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Anders Lee

Nov 7, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray (30) makes a save against New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Nov 7, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray (30) makes a save against New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

The Islanders' 10-game winning streak has come to an end.

On Thursday night, the Islanders failed to hold onto a three-goal lead in the third period, eventually falling to the Penguins, 4-3, in overtime at Barclays Center.

The team's 10-game streak was the second-longest winning streak in team history. The only better mark in the history of the franchise came in 1981-82, when the team won 15 straight en route to their third-straight Stanley Cup championship.

Tags: Anders Lee
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 (Anne-Marie Sorvin)
(Anne-Marie Sorvin)

Disappointing seasons from the Rangers and Devils prompted impressive offseason work from both organizations. It certainly helped that both teams had the top two picks in the NHL Draft -- selections that netted potentially franchise-altering talents in Kappo Kakko and Jack Hughes, respectively.

While they didn't have a high draft pick or significant free agent signing, the Islanders made a handful of moves, mainly in the form of re-signings. For the most part, their roster enters 2019-20 relatively unchanged.

Taking all of this into consideration, here's a closer look at the biggest moves each organization made...

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Mika Zibanejad, Robin Lehner, Taylor Hall
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Feb 18, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Feb 18, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Disappointing seasons from the Rangers and Devils prompted impressive offseason work from both organizations. It certainly helped that both teams had the top two picks in the NHL Draft -- selections that netted potentially franchise-altering talents in Kappo Kakko and Jack Hughes, respectively.

While they didn't have a high draft pick or significant free agent signing, the Islanders made a handful of moves, mainly in the form of re-signings. For the most part, their roster enters 2019-20 relatively unchanged.

Taking all of this into consideration, here's a closer look at the biggest moves each organization made...

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Mika Zibanejad, Robin Lehner, Taylor Hall
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Apr 4, 2019; Sunrise, FL, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his game winning goal in a shootout against the Florida Panthers with left wing Anders Lee (27). Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)
Apr 4, 2019; Sunrise, FL, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his game winning goal in a shootout against the Florida Panthers with left wing Anders Lee (27). Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)

Disappointing seasons from the Rangers and Devils prompted impressive offseason work from both organizations. It certainly helped that both teams had the top two picks in the NHL Draft -- selections that netted potentially franchise-altering talents in Kappo Kakko and Jack Hughes, respectively.

While they didn't have a high draft pick or significant free agent signing, the Islanders made a handful of moves, mainly in the form of re-signings. For the most part, their roster enters 2019-20 relatively unchanged.

Taking all of this into consideration, here's a closer look at the biggest moves each organization made...

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Mika Zibanejad, Robin Lehner, Taylor Hall
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Nov 13, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) shoots against Vancouver Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher (51) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 13, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) shoots against Vancouver Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher (51) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The captain is coming back to the Island. 

Anders Lee has reportedly agreed to a seven-year deal with the Islanders worth $7 million per season, reports TSN's Pierre LeBrun. Lee confirmed the deal on his Twitter...

CHECK OUT LEE'S REACTION BELOW

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Feb 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Valtteri Filppula (51) skates with the puck against the Minnesota Wild during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Feb 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Valtteri Filppula (51) skates with the puck against the Minnesota Wild during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

The Islanders lost a productive member of last year's playoff team on the first day of NHL free agency.

Valtteri Filppula, the team's third-line center, has left the Island to return to the Detroit Red Wings.

Filppula signed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Red Wings, coming back to the city that drafted him. Filppula played eight years in Detroit and won a Stanley Cup in his first stint with the team.

Tags: Anders Lee, Casey Cizikas, Mathew Barzal, Valtteri Filppula
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Feb 21, 2019; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports (Perry Nelson)
Feb 21, 2019; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports (Perry Nelson)

Islanders goalie Robin Lehner is no stranger to long odds. Suggesting at this time a year ago that he would be a Masterton Trophy winner and a Vezina Trophy finalist might have even surprised Lehner, though.

Lehner took home the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy Wednesday night, awarded to the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game. Earlier this season, he shared his inspiring story about his battle with addiction and bipolar disorder, which resulted in an outpouring of support and admiration from players and fans alike. Lehner responded by leading the Isles to the playoffs with the best season of his career.

Before he collected his award, Lehner spoke about his looming contract situation. He isn't signed for next season, but made it very clear on Tuesday's media day that he desperately wants to be back on the Island.

Tags: Anders Lee, Robin Lehner
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Apr 14, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The New York Islanders celebrate a goal by right wing Jordan Eberle (7) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Apr 14, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The New York Islanders celebrate a goal by right wing Jordan Eberle (7) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The Islanders surprised many by re-signing winger Jordan Eberle last week to a five-year, $27.5 million contract. Although Eberle's numbers took a dip last season, he was important during the playoffs and fills an important void as a top-six winger.

