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Tanks for the Memories: Isles Tie it Late, Tavares Wins it in Overtime 4-3

NHL: New York Islanders at Detroit Red Wings Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Once more into the breach, dear friends!

You’ve probably noticed that my recaps have changed as the grind of this season has progressed. For tonight, I’m going back to the old style for one last hurrah this season. So if you’re a fan of dumb jokes and gifs, you’re in luck. If not, see you next year!

Let’s do this!

First Period

Taking advantage of the empty seats in the lower bowl, Little Caesars Arena personnel have replaced some sections with rows of SUVs to try to entice John Tavares to choose Detroit on July 1st.

David Booth is starting. It may be his last game in the NHL. I was worried when he was signed because of his history of head injuries. I didn’t want to see him get hurt any further, but I’m glad that he was able to be a part of this team.

And now I’m crying because of the tribute to the Humboldt Broncos. What a terrible story. Please consider donating to the funds set up for the families of the victims.

Before the game starts, just one last reminder to please tune in tomorrow morning for the ESPN documentary featuring Ken Daniels and the insurance scam that targeted his son Jamie.

Chris Osgood is between the benches tonight, and even with the farther camera setup on him, I still feel like he’s looking into my soul.

Zetterberg gets the first good chance of the game, putting one just wide of Thomas Greiss. Hank is playing in his 82nd game of the season, something he has done for the past three seasons, which is incredible. Even though this season has not been what he had hoped, he has done everything possible.

After Cal Clutterbuck’s career is over, he plans to start a reality show that will compete with Storage Wars.

Bertuzzi hits the post on the game’s best scoring chance 8 minutes in. Zetterberg then stole the puck from Tavares, who looks disinterested. I’ve seen him play many times, and this is the most invisible I’ve ever seen him.

Tanner Fritz shoves Dekeyser to the ice and takes the puck, which is apparently legal now.

Bertuzzi scores!!!!!! He finds a seam in front of the goal for Zetterberg to thread a perfect pass to him and puts it by Greiss.

Just after that, Detroit got a three on one. Man, the Islanders are giving phoning it in a bad name.

Apparently, Zetterberg is getting credit for the goal. They’re saying it deflected in before it got to Bertuzzi.

With three minutes left, Coreau has to make his first big save of the game. The first period has been all Detroit.

Larkin goes on his patented tour of the offensive zone before starting a play that ended with Daley not able to put it into an open net before an Islander could get his stick on it.

At the end of the period, Detroit still leads 1-0. Neither team is playing great, but Detroit is playing better.

Two more periods Red Wings

Second Period

The Islanders nearly score on a rebound that Coreau has to dive for. New York is off to a much better start in the second period.

The Islanders get a two on one with Daley back defending. The Islander player taking the shot is....Chris Wagner. He flubs the shot, and the score remains 1-0.

But not for long. Clutterbuck finds a wide open Ladd who scores an easy goal. Coreau had no chance.

Greiss absolutely robs Nyquist in tight off a great feed from Ouellet. The Islanders have been taking the game over other than this chance.

The officials remembered that they could call a penalty, and Detroit will go to the man advantage.

Goal!!! Maybe! Zetterberg throws the puck in front. It definitely hits off of Abdelkader’s skate. The officials take a look and decide that even though Abdelkader’s skate come forward in a kicking motion, it was after the puck had already left his skate. At least that’s what I think they said. 2-1 Red Wings.

Abdelkader celebrates his goal by taking a tripping penalty. Even though the Islanders have the 6th best power play this season, they can’t solve the Red Wings penalty kill. The score remains 2-1.

Nyquist and Jensen break in on a 2 on 1 with 3 minutes left. Nyquist holds and shoots, but Greiss keeps the score at 2-1.

And that’s the way the period ends. Detroit is still up 2-1. But for fans rooting for a better draft position, just remember we are one major penalty away from being down 5-2. So....

Third Period

I spent the intermission trying to get a message to Jeff Blashill that the coolest coaches pull their goalie for an entire period regardless of the score.

It’s either that or tell Bertuzzi that Clutterbuck said that there’s no way he can slash him in the same spot again.

In a bad sign for Islanders fans, John Tavares has ended each shift in the third period by grabbing the puck and taking it with him to the bench.

Larkin sets up a give and go with Mantha, and chips the return pass past Greiss with one hand! I want a better draft position too, but it’s hard to be upset at that play by Larkin. He’s come so far this season, and it’s great to see him close out this season like that.

It was weird that Tavares asked Larkin if he could look at the puck and never gave it back.

Anders Lee keeps Team Tank’s hopes alive with a ridiculous backhand goal that somehow went over Coreau’s shoulder from just in front of the goal line.

Fox Sports showing highlights from the first game at LCA helps people to imagine what the lower bowl looks like with fans in the seats.

As the season winds down, I want to thank the crew at Fox Sports Detroit. There are times I disagree with their opinions, but from watching other crews throughout the league, I appreciate what we get game in, game out. It’s fun to joke about Mickey’s comments from time to time, but he’s a great color commentator, and Ken Daniels is one of the best in the game.

It looks like David Booth is getting double shifted as the game winds down, which I am 100% on board with.

Bertuzzi somehow can’t put in a pretty setup from Zetterberg and the score remains 3-2.

New York pulls their goalie. Detroit fans want their team to do the same. Mantha does his part to help the tank by taking down Brock Nelson as he drives the net. New York will have a 6 on 4.

Barzal hit Larkin in the face with an elbow, and the ref looked the other way before ripping open his uniform to reveal a #Team Tank shirt.

Ryan Pulock scores to tie it at 3. This is not a joke. I’m happy we gave up a tying goal, and we are officially in the upside down.


Thomas Greiss saves Mantha on a breakaway. Moments later he stones Athanasiou who curled in from the corner after stealing the puck.

Then Greiss makes a save on Athanasiou again. The youngster has been electrifying tonight.

Coreau then makes an amazing save on Nelson after Bertuzzi hits the post. This overtime has been non-stop chances for the last minute.

Tavares hits Coreau with a shot that flutters over the goalie, but is saved.

The next shift, John Tavares ends it for New York, beating Coreau near post.

Islanders win 4-3 in overtime.

Well that’s it for this season. I consider it an honor to be able to close the season out with the last recap. This has been a really tough season, but I’m proud that I can be a part of this community. Let’s hope that next year’s games are more fun on average to recap.

I mean, I can’t have to recap a game in which we give up 10 goals AGAIN, right?


Well, this is it, so let me exit in my favorite way: