What we learned from the
They didn't make a big deal about clinching a playoff berth, and players claimed they hadn't known that the two points secured the team's third straight postseason appearance. Taking it as merely the first step in what they hope will be a long journey might have been the right approach for a team that has made a habit of following fine regular seasons with subpar playoff performances.
“I didn’t mention anything to the players at all,” Coach
"We're just happy to kind of get the ball rolling," Palmieri said. "It's been a little bit of a struggle to get going on this road trip, but two wins in a row and we've got a back to back tomorrow. Get some momentum and hopefully carry it over."
Pulling a switch, again
Although Boudreau said last week he planned to set his lineup for the rest of the way and would play the six defensemen and 12 forwards he will use in the playoffs, he can't resist switching things around.
On Saturday, he scratched defenseman Hampus Lindholm and put
"Sometimes I really believe it's a good time to watch a game, to get hungry to get back in," Boudreau said. "Every time we've done that, the guy that's come back in… I thought Wiz was very good today. It's had the positive effect that we think it's supposed to have."
Winger Tomas Fleischmann, one of the Ducks’ late-season acquisitions, was scratched Saturday for the second straight game. Winger
Trip down memory lane
Some of the Ducks were sentimental about their last regular-season visit to
Palmieri, who was born in Smithtown, Long Island, but raised in New Jersey, lamented the Islanders' departure.
"It's sad," he said. "I was too young to ever go to a game here, but my dad grew up on Long Island, and he grew up going to the Islanders games. It's a rink that has a lot of history, but I'm sure they'll try their best to make some history at the new one."
Boudreau recalled being a member of the
Though he conceded the arena needs updating, he said he enjoyed visiting over the years. "It's a great old building. It's loud. You can hear it," he said. "It's going to be sad when it's gone, when they're not playing here."