Eberle took a slight pay cut to re-sign and has said that he enjoys playing on Long Island. Still, the deal came as a bit of a shocker to some fans, who are still waiting on clarity regarding the futures of captain Anders Lee and Vezina Trophy finalist Robin Lehner.

Don't worry, Isles fans. There is likely still enough money to bring back Lee and Lehner. The team has $22 million in cap space, with only Lee, Lehner, a few depth pieces and restricted free agents Anthony Beauvillier and Michael Dal Colle to sign. There should be enough room to at least sign Lee and Lehner and the RFAs.

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Anthony Beauvillier, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal, Michael dal Colle, Nick Leddy, Robin Lehner, Thomas Hickey
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Apr 4, 2019; Sunrise, FL, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his game winning goal in a shootout against the Florida Panthers with left wing Anders Lee (27). Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)
Apr 4, 2019; Sunrise, FL, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his game winning goal in a shootout against the Florida Panthers with left wing Anders Lee (27). Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)

With about a month-and-a-half remaining until the start of free agency on July 1, and just more than five weeks until the interview period, there's nothing certain yet regarding which of the Islanders' pending unrestricted free agents will be back with the team.

Mining for information from a Lou Lamoriello-run team can often be an exercise in futility. So The Athletic's Arthur Staple spoke with several outside sources to try to get a better sense of what may happen with Anders LeeBrock NelsonJordan EberleRobin Lehner and Valtteri Filppula.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Robin Lehner, Valtteri Filppula
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The Islanders face free agency 00:01:46
Lou Lamoriello, Anders Lee, Robin Lehner, and Barry Trotz look ahead to an offseason of change and growth for the New York Islanders.

The Islanders cleaned out their lockers on Monday and officially closed out their 2018-19 season, which saw them reach the second-round of the playoffs only to be swept by the Carolina Hurricanes. 

While the team lost John Tavares to the Toronto Maple Leafs last summer, the Islanders still exceeded expectations behind first-year head coach Barry Trotz and first-year team president Lou Lamoriello. 

Lamoriello and Trotz both addressed the media on Monday on what lies ahead for the franchise. Center Mathew Barzal, captain Anders Lee and goalie Robin Lehner, the latter of whom are free agents, also discussed the future of the team as well as what could be in store for their own futures. 

Tags: Anders Lee, Mathew Barzal, Robin Lehner
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May 3, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner (40) and left wing Anders Lee (27) looks on during warmups before the game against the Carolina Hurricanes in game four of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Islanders 5-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
May 3, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner (40) and left wing Anders Lee (27) looks on during warmups before the game against the Carolina Hurricanes in game four of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Islanders 5-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

There will be a sour taste in the Islanders' mouths after being swept by Carolina, one round after sweeping Pittsburgh. This surprising season was indubitably a success given their low expectations, but knowing that the Eastern Conference was wide open and there for the taking will leave the Isles closely examing the hows and whys of their elimination.

It leads into what will be a crucial summer for the Islanders. They've got the coach, they've got the GM and they've gone from having a bleak outlook to legitimate contenders. Now they need to figure out how to take the next step toward winning the Stanley Cup. Here are five big questions the Islanders face entering the offseason.

1. Will Robin Lehner remain with the Islanders?

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Josh Ho-Sang, Michael dal Colle, Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss, Tom Kuhnhackl, Valtteri Filppula
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May 3, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz looks on from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period in game four of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Islanders 5-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
May 3, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz looks on from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period in game four of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Islanders 5-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

Barry Trotz couldn't find the right buttons to push as the Islanders were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs Friday evening.

Different line combinations, a goaltender swap early in the second period and the threat of elimination weren't enough as the Hurricanes defeated the Islanders 5-2 and advanced to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 2008-09.

Several teams have won 4-0 and then lost 0-4 in consecutive playoff series. However, the only team to do that in the first two rounds of a postseason since the NHL expanded the first round to best-of-seven in 1986-87 was the Sabres in 1993 when they swept the Bruins and then were swept by the Canadiens (per Elias Sports Bureau.)

Tags: Adam Pelech, Anders Lee, Carolina Hurricanes, Mathew Barzal, Robin Lehner
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May 1, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes right wing Justin Williams (14) celebrates after a goal against the New York Islanders during the third period in game three of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports  (James Guillory)
May 1, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes right wing Justin Williams (14) celebrates after a goal against the New York Islanders during the third period in game three of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

The New York Islanders left Barclays Center believing the results were not a reflection of their effort through the first two games of the Second Round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

However, on Wednesday night at PNC Arena in Raleigh, the Islanders were not the better team and now face a monumental challenge trailing the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-0.

