New York Islanders owner Charles Wang takes question from the media during a news conference at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Officials on New York's Long Island will ask voters this summer to approve a $400 million plan to build a new hockey arena next to the current home of the New York Islanders. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Islanders owner Charles Wang takes question from the media during a news conference at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Officials on New York's Long Island will ask voters this summer to approve a $400 million plan to build a new hockey arena next to the current home of the New York Islanders. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Former Islanders owner Charles Wang passed away on Sunday at the age of 74, his attorney said in a statement

Wang was the majority owner of the Islanders from 2000 to 2016, when he became a minority co-owner as Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin became the primary owners. 

"We are heartbroken by the news of Charles Wang's passing. New York Islanders's co-owners Dewey Shay, Scott Malkin and I were privileged to be selected by Charles to be his partners in the team," Ledecky said in a statement. "Charles loved the Islanders unconditionally. The arena at Belmont Park will be just one of his many legacies left to the team and to Long Island. His unique personality, his wonderful sense of humor and his extraordinary wisdom will be greatly missed."

"Charles Wang was a great man," Islanders President and GM Lou Lamoriello said. "He always spoke of his love for the Long Island community and the passionate fan base. Long Island would not have a team if it were not for Charles. Most importantly, we've all lost a great friend. Our deepest sympathies to his wife Nancy and children Kimberly, Jasmine, and Cameron."

During his time as majority owner, Wang spearheaded The Lighthouse Project, which would have resulted in a transformation of the Nassau Coliseum and the surrounding 150 acres. The proposal for the project was defeated in 2011. 

In 2012, Wang announced that the Islanders would move to Barclays Center in 2015, with him saying "it was Brooklyn, or out of town."

Wang was born in Shanghai and moved with his parents to Queens when he was eight years old. He went to Brooklyn Technical High School before earning his Bachelor's degree at Queens College.

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Mar 7, 2019; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders center Valtteri Filppula (51) prepares for a faceoff in the first 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 center Valtteri Filppula (51) prepares for a faceoff in the first period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)

The Islanders' depth at center will be tested as Valtteri Filppula will miss the next four weeks with an upper-body injury, the Islanders announced Wednesday -- on Filppula's 35th birthday. Filppula was injured during the first period of Tuesday's loss and did not return.

The four-week timetable means Filppula will miss the start of the playoffs, and possibly the entire first round. The veteran has 15 goals and 14 assists in 71 games this season after signing a one-year, $2.75 million deal with the Isles.

Tags: Jordan Eberle, Tom Kuhnhackl, Valtteri Filppula
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Mar 19, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; Boston Bruins center Sean Kuraly (52) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) during the second period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 19, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; Boston Bruins center Sean Kuraly (52) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) during the second period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Islanders couldn't handle the Bruins on their home ice, as they started hot and couldn't be stopped. New York was shutout by Boston, 5-0, on Tuesday night. >> Box score


First period:

  • 1:12 BOS Sean Kuraly; Assists: Charlie McAvoy
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New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss is congratulated by his teammates after the Islanders defeated the Minnesota Wild 3-2 in overtime at Xcel Energy Center. (David Berding/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss is congratulated by his teammates after the Islanders defeated the Minnesota Wild 3-2 in overtime at Xcel Energy Center. (David Berding/USA TODAY Sports)

Brock Nelson scored the game-winning goal 1:04 into overtime to give the Islanders a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday at Xcel Energy Center. >> Box score


First period:

  • 9:28 NYI Jordan Eberle; Assist: Mathew Barzal
Tags: Minnesota Wild
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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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New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk celebrates his goal (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk celebrates his goal (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Islanders displayed their formula for making the playoffs during their past two games.

They recorded a 2-0 shutout against Columbus on Monday, then edged Montreal 2-1 on Thursday.

Not only did they improve their postseason prospects with those low-scoring victories, they also moved without striking distance of the Washington Capitals' lead in the Metropolitan Division.

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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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Mar 5, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk (7) is pushed over New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) by New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 5, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk (7) is pushed over New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) by New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner returned to practice Wednesday, eight days after being bowled over by Ottawa's Brady Tkachuk. Lehner, who missed the last three games with an upper-body injury, is a "possibility" to return to goal against the Canadiens Thursday night at the Coliseum, Barry Trotz told reporters.

Trotz had to speak with Lehner and the training staff before making a decision. If Lehner doesn't return Thursday, he could return during the Islanders' weekend back-to-back at Detroit and Minnesota.

Tags: Christopher Gibson, Johnny Boychuk, Montreal Canadiens, Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss
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New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee falls onto the ice while attempting a shot on goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. (Catalina Fragoso/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee falls onto the ice while attempting a shot on goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. (Catalina Fragoso/USA TODAY Sports)

Thomas Greiss recorded 33 saves in a shutout as the Islanders beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0 on Monday at Nassau Coliseum. >> Box score


First period:

  • 6:11 NYI Ryan Pulock; Assists: Cal Clutterbuck, Adam Pelech

 

Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets
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Dec 1, 2018; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of the opening puck drop between the New York Islanders and the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 1, 2018; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of the opening puck drop between the New York Islanders and the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Islanders plan to have a new home in Belmont Park by the 2021-22 season, but there are some fears that the project to build a new arena is dragging. 

Islanders owner Jon Ledecky insists there is nothing to worry about. 

"Everything is moving forward on schedule," he told The Post during his team's 5-2 loss to the Flyers on Saturday. 

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Trotz reacts to Boychuk hit 00:00:29
Jakub Voracek answered Boychuk's taunting with a questionable hit. Voracek will now have a hearing with the league. Trotz reacts to the hit.

Johnny Boychuk made it perfectly clear he did not appreciate Jakub Voracek's whack to the head that sent the Islanders captain to the ice Saturday against the Flyers. 

While skating off the rink, Boychuk seemingly had strong words for Voracek, letting him know what he thought of the hit. But after the game, Voracek fired back and called out Boychuk's rant toward him following the play. 

"It's a tough hit," the Flyers assistant captain told reporters. "You know, he's getting off the ice, he's pointing at me like it's a WrestleMania or something. Pointing at me like it's a WrestleMania. Come on, it's a hockey game." 

Tags: Johnny Boychuk
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Mathew Barzal collected his 100th career assist in this one, but the Islanders couldn't hold off the Flyers in a 5-2 loss at the Coliseum. >> Box Score


First Period

  • 6:30 NYI Scott Mayfield; Assists: Nick Leddy, Mathew Barzal
  • 15:20 PHI Ryan Hartman; Assists: Ivan Provorov, Shayne Gostisbehere
  • 19:56 PHI James van Riemsdyk; Assists: Jakub Voracek, Travis Sanheim
Tags: Mathew Barzal, Nick Leddy, Philadelphia Flyers, Thomas Greiss
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Mar 3, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Scott Laughton (21) skates with the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Mar 3, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Scott Laughton (21) skates with the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

The Islanders are coming off a couple of ugly wins in consecutive victories over the NHL's cellar-dwelling Ottawa Senators but aren't apologizing for it. After all, the Islanders needed those wins to keep in the fight for top spot in the Metropolitan Division, the latest a 4-2 decision in Ottawa on Thursday night.

"We got two points and have to move on," head coach Barry Trotz said after his team's victory. "You have to look at the big picture. We've had some guys out, we've had all that, but when it's mattered, we've found ways to win."

Added Anthony Beauvillier, who scored the game-winning goal in Thursday's clash.

Tags: Philadelphia Flyers
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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

Michael Dal Colle is sticking with the Islanders.

After playing two games with the Isles as an emergency recall, the club announced Friday that Dal Colle is now a regular recall and will remain with the NHL squad. Josh Ho-Sang, who was also up on an emergency basis but didn't dress for either of the Islanders' wins against Ottawa, was returned to AHL Bridgeport.

Tags: Josh Ho-Sang, Michael dal Colle
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Mar 5, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators with teammates during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 5, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators with teammates during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

This Islanders season has already been far better than anyone within or outside the organization could have imagined. In the wake of John Tavares' departure, the Isles have bought into Barry Trotz's style and Lou Lamoriello's shrewd signing of Robin Lehner has paid major dividends. Lehner appears to be in a good place after battling substance addiction and a bipolar diagnosis, and he's been stellar on the ice as part of a goaltending duo with Thomas Greiss.

Lamoriello made the controversial decision not to make any acquisitions at the NHL trade deadline, and it wasn't looking like a smart move when the Isles went through some recent stumbles. The Isles rebounded with two straight wins against the basement-dwelling Senators, putting them back in a tie with Washington for the Metropolitan Division lead and eight points clear of ninth place in the Eastern Conference. But Trotz conceded after Thursday's win that his team is "still scuffling a little bit."

There's plenty of work to do over the final month of the regular season if the Islanders want to secure a playoff berth for the first time since 2015-16, and they'll have to step their game up against better competition.

Tags: Jordan Eberle, Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Michael dal Colle, Nick Leddy, Robin Lehner, 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)

With Robin Lehner nursing an upper-body injury, Thomas Greiss made 35 saves as the Islanders finished off a home-and-home sweep of the Senators, winning 4-2 in Ottawa Thursday night. Valtteri Filppula scored twice for the Isles. >> Box score


First period:

  • 5:44 NYI Valtteri Filppula; Assists: Leo Komarov, Nick Leddy
  • 7:00 OTT Brady Tkachuk; Assists: Ben Harpur, Anthony Duclair
  • 15:24 NYI Valtteri Filppula; Assists: Tom Kuhnhackl
Tags: Anthony Beauvillier, Casey Cizikas, Ottawa Senators, Thomas Greiss, Valtteri Filppula
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Mar 5, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) stops a shot by Ottawa Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot (72) during the shootout at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 5, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) stops a shot by Ottawa Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot (72) during the shootout at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Both the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators got what they wanted out of their game against each other Tuesday night. But each team will be looking for even more Thursday night, when Ottawa hosts New York in the back end of a home-and-home set.

The Islanders earned a 5-4 shootout win at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday, when they squandered a two-goal third-period lead and survived an injury to starting goalie Robin Lehner but escaped with the victory after Jordan Eberle and Mathew Barzal scored on the team's only attempts in the shootout.

Tags: Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal, Ottawa Senators, Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss
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Mar 5, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk (7) is pushed over New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) by New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 5, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk (7) is pushed over New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) by New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

In a sign that Robin Lehner won't be healthy for Thursday's game after being run over Tuesday night by Ottawa's Brady Tkachuk, the Islanders recalled goalie Christopher Gibson from AHL Bridgeport on an emergency basis.

Lehner, who's been a steal on a one-year, $1.5 million deal, left Tuesday's shootout win late in the third period and was replaced by Thomas Greiss. Lehner ostensibly has a head injury but the Islanders had no update on Lehner's status on Wednesday, according to Newsday.

Tags: Christopher Gibson, Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss
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Jan 25, 2019; San Jose, CA, USA; Metropolitan Division All-Stars Columbus forward Mathew Barzal (13) of the New York Islanders compete in the 2019 NHL All Star Game fastest skater competition at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Jan 25, 2019; San Jose, CA, USA; Metropolitan Division All-Stars Columbus forward Mathew Barzal (13) of the New York Islanders compete in the 2019 NHL All Star Game fastest skater competition at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

NHL general managers have approved a rule proposal which states a skater must immediately go to the bench upon losing his helmet. To enforce the safety measure, a skater who loses his helmet and doesn't comply would be assessed a two-minute penalty. Skaters can currently stay on the ice if they lose a helmet.

The NHL-NHLPA Competition Committee must approve any proposed rule changes before they're passed along to the Board of Governors. 

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Mar 5, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk (7) is pushed over New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) by New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 5, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk (7) is pushed over New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) by New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The slumping Islanders edged out the Senators for a shootout victory on Tuesday, but it may have come at a cost. 

Islanders starting goalie Robin Lehner had to leave the game late in the third period after Ottawa's Brady Tkachuk bulldozed over him on a controversial game-tying goal. 

Lehner skated off the ice on his own but was presumed to be undergoing tests for a concussion, per Brett Cyrgalis of The Post. 

Tags: Brock Nelson, Robin Lehner
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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 New York Islanders did numerous things right in their ascent to the top of the Metropolitan Division. Recently they have encountered a slight speed bump.

For the first time since Jan. 18, the Islanders are not a first-place team, and they will hope to rebound from two disappointing losses when they host the league-worst Ottawa Senators Tuesday night in Uniondale, N.Y.

New York (37-21-7, 81 points) enters two points behind the Washington Capitals, who handed the Isles a 3-1 loss on Friday. The Islanders followed with an even worse showing in a 4-1 defeat to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday afternoon.

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Mar 3, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders Head Coach Barry Trotz yells during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Mar 3, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders Head Coach Barry Trotz yells during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

With the Islanders badly needing a win after losing their lead in the Metropolitan Division, their lineup is completely up in the air thanks to a flu bug that is running through their locker room. The only thing that seems certain for the Isles' home game against Ottawa is that Robin Lehner will start in goal.

"Sickness hit us on Sunday. We had some guys that had to go to the locker room. Quite frankly I don't even know the lineup right now," Barry Trotz said, per the team's Twitter account. "We've got a plethora of things going on. I probably won't know our lineup until game time tonight."

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Josh Ho-Sang, Matt Martin, Michael dal Colle, Robin Lehner
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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)

Just a couple of weeks ago, all was going well for the Islanders. 

They were in first place and playing exceoptional hockey. But the group has lost three of four and five of the last seven. They've dropped out of first place in the Metropolitan Division and find themselves in the middle of a dogfight for a playoff spot.

It's too early to panic just yet, but RW Jordan Eberle said Monday "we need to find that desperation in our game." 

Tags: Jordan Eberle
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Mar 3, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Scott Laughton (21) skates with the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Mar 3, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Scott Laughton (21) skates with the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

A sluggish Islanders offense plagued the team once again, as the Flyers scored two goals in each of the first two periods Sunday to hand the Isles a 4-1 loss at Nassau Coliseum. The loss was the Isles' third in four games and keeps them two points behind the Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals, who picked up a point with an overtime win over the Rangers.

Four different Flyers found the back of the net and Claude Giroux accumulated two assists. Adam Pelech converted an opportunity to get the Islanders on the board late in the third period, but by thenthe game was out of reach. >> Box score


First period:

  • 8:21 PHI Travis Konecny; Assists: Radko Gudas, Robert Hagg 
  • 14:59 PHI Travis Sanheim; Assist: Giroux
Tags: Adam Pelech, Philadelphia Flyers
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New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz looks on from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz looks on from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports)

A loss to the Washington Capitals on Friday night cost the New York Islanders sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division but left them focusing on the positives of their situation.

The Islanders will look to begin maximizing the advantages they have over the Capitals on Sunday, when New York hosts the Philadelphia Flyers in another game between Metropolitan Division rivals at Nassau Coliseum.

Both the Islanders and Flyers were off Saturday after playing division games Friday, when New York fell to the visiting Capitals, 3-1, and Philadelphia beat the host New Jersey Devils, 6-3.

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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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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

One night after their emotional win against John Tavares and the Maple Leafs, the Islanders took a 3-1 loss Friday against the Capitals, who are now tied with the Isles atop the Metropolitan Division with 81 points. The Isles have a game in hand. 

With Thomas Greiss pulled for an extra attacker, Josh Bailey put the puck in his own empty net with 1:28 remaining, a blind pass attempt for Brock Nelson gone awry. >> Box score

 


First period:

  • 2:43 NYI Tom Kuhnhackl
Tags: Tom Kuhnhackl, Washington Capitals
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Feb 28, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (18) celebrates his goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs with teammates in front of Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares (91) during the first period at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 28, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (18) celebrates his goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs with teammates in front of Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares (91) during the first period at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Head coach Barry Trotz likes that the New York Islanders have gotten a preview of life in the playoffs the last several days. Good thing, because another postseason-type game awaits Trotz and the Islanders on Friday night.

The Islanders will follow up their most raucous victory of the season by trying to maintain sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division when they host the Washington Capitals.

