Going into last night's matchup, the New York Islanders knew they'd have their work cut out for them.
Minus some of their key regulars, the Isles faced off against the Boston Bruins, pushing their opponents to the brink and persevering until the final buzzer sounded.
Unfortunately, the team's inspiring performance wasn't enough to deliver a victory, as the B's prevailed by a score of 3-2.
Certainly, this young Islander squad does not want to finish the season on a low, having lost two straight, but there were some positives stemming from last night's contest.
The power play came through for the first time in 15-plus attempts, with Michael Grabner scoring just his second PPG of the year, cutting the Bruin lead to 3-2.
Of course, that tally was preceded by the speedy Austrian's shorthanded marker that would tie this game at one.
Grabner now has 33 goals this season, leading San Jose's Logan Couture by two for the rookie lead. He is more than making a case for himself to win the Calder Trophy.
He deserves much of the credit for the Isles' PK success last night, and he did a great job raising his game in the absence of Frans Nielsen.
Dare I say it, but how about Rick DiPietro?
New York's goaltender was sharp in this game, stopping 30 of 33 shots and making several strong saves. I think he'd like to have Gregory Campbell's game-winning goal back, but you can't completely fault Rick on that one. The Isles defense was virtually non-existent on that play, forcing DiPietro to try and quell the Bruins attack on his own.
It's nice to see Ricky play well, but he's going to have turn in similar performances on a consistent basis if Islander fans are to take him seriously.
Matt Campanale, who was called up from Bridgeport (AHL) after signing on with an ATO (Amateur Tryout) contract, played just eight minutes and change. The highlight of his night: A delay-of-game penalty for flipping the puck over the glass.
When you're playing for pride, there's no such thing as a meaningless game. It's time for the guys in that locker room to step up and finish out the schedule on a higher note