Teuvo Teravainen scored twice and Sebastian Aho recorded a goal and an assist, as the Hurricanes skated to a 5-2 victory in Game 3. Justin Faulk and Justin Williams also found the back of the net while Curtis McElhinney made 28 saves.

Tags: Adam Pelech, Anders Lee, Carolina Hurricanes, Josh Bailey, Robin Lehner
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Isles ready for game 3 00:00:50
Lee, Barzal and Bailey comment on game three against the Carolina Hurricanes. Facing adversity could be helpful in the long run.

The Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes square off on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Game 3 of the second-round playoff series as New York heads down to Carolina in an 0-2 hole. Mathew Barzal, Josh Bailey and Anders Lee talk about the adversity the team faces in a critical Game 3. 

Tags: Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal
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New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee shoots against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney in front of Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce and Islanders center Brock Nelson during the third period of Game 2 of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee shoots against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney in front of Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce and Islanders center Brock Nelson during the third period of Game 2 of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

It changed in a matter of moments for the Islanders Sunday afternoon.

The Islanders entered the third period of Game 2 with a one-goal lead, but in the first 65 seconds of the final frame, the game was flipped upside down when the Hurricanes lit the lamp twice and stormed to a 2-1 victory

Warren Foegele wired a wrister from a sharp angle just 17 seconds into the third period, and then former Islander Nino Niederreiter redirected a puck past Robin Lehner 48 seconds later to give the Hurricanes a one-goal advantage they would never relinquish.

"It's pretty simple, we played our game for close to 59 minutes," Islanders captain Anders Lee said. "Credit to them for popping two and holding us at the end."

Tags: Adam Pelech, Anders Lee, Carolina Hurricanes, Josh Bailey, Leo Komarov, Robin Lehner
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New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield and center Valtteri Filppula high-five after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield and center Valtteri Filppula high-five after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

After waiting for more than a week, the Islanders finally found out late Wednesday night that they'll play the Hurricanes -- the Bunch of Jerks -- in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. And because Carolina upset Washington in Game 7 on the road, the first road win by a team in the series, the Isles will get home-ice advantage in the second round, with Game 1 in Brooklyn on Friday night.

Will the well-rested Islanders be rusty Friday night having not played since last Tuesday? Or will they be able to pounce on a Hurricanes squad tired and beat up after a grueling seven-game series?

Let's take a look at how the Islanders and Hurricanes match up heading into the second round of the postseason.

Tags: Adam Pelech, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Carolina Hurricanes, Casey Cizikas, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Matt Martin, Robin Lehner, Ryan Pulock, Tom Kuhnhackl, Valtteri Filppula
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Apr 14, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) reacts with right wing Josh Bailey (12) after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Apr 14, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) reacts with right wing Josh Bailey (12) after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The Islanders took a commanding 3-0 series lead in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Sunday following a 2-1 victory in Pittsburgh. >> Box score

Six Takeaways from Sunday's game

1. The 3-0 series lead guarantees little, but it's certainly a comfortable spot to be in for the Isles. Only four NHL teams have overcome a 3-0 deficit in Stanley Cup Playoffs history. The most recent team to accomplish the feat were the Kings during the first round in 2014, and Los Angeles went on to defeat the Ranger in the Stanley Cup that year. 

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Leo Komarov, Robin Lehner
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Apr 12, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) during the third period of game two of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 12, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) during the third period of game two of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The 2-0 series lead the Islanders are taking into Sunday's Game 3 matinee in Pittsburgh is well-earned. They were the better team throughout two games at the raucous Coliseum. And in Game 2 they clearly had the Penguins rattled, despite the fact that the Pens' core has been through it all over the years in the postseason.

But in the NHL playoffs, no lead is safe, and Barry Trotz knows that as well as anybody. Just last year, when he was with Washington, the division-winning Captials fell behind 2-0 in the first tround against Columbus after dropping the first two games in overtime. They needed double-overtime to take Game 3 and eventually winning four straight to take the series before winning the Stanley Cup.

Tags: Adam Pelech, Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal, Pittsburgh Penguins, Robin Lehner, Ryan Pulock
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Islanders take 2-0 series lead 00:00:40
New York Islanders have taken a 2-0 series lead and are ready to bring all of the momentum from the Nassau Coliseum to Pittsburgh.

The Islanders had every reason to crack after allowing the opening goal following five missed power-play opportunities.

However, it was New York that kept its composure and erased a one-goal deficit en route to a 3-1 victory and commanding 2-0 series lead against Pittsburgh.