Both teams are coming off lopsided wins. The Islanders will be completing an eventful back-to-back set at Nassau Coliseum after routing the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1 Thursday night. The Capitals were off a second straight night after cruising past the visiting Ottawa Senators, 7-2, on Tuesday. >> Read More

Tags: John Tavares, Washington Capitals
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Sean Avery is back and he has not missed a beat. 

No, the former Rangers winger is not returning to hockey, but he did bring back his controversial style of trash talk on Friday when he ripped Islanders fans for booing John Tavares on Thursday night. 

Avery, in a video posted on Twitter, went on an expletive-laden rant toward Islanders fans for their treatment of Tavares upon his first game back at Nassau Coliseum since leaving the team for the Toronto Maple Leafs in free agency. 

Click below to watch video

Tags: John Tavares
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Islanders spoil Tavares' return 00:01:07
Former New York Islander John Tavares doesn't regret signing with the Maple Leafs but Islanders players definitely fed of the fans' energy

The festivities started in the parking lot, as they often do at Nassau Coliseum, though this was anything but a typical pregame party.

Islanders fans circled Feb. 28 on their calendars the moment John Tavares left their beloved team in free agency to play for his hometown Maple Leafs. They were waiting for this day, when they'd wear their modified No. 91 jerseys with "Traitor" covering Tavares on the nameplate. They poured beer on and burned Tavares jerseys. They had signs made to bring into the old barn with them.

This night was the culmination of eight months of pent up anger, and Isles fans unleashed their fury from the moment Tavares stepped onto the Coliseum ice for warmups through the final horn Thursday as the Islanders routed Tavares and the Maple Leafs, 6-1, in the former Isles captain's first road game on Long Island after signing a seven-year, $77 million deal on July 1 with Toronto.

Tags: John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leafs
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Islanders fans on Tavares return 00:00:53
New York Islanders fans sound off on former center John Tavares right before he takes the ice at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The Nassau Coliseum will be buzzing on Thursday night, and not necessarily because the Islanders and Maple Leafs will face off in an important Eastern Conference battle. It's because former Islanders captain John Tavares is returning home. 

At least, it was Tavares' home for the first nine seasons of his career before making his free-agent decision to sign with the Maple Leafs on a seven-year, $77 million deal this offseason. He was once Islanders fans' pride and joy, but now, he will touch the ice as an enemy. 

Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello told WFAN on Tuesday that "I hope that he gets the right reception and is complimented by the crowd for whaty he did while he was here." But Tavares knows that his welcome will be the exact opposite from the fan base that still hasn't gotten over him leaving.

Tags: John Tavares, Scott Thompson
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Islander fans not over Tavares 00:01:02
Islander fans were asked to describe John Tavares in one word. Traitor was a popular adjective for the former Captain.

With John Tavares set to play his first road game against the Islanders since leaving them last summer in free agency to sign with his hometown Maple Leafs, Isles fans share their feelings about the team's former captain before Thursday's game at Nassau Coliseum, describing Tavares in one word.

Which was the most common word? Well, let's just say a majority of fans polled by SNY consider Tavares' actions akin to Benedict Arnold's.

Tags: John Tavares
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Feb 26, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) and Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) fight for the puck during the second period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 26, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) and Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) fight for the puck during the second period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Islanders did not make any moves at the trade deadline and now find their spot alone at the top of the Metropolitan Division in jeopardy after a 3-1 loss to the Calgary Flames. It was their second loss to the Flames within the last seven days and third loss in their last four games as the Washington Capitals are likely to move into a tie within atop the division.  >> Box score


First period:

  • N/A
Tags: Calgary Flames, Josh Bailey
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Feb 5, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock (6) takes a shot on goal during the third period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
Feb 5, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock (6) takes a shot on goal during the third period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

The New York Islanders and Calgary Flames are the two biggest surprises among the NHL's division leaders. They will have to finish the job with what got them here.

The Islanders and Flames meet Tuesday night for the second time in less than a week when New York hosts Calgary at Nassau Coliseum.

Both teams are coming off victories. The Islanders completed a western Canadian road swing Saturday by blanking the Vancouver Canucks, 4-0. The Flames began a three-game road trip Sunday by earning their fifth straight win with a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. >> Read More

Tags: Edmonton Oilers
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 (Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports)
(Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports)

Whether it's the mere fact that he left or it's the manner in which he left Long Island for his hometown, Islanders fans have been worked up about former captain John Tavares' departure since he tweeted a childhood photo of himself in Maple Leafs pajamas on July 1.

