisting on Montreal's 3rd goal which led to short-lived 3-2 lead was defenseman Mathieu Schneider. The netter, a powerplay score gave Montreal the advantage late in the 2nd Period. With an assist in each of the last 3 games Schneids now has 7 goals and 21 assists for 28 points on 62 games. Since joining the Habs Schneider has played impressively with 13 points (3 goals, 10 assists) in 18 games including 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) on the man advantage.
Toronto winger Jason Blake had 2 assists as the Maple Leafs were felled in a home-based score-a-thon 7-5 to the Boston Bruins. Blake has had 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) over the last 4 games and now has 25 goals and 35 assists for 60 points on 72 games. The diminutive winger is only 2 points shy of career #400. For the 2nd straight season Blakey has notched 35+ assists and is only 3 short of surpassing his single season best from last season. For only the 2nd time in his career, and first since the 2006-07 season, his last with the Isles, Blake has reached the 60+ point plateau. With one powerplay helper Blake has kicked his new single season high even further up to 13.
Back for only the 2nd game since suffering an injury on March 1 winger Todd Bertuzzi already began helping out. Bert had an assist on Calgary's 2nd goal as the Flames eked by the visiting Minnesota Wild 3-2. He now has 15 goals and 29 assists for 44 points on 59 games. Receiving the secondary helper on the game winning goal was center Olli Jokinen. He snapped a 3 game point-less streak after a fiery (pardon the pun) start with the Flames. O-Jok now has 29 goals and 26 assists for 55 points on 69 games. Since joining Calgary Jokinen has 13 points (8 goals, 5 assists) in 12 games. For the 6th straight season Jokinen has managed 55 or more points.
Check back with FIW soon for more recaps, highlights and updates during this playoff push.