The Islanders are supposed to be the inexperienced team after missing the previous two postseasons, but never flinched while facing adversity.

Tags: Anders Lee, Casey Cizikas, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Pittsburgh Penguins
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Apr 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) celebrates after the game with right wing Josh Bailey (12) and center Valtteri Filppula (51) in the gam against the Pittsburgh Penguins in game one of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports  (Dennis Schneidler)
Apr 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) celebrates after the game with right wing Josh Bailey (12) and center Valtteri Filppula (51) in the gam against the Pittsburgh Penguins in game one of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

The opening game of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals series between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins had it all.

It went to overtime, featured three ties, nine penalties -- including a boarding call on the Islanders' Anders Lee that resulted in a potential injury for Penguins defenseman Erik Gudbranson -- and a whole bunch of after-the-whistle pushing and shoving. Meanwhile, the teams traded seven goals, the last of which might remain a viral sensation until the Stanley Cup is hoisted in June.

Anyone ready for a few more of these?

Tags: Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Pittsburgh Penguins
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Islanders talk ahead of playoffs 00:01:12
New York Islanders clinched home ice against the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Anders Lee knows fans will rock the Nassau Coliseum

The Penguins have their longtime stars and the championship pedigree, but the Islanders have been up for every challenge this season, and what they may lack in individual talent is made up for in commitment and chemistry.

With that in mind, here's a look at how the Islanders and Penguins match up heading into the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

FORWARDS

Tags: Adam Pelech, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Nick Leddy, Pittsburgh Penguins, Robin Lehner, Ryan Pulock, Scott Mayfield, Thomas Greiss, Tom Kuhnhackl, Valtteri Filppula
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Mar 30, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate the goal by New York Islanders right wing Jordan Eberle (7) against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Mar 30, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate the goal by New York Islanders right wing Jordan Eberle (7) against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

The Islanders and their fans had every reason to revel in this moment.

For this isn't some ho-hum achievement, not for a team which missed the playoffs for two seasons after winning a round in 2016 and saw its star player and captain John Tavares leave in free agency, leaving everybody wondering how the Isles would pick up the pieces.

Nine months later, here the Islanders stand with an 'X' next to their name in the standings, punching their ticket to the playoffs at the Coliseum Saturday night with a 5-1 win over a Sabres team which represented the ideal opponent to face in such a clinching scenario, a woeful club offering little resistance. This is the first time the Islanders have clinched a playoff spot in March since 1990, and it's their first time clinching a berth at home in 17 years.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Mathew Barzal, Matt Martin, Robin Lehner, Buffalo Sabres
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Mar 28, 2019; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) celebrates his goal on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) in the first period at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports (James Carey Lauder)
Mar 28, 2019; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) celebrates his goal on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) in the first period at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports (James Carey Lauder)

The Islanders used a three-goal rally in the third period, including two goals within 33 seconds with less than two minutes left, to secure a huge 5-4 win in Winnipeg Thursday night. Now at 97 points and closer to clinching a playoff berth, the Isles overcame three separate two-goal deficits. Casey Cizikas tied the game with 1:46 remaining for his 20th goal of the season, and Jordan Eberle, who scored twice in the third, netted the winner with 1:13 left.  Robin Lehner stopped 33 of 37 shots.

With the comeback win, the Islanders' magic number dropped to two, meaning they can clinch a playoff berth Saturday night at the Coliseum. >> Box score


First period:

  • :13 WPG Adam Lowry; Assists: Brandon Tanev, Nathan Beaulieu
  • 6:11 WPG Adam Lowry; Assists: Jacob Trouba, Brandon Tanev
  • 10:19 NYI Mathew Barzal; Assists: Jordan Eberle
Tags: Anders Lee, Casey Cizikas, Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal
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Mar 16, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) reacts after a goal by Detroit Red Wings center Andreas Athanasiou (not pictured) during the second period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports  (Raj Mehta)
Mar 16, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) reacts after a goal by Detroit Red Wings center Andreas Athanasiou (not pictured) during the second period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

The Islanders failed to capitalize on an opportunity to move within a tie of the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division in a tktkt loss to the lowly Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. Anders Lee had the lone goal for the Islanders as Andreas Athansiou scored twice to lead Detroit to victory. >> Box score


First period:

  • 2:59 DET Andreas Athanasiou; Assists: Danny DeKeyser
  • 10:18 NYI Anders Lee; Assists: Brock Neslon, Devon Toews
Tags: Anders Lee, Detroit Red Wings, Thomas Greiss
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Mar 14, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) skates away as the New York Islanders celebrate a goal during the second period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Mar 14, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) skates away as the New York Islanders celebrate a goal during the second period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Anders Lee scored with 2:57 left to give the Islanders a 2-1 victory over the Canadiens Thursday night. Mathew Barzal set up the winner by stealing the puck in the Isles' zone and feeding Lee on a two-on-one. Thomas Greiss made 33 saves as the Isles earned their fourth win in the last five games. >> Box score


First period:

  • N/A
Tags: Adam Pelech, Anders Lee, Mathew Barzal, Montreal Canadiens, Thomas Greiss
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Mar 7, 2019; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) makes a save in the second period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)
Mar 7, 2019; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) makes a save in the second period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)

The New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens both improved their precarious positions in the Eastern Conference playoff race with wins in their most recent games.

But the work has just begun for the two teams, who will face off in another pivotal game Thursday night, when New York hosts Montreal at Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders (40-22-7, 87 points) have been off since Monday, when they beat the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets, 2-0. The Canadiens (37-26-7, 81) last played Tuesday, when they hosted and edged the Detroit Red Wings, 3-1.

Tags: Anders Lee, Montreal Canadiens, Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss
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Isles win, Trotz's 800th win 00:01:17
The Isles beat the Senators 5-4 in a shootout to stop their losing streak. It was also Barry Trotz's 800th career win.

The Islanders entered the third period with a solid 4-2 lead at the Coliseum, but the Senators scored two unanswered goals to tie it up by the end of regulation. And after an overtime period that saw the puck stay out of both nets, Thomas Greiss locked down the net in the shootout while Jordan Eberle and Mathew Barzal buried their penalty shots to come away with the win. >> Box score


First period:

  • 8:22 NYI Brock Nelson; Assists: Josh Bailey
Tags: Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Ottawa Senators, Thomas Greiss
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Dec 29, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson (29) pursues the play against Toronto Maple Leafs in the first period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)
Dec 29, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson (29) pursues the play against Toronto Maple Leafs in the first period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)

The focus for the Islanders right now is their quest to win the Metropolitan Division and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2015-16. 

But it's hard not to wonder what the team might look like next season as general manager Lou Lamoriello has a number of crucial decisions ahead of him. Among them is how he'll handle linemates Jordan Eberle, Anders Lee and Brock Nelson all becoming unrestricted free agents this summer.

All three are eligible for extensions before the season ends, but it appears Lamoriello wants to maintain flexibility. According to the New York Post, the Isles and Nelson have not engaged in "substantial negotiations" regarding a new contract.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle
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Toronto Maple Leafs forward John Tavares battles for the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy in the second period at Scotiabank Arena. (Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports)
Toronto Maple Leafs forward John Tavares battles for the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy in the second period at Scotiabank Arena. (Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports)

John Tavares controversially left the Islanders in the offseason to sign a seven-year, $77 million deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs, his hometown team.

But at the All-Star break, his Maple Leafs trail the Islanders in the Eastern Conference standings by one point.

"They're having a tremendous season. Obviously, it's a complete 180 on the defensive side," Tavares said, according to Newsday's Mark Herrmann. "Goaltending has been a big part of that, but just not giving up a whole lot defensively and it's leading to a lot of success, a lot of wins."

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares, Mathew Barzal, Toronto Maple Leafs
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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

The Islanders jumped to an early lead and didn't look back, defeating the Devils 4-1 at The Coliseum on Thursday night. >> Box score


First period:

  • 5:48 NYI Anders Lee; Assists: Nick Leddy, Jordan Eberle
  • 9:19 NYI Michael Dal Colle; Assists: Scott Mayfield, Leo Komarov
  • 15:12 NYI Jordan Eberle (Power Play); Assists: Nick Leddy, Brock Nelson
Tags: Anders Lee, Josh Bailey
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Jan 5, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Islanders left wing Matt Martin (17) is congratulated by right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) and center Casey Cizikas (53) after scoring during the second period against the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)
Jan 5, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Islanders left wing Matt Martin (17) is congratulated by right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) and center Casey Cizikas (53) after scoring during the second period against the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)

The Islanders scored four straight goals, three of which in the third period, and held off the Blues late comeback effort to secure a 4-3 road victory.  Read more >>

First period

  • 4:11 STL Brayden Schenn; Assists: Jaden Schwartz, Jay Bouwmeester
  • 16:37 STL Zach Sanford; Assists: Vince Dunn, Tyler Bozak
Tags: Anders Lee, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle, St. Louis Blues
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New York Islanders right wing Jordan Eberle controls the puck behind the Colorado Avalanche net in the first period at the Pepsi Center. (Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders right wing Jordan Eberle controls the puck behind the Colorado Avalanche net in the first period at the Pepsi Center. (Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders started their four-game West Coast road trip with a 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday at Pepsi Center. >> Box score