So it'd be no surprise if Isles fans showered Tavares with boos on Thursday when Tavares returns to Nassau Coliseum for the first time since leaving. Isles GM Lou Lamoriello hopes it doesn't go down that way.

"I've heard all about the animosity towards John. He's a tremendous human being and gave tremendous years to the Islanders and a commitment as their captain," Lamoriello, who was Toronto's GM the previous three seasons, said Tuesday on WFAN. "I hope that he gets the right reception and is complimented by the crowd for what he did while he was here. He had every right to make the decision that he did to go and to go into free agency and I respect that."

Tags: John Tavares
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Jan 22, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello and New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman watch the Toronto Raptors play against the Phoenix Suns at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Jan 22, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello and New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman watch the Toronto Raptors play against the Phoenix Suns at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

With an opportunity to strengthen his team for a playoff run, Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello opted to hold onto all of his chips and stand pat with the group that currently leads the Metropolitan Division.

Lamoriello seems to be taking the position that sometimes the best move is the one you don't make.

"We went into this trade deadline with several areas that if potentially we could address, we would," Lamoriello said. "But we weren't going to get into a situation where we sacrificed what our plan is, because we feel very good about this hockey team."

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Thomas Hickey
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 (Anne-Marie Sorvin)
(Anne-Marie Sorvin)

Robin Lehner was a stone wall in net for the Islanders, as New York shutout the Canucks, 4-0, on the road Saturday night. >> Box score


First period:

  • 4:48 NYI Casey Cizikas; Assists: Johnny Boychuk, Devon Toews
  • 14:05 NYI Ryan Pulock; Assists: Mathew Barzal, Adam Pelech
Tags: Vancouver Canucks
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Some of the best movies ever -- including some of the best sports movies ever -- have been filmed in and/or take place in New York. Here is our ranking of the 10 best...

10. Above The Rim (1994)

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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

By bringing in one of the top sports executives ever and the most recent Stanley Cup-winning coach, the Islanders have turned the page on the John Tavares era and approach Monday's NHL trade deadline atop the Metropolitan Division.

But if the Isles' want to make a Stanley Cup run, Lou Lamoriello will have to bring in at least one skilled forward who can score before the NHL trade deadline passes Monday at 3 p.m. 

Matt Duchene is no longer an option after Columbus acquired him from Ottawa on Friday. Plenty of good options remain on the market, some who will cost more in assets than others. Here's a look at players who can help the Islanders down the stretch and in the playoffs:

Tags: Ilya Kovalchuk, Kevin Hayes, Mathew Barzal, Mats Zuccarello
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Feb 16, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) plays the puck against New York Islanders defensemen Ryan Pulock (6) and Adam Pelech (3) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 16, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) plays the puck against New York Islanders defensemen Ryan Pulock (6) and Adam Pelech (3) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The NHL's Department of Player Safety announced Friday that Oilers star Connor McDavid was suspended two games for an illegal check to the head of Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy during the Isles' 4-3 overtime loss Thursday in Edmonton.

The hit came with 2:28 left in the first period and earned McDavid a minor penalty. It's the first suspension of McDavid's career. The Department of Player Safety said the head was the main point of contact and the hit was "avoidable." 

Leddy cleared concussion protocol and returned to the game. 

Tags: Nick Leddy
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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)

The Islanders led by one after a wild first period but they let their lead slip away late in regulation befor Edmonton star Connor McDavid scored in overtime to hand the Isles a 4-3 loss. The Isles allowed at least four goals in consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 18 and 21. Their Metropolitan Division lead is two points after Washington defeated Toronto Thursday.  >> Box score


First period:

  • 5:12 EDM Leon Draisaitl (Power Play;) Assists: Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  • 6:30 EDM Sam Gagner; Assists: Tobias Rieder
  • 12:57 NYI Anders Lee; Assists: Johnny Boychuk, Brock Nelson
  • 19:21 NYI Brock Nelson (Power Play;) Assists: Jordan Eberle, Ryan Pulock
  • 19:49 NYI Cal Clutterbuck (Power Play;) Assists: Ryan Pulock, Devon Toews
Tags: Edmonton Oilers
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New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz looks on from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz looks on from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports)

The Metropolitan Division-leading Islanders arrive in Edmonton after dropping a 4-2 clash with the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night, which snapped a two-game winning streak.