First period:

  • 18:20 NYI Jordan Eberle; Assists: Brock Nelson, Anders Lee

Second period:

  • 2:07 NYI Johnny Boychuk (power play); Assists: Ryan Pulock, Josh Bailey
  • 6:45 COL Gabriel Landeskog (power play); Assists: Tyson Barrie, Nathan MacKinnon
  • 18:25 NYI Ander Lee (power play); Assists: Nick Leddy, Jordan Eberle
Tags: Anders Lee, Colorado Avalanche, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle
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Dec 6, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) moves the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports (Philip G. Pavely)
Dec 6, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) moves the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports (Philip G. Pavely)

DETROIT -- Gustav Nyquist may not be in the Detroit Red Wings future plans, but he's a big part of their present.

Nyquist, a right winger, has five goals and 10 assists in his last six games and is tied with Dylan Larkin for the team lead in points with 26 (seven goals and 19 assists).

Detroit (13-12-4) hosts the New York Islanders (13-11-3) at Little Caesars Arena at Saturday night. The Islanders are 1-3-1 in their past five games and have only scored eight goals in that span.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Mathew Barzal
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Anders Lee (27) Sidney Crosby (87) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Anders Lee (27) Sidney Crosby (87) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel each had three points for the Penguins as they shut down the Islanders with a 6-2 victory Thursday night. >> Box score


First period:

  • 8:34 PIT Kris Letang; Assists: Derick Brassard, Phil Kessel
  • 17:43 NYI Brock Nelson (Short handed); Assists: Tom Kuhnhackl, Scott Mayfield
  • 19:31 PIT Kris Letang; Assists: Bryan Rust, Brian Dumoulin

Second period:

  • 7:21 PIT Riley Sheahan; Assists: Evgeni Malkin, Jamie Oleksiak
  • 12:09 PIT Phil Kessel (Power play); Assists: Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel
  • 17:37 PIT Phil Kessel; Assists: Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel

Third period:

  • 4:23 NYI Anders Lee; Assists: Ryan Pulock
  • 13:00 PIT Sidney Crosby; Assists: Phil Kessel, Jake Guentzel
Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Pittsburgh Penguins
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Nov 3, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) and New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) fight for the puck during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 3, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) and New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) fight for the puck during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Nassau Coliseum has been as much a part of the fabric of Long Island as the Islanders themselves. And despite its flaws, the thundering crowds had always created a true home-ice advantage that helped the organization make its mark on NHL history.

The Islanders will play the first of 21 regular - season games at the Coliseum when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. While the Islanders await construction of a new arena in Belmont, they will play at least half of their regular-season home games at the "new Old Barn" over the next three seasons.

While the unique arrangement will present scheduling challenges, the current crop of players relishes the chance to play in the Coliseum once again.

Tags: Anders Lee, Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Martin
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Dec 4, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) (not pictured) scores a goal against the New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Dec 4, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) (not pictured) scores a goal against the New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Thomas Greiss stopped 21 of 23 shots for the Islanders but three unanswered goals in the third period doom them in 3-1 loss to Jets. >> Box score


First period:

  • N/A

Second period:

  • N/A
Tags: Anders Lee
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Nov 29, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) handles the puck against the Boston Bruins during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports (Paul Rutherford)
Nov 29, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) handles the puck against the Boston Bruins during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports (Paul Rutherford)

Robin Lehner stopped 27 of 28 shots for the Islanders but Ryan Donato beat him in the shootout to lift the Bruins to a 2-1 win. >> Box score


First period:

  • 12:17 NYI Anders Lee; Assists: Mathew Barzal, Scott Mayfield

Second period:

Tags: Anders Lee, Boston Bruins
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Anthony Beauvillier scored his first career hat trick as the Islanders topped the Rangers in a 7-5 barn burner at Barclays Center. >> Box score

First period:

  • 5:00 NYR Chris Kreider (power play); Assists: Neal Pionk, Mika Zibanejad
  • 5:35 NYR Fredrik Claesson; Assists: Brett Howden
  • 9:35 NYI Anthony Beauvillier; Assists: Thomas Hickey, Valtteri Filppula
  • 10:38 NYI Brock Nelson; Assists: Nick Leddy, Jordan Eberle

Second period:

  • 2:24 NYI Anthony Beauvillier; Assists: Valtteri Filppula, Leo Komarov
  • 3:21 NYR Kevin Hayes (shorthanded); Assists: None
  • 5:13 NYI Anthony Beauvillier (power play; hat trick); Assists: Johnny Boychuk, Mathew Barzal
  • 14:04 NYI Anders Lee (power play); Assists: Nick Leddy, Josh Bailey

Third period:

  • 9:56 NYI Leo Komarov; Assists: Valtteri Filppula, Anthony Beauvillier
  • 13:13 NYR Chris Kreider (power play); Assists: Neal Pionk, Alexander Georgiev
  • 17:31 NYR Filip Chytil; Assists: Vladislav Namestnikov, Kevin Shattenkirk
  • 19:39 NYI Cal Clutterbuck (empty net); Assists: Brock Nelson
Tags: Anders Lee, Anthony Beauvillier, Chris Kreider, Filip Chytil
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Anthony Beauvillier scored his first career hat trick as the Islanders topped the Rangers in a 7-5 barn burner at Barclays Center. >> Box score

First period:

  • 5:00 NYR Chris Kreider (power play); Assists: Neal Pionk, Mika Zibanejad
  • 5:35 NYR Fredrik Claesson; Assists: Brett Howden
  • 9:35 NYI Anthony Beauvillier; Assists: Thomas Hickey, Valtteri Filppula
  • 10:38 NYI Brock Nelson; Assists: Nick Leddy, Jordan Eberle

Second period:

  • 2:24 NYI Anthony Beauvillier; Assists: Valtteri Filppula, Leo Komarov
  • 3:21 NYR Kevin Hayes (shorthanded); Assists: None
  • 5:13 NYI Anthony Beauvillier (power play; hat trick); Assists: Johnny Boychuk, Mathew Barzal
  • 14:04 NYI Anders Lee (power play); Assists: Nick Leddy, Josh Bailey

Third period:

  • 9:56 NYI Leo Komarov; Assists: Valtteri Filppula, Anthony Beauvillier
  • 13:13 NYR Chris Kreider (power play); Assists: Neal Pionk, Alexander Georgiev
  • 17:31 NYR Filip Chytil; Assists: Vladislav Namestnikov, Kevin Shattenkirk
  • 19:39 NYI Cal Clutterbuck (empty net); Assists: Brock Nelson
Tags: Anders Lee, Anthony Beauvillier, Chris Kreider, Filip Chytil
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New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for the puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for the puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Three months ago almost every NHL preview did not have the Rangers and Islanders as two teams that would be fighting for the lead in the Metropolitan Division, but as we approach their first matchup Thursday night, it appears that neither team read, watched or listened those predictions -- the Isles and Rangers are tied for second place with 20 points, trailing only the Columbus Blue Jackets by two points for the division lead. 

Both teams have taken very different paths to get to this point. 

Let's start with the Islanders, who appear to have moved on from losing former captain John Tavares. The stability that Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have brought to the organization cannot be quantified. While this team is not the most talented, it does not get outworked, plays a much better defensive structure and is keeping the puck out of its own net. Thomas Greiss and Robin Lehner have provided stability between the pipes and the duo of Josh Bailey and Anders Lee have proven that they are not a product of their former captain...

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Chris Kreider, Jimmy Vesey, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Mika Zibanejad, Neal Pionk, Thomas Greiss
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New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for the puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for the puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Three months ago almost every NHL preview did not have the Rangers and Islanders as two teams that would be fighting for the lead in the Metropolitan Division, but as we approach their first matchup Thursday night, it appears that neither team read, watched or listened those predictions -- the Isles and Rangers are tied for second place with 20 points, trailing only the Columbus Blue Jackets by two points for the division lead. 

Both teams have taken very different paths to get to this point. 

Let's start with the Islanders, who appear to have moved on from losing former captain John Tavares. The stability that Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have brought to the organization cannot be quantified. While this team is not the most talented, it does not get outworked, plays a much better defensive structure and is keeping the puck out of its own net. Thomas Greiss and Robin Lehner have provided stability between the pipes and the duo of Josh Bailey and Anders Lee have proven that they are not a product of their former captain. 

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Chris Kreider, Jimmy Vesey, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Mika Zibanejad, Neal Pionk, Thomas Greiss
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Nov 1, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate the goal by New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey (12) against The Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Nov 1, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate the goal by New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey (12) against The Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

The Islanders continued to stay hot with a shootout victory, 4-3, over the Penguins on Thursday night at Barclays Center. >> Box score

First period:

  • 6:20 PIT Dominik Simon (Power Play); Assists: Jake Guentzel, Olli Maatta

 

Tags: Anders Lee, Josh Bailey
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Oct 6, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Viktor Arvidsson (33) celebrates his goal against New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 6, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Viktor Arvidsson (33) celebrates his goal against New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Isles fought, but couldn't comeback against the Predators in a 4-3 loss in their home opener at Barclays Center on Saturday night. << Box score 

First period

  • 3:42 NSH Viktor Arvidsson; Assists: Filip Forsberg, P.K. Subban
  • 12:01 NYI Mathew Barzal; Assists: Josh Bailey
  • 16:56 NSH Mattias Ekholm; Assists: P.K. Subban, Colton Sissons
Tags: Anders Lee, Josh Bailey
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Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

The Islanders announced Thursday that Anders Lee has been named team captain, becoming the 15th captain in franchise history.