"Too many passengers," fumed Islanders head coach Barry Trotz, who gave his squad a "F" grade after the loss.

After a dismal performance in Calgary, it's possible both Andrew Ladd and Thomas Hickey will make their return from injuries. >> Read More

Tags: Edmonton Oilers
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Feb 20, 2019; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan (23) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for position in front of New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports  (Sergei Belski)
Feb 20, 2019; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan (23) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for position in front of New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

Anders Lee tied it up at two to begin the third period, but the Flames netted two unanswered to send the Isles home with a loss, 4-2, in Calgary. >> Box score


First period:

  • 5:00 CAL Mikael Backlund; Assists: Michael Frolik
  • 15:59 CAL Travis Hamonic; Assists: Mikael Backlund, Elias Lindholm
Tags: Calgary Flames
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Jan 18, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; Ottawa Senators center Matt Duchene (95) watches the play against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Ottawa Senators defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Jan 18, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; Ottawa Senators center Matt Duchene (95) watches the play against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Ottawa Senators defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

The Islanders' surprising season sees them leading the Metropolitan Division with 24 games remaining, and with the trade deadline less than a week away they have been linked to one of the biggest names on the trade market.

In his weekly 31 Thoughts column for Sportsnet, Elliotte Friedman writes that the Islanders are one of two "stealth desination(s)" for Ottawa's Matt Duchene along with Calgary. Columbus and Nashville are the teams primarily in on Duchene, who has 27 goals and 31 assists in 50 games and is an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Tags: Ilya Kovalchuk, Ottawa Senators
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Feb 16, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock (6) celebrates his goal against the Edmonton Oilers with defenseman Devon Toews (25) and left wing Anthony Beauvillier (18) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 16, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock (6) celebrates his goal against the Edmonton Oilers with defenseman Devon Toews (25) and left wing Anthony Beauvillier (18) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ryan Pulock jump-started the Islanders Saturday night with a power-play goal roughly three minutes into the game and they never looked back, defeating the Edmonton Oilers, 5-2. >> Box score


First period:

  • 3:02 NYI Ryan Pulock (Power Play); Assists: Devon Toews, Josh Bailey
  • 13:30 NYI Valtteri Filppula; Assists: Nick Leddy, Johnny Boychuk
  • 19:57 EDM Ryan Nugent-Hopkins; Assists: Kris Russell, Tobias Rieder
Tags: Edmonton Oilers
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Dec 1, 2018; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of the opening puck drop between the New York Islanders and the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 1, 2018; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of the opening puck drop between the New York Islanders and the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Islanders have been splitting their home games this season between Nassau Coliseum and Barclays Center, and if they advance past the first round of the playoffs, the same will be true for the postseason.

On Friday, the club announced that if it makes the playoffs that first-round home games will be played at Nassau Coliseum. However, if the Islanders advance past the first round, they will play the rest of their home games at Barclays Center.

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Feb 14, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; The New York Islanders celebrate after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Feb 14, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; The New York Islanders celebrate after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Casey Cizikas was named the first star of the game after netting two goal on the Islanders' road to a 3-0 win over the Blue Jackets on Thursday night. >> Box score


First period:

  • 7:06 NYI Casey Cizikas; Assists: Cal Clutterbuck, Thomas Greiss
Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets
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 (Kevin Hoffman)
(Kevin Hoffman)

The Islanders were riding a three-game winning streak heading into Buffalo, but they were outdone by Sabres Tuesday night, 3-1. Johan Larsson scored with 2:25 remaining to ice it. >> Box score


First period:

  • 16:25 BUF Jeff Skinner; Assists: Jack Eichel
  • 19:37 NYI Casey Cizikas; Assists: Matt Martin, Cal Clutterbuck
Tags: Buffalo Sabres
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