Lee replaces John Tavares, who left for the Maple Leafs as a free agent during the offseason.

"It's extremely humbling, quite an honor to be a captain of this organization," Lee said. "It's definitely one of the most special things that's happened in my hockey career."

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Josh Bailey, Danny Abriano
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Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

The Islanders already missed out on their coveted free agent in C John Tavares this offseason. But that is now officially in the past, and focus turns toward another Isles key cog that will see his contract expire at the end of the year as well. 

Anders Lee is in the final year of his four-year, $15 million deal, after which he becomes an unrestricted free agent. It is too early to tell if Lee will take Tavares' route and hear out potential suitors next offseason, but that isn't even on his mind. 

According to Newsday's Andrew Gross, Lee isn't worried about his contract situation, saying "our cases are different."

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

The Islanders may have lost C John Tavares, but new head coach Barry Trotz doesn't believe it will kill their offensive output. 

Yes, Tavares accounted for 82 points last season, but Trotz thinks he has the personnel to find offensive success this upcoming season. 

"This team can score, with John Tavares or without John Tavares," Trotz told The Athletic's Arthur Staple in a Q&A session. "The area it's failed in maybe the last year and a half is on the defensive end. Just looking at the trends over the last four years, it's clear that's an area we need to fix. ...With the John Tavares situation, we look forward, we can't look back. Guys are up to the challenge. John's a fantastic player, face of the franchise and it's a hole you can't fill with one guy. It's collectively with the group."

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares, Mathew Barzal
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The Front of the Barclays center is shown Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
The Front of the Barclays center is shown Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

We don't know if there are pictures of 10-year-old Anders Lee of Edina, Minn. in the pajamas of the first-year Wild back in the year 2000, but the Islanders might not want to take any chances.

As the Islanders embark on this uncertain three (or more)-year path to Belmont, they must learn from the John Tavares heartache. They need to control what they can control, and make their organization as attractive - or at least as less unattractive - as possible. They need to eliminate the excuses for someone else to walk out the door.

Beginning with the 2019-20 season, all of their home games must be played at the barn in Nassau County. And the plan to move all of the games to Nassau should be announced weeks before the trade deadline in February 2019.

Tags: Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, Chris Botta
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Anders Lee (27) Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Anders Lee (27) Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

Isles Country was devastated to see John Tavares decide to take his talents home and play for the Toronto Maple Leafs next season. And though fans may see only darkness ahead for the Islanders, NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire believes there to be light at the end of the tunnel. 

After analyzing the process Tavares took during his interview period that led up to his ultimate decision, McGuire understood why Tavares decided to fulfill his "childhood dream" to play for the Leafs instead of the organization that drafted him first overall back in 2009. 

"I'm not surprised," McGuire told SNY. "When you grow up in a Canadian city and you grew up dreaming about playing for that team whether it'd be Montreal or Vancouver or Toronto, that's a hard thing to not want to foresee or go through. So I understood that part of it after the fact."

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares, Mathew Barzal, Scott Thompson
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Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

Anders Lee will represent Team USA at the 2018 Men's World Championship. The tournament will be held in Denmark from May 4-20.

Lee set career-highs in points (62), goals (40) and assists (22) in 2017/18 for the Islanders. 

USA is in Group B with Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Korea, Latvia and Norway. Their first game is against Canada on May 4 at 10:15 a.m.

Lee represented the USA as they the bronze medal at the 2015 IIHF Men's World Championship. Blackhawks star Patrick Kane is the team captain. 

Tags: Anders Lee
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 (Anne-Marie Sorvin)
(Anne-Marie Sorvin)

For some Islanders players, there is still something to play for with three games left in a disappointing season. 

One of those players is RW Tanner Fritz, who is trying to showcase his skills to be a mainstay with the Islanders next season. Recently, he is doing a good job of that by collecting two points in the past three games, with one being a goal against the Devils this past Saturday. 

"I want to try to get them thinking over the summer that I can be a player that can play in the NHL and prove to them that I'm worthy to play in this league," Fritz told Newsday's Andrew Gross.

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares
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