sleep 5Around the three-hour mark of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play August: Osage County, the matriarch of the dysfunctional family decides to cut through all the BS. "It's time for some truth-tellin'," she says.

 

Same here at Point Blank. I've always tried to have an open dialogue with our readers, but I feel like it's been a while. The time is now because it's been a few weeks since the end of the season and the rhetoric in the Comments space and in the emails has intensified to the point where I want to address some issues.

 

This is going to be long, long-winded, blunt, defensive and maybe at times offensive to a few of you. Just putting it all out there, folks. I will cover a whole range of topics, so pull up a chair and bear with me. Thanks.

 

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sleep 5Sponsors: You may see some ads on the site over the next few days. Our hope is to prove the value of the blog to potential sponsors. I would be indebted if you would please click on these ads from every computer you have access to, patronize the sponsors and spread the word. It could go a long way in keeping us running longer.

 

Support Drive: There's a likelihood that if the blog continues into next hockey season, I will run a support drive in the form of a deal on tickets to one or two Islanders games during the season. Consider it (hopefully) one giant Point Blank group sales night. Perhaps it's an opportunity for many of you to meet up at a game. I understand some readers may be season ticketholders and many are not from New York, but I certainly would appreciate the support of anyone in position to get involved.

 

PB Night III: If we're back for another season, it's a lock that the next Point Blank Night will be at R.C. Dugan's on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow. Thank you, Jay, for your dedication to the cause.

 

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"Conflicts": I realize some of you missed this when I wrote about it in the early days of the blog, or did not see when I spoke about it with C.J. Papa on the Islanders telecast. So that there's no misunderstanding, let me make a few things perfectly clear.

 

The idea for Point Blank came from Islanders President Chris Dey about a month or so after I left the organization last May 5. The team and the sport was in need of more coverage. Fans hungered for non-stop reporting on the Islanders and Dey wanted to deliver it to them. I was available! It was Dey who understood that it would only work if the blog was run independently of the team. For the record, Dey has stood by his end of the bargain, and I applaud him and am thankful to him for it.

 

The New York Islanders are the primary sponsor of Point Blank. Newsday refers to PB as the "team-sponsored blog" - as opposed to the Rangers-sponsored newspaper - and I've never hid from that.

 

Some facts: the Islanders have never asked me to write a story or not write a story. The first time Islanders management sees a post is the same as you: when it's published on the site. I've never been asked to take down a reader Comment about members of the organization, and there have been plenty of vicious ones.

 

sleep 5In 2009, more than three-quarters of sports journalism is touched by some conflict of interest. Leagues are in bed with networks. Writers from major magazines and newspapers serve as paid talking heads on league-owned networks. Two of New York's top sports radio voices receive checks from the companies that own major league sports teams. Sportswriters have publishing deals with the coaches and athletes they are supposed to cover.

 

Long Island's newspaper is owned by the company that owns the Knicks, Rangers, Madison Square Garden and MSG Network. Neil Best, one of the finest media columnists in the U.S. and a man of impeccable honor, covers one of the major holdings of his boss. So do the Newsday writers on the Knicks and Rangers. Wally Matthews blistered Charles Wang last summer, has plenty of tough opinions on the Steinbrenners and at times has been vicious toward Jeff Wilpon. As for the Dolans, Wally doesn't seem to have much to say.

 

I stand by the facts I've written, and the opinions that have come from the heart and the mind.

 

Town of Hempstead: Before I ever wrote my first critical word of Kate Murray's handling of the Lighthouse Project, I called Town spokesman Mike Deery three times and left him three voicemails. I attempted to start a professional relationship, but the Town did not have the time nor the interest for this blogger and resident. I don't expect them to ever want to deal with me now. Should the Town of Hempstead ever make its first right move - like maybe Murray showing up at a meeting - I'll be the first to praise it.

 

For now, that Islanders Fan First website and mailer fiasco - the project they aborted after three days - remains the Town's signature moment. To those of you who believe I just get my kicks bashing the Republican side of this issue, you don't know anything about me or my other projects. By writing the facts, and writing what I feel, in this brutal economy I'm potentially costing myself income from some of the PR consultant jobs I've been up for. That's about as far as I can take it.

 

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My Background: Other than knowing I worked for the team for a while, understandably most of you don't know my background and how it relates to the blog. So here's a bit about my career in the game.

 

sleep 5In my senior year in college, I worked full-time for the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1986-87 season, the year they went to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Along the way, the Flyers defeated the Rangers, Islanders (right after the Easter Epic) and Montreal before Wayne Gretzky took over in the final period of the deciding game in the Final. I did not get a Cup ring, but I made countless friends and contacts with the Flyers and around the league, most of them still in the business.

 

Six months later, I was hired by the Islanders to edit a monthly newspaper, Islander News. Among those on my first Islanders team: Trottier, Bossy, Denis Potvin, LaFontaine, Brent Sutter, Morrow, Flatley, Billy Smith and Kelly Hrudey. Along the way, I managed the team's publications, sold group tickets and even served as radio color commentator for a year and a half after Bob Nystrom left the job (yup, it was a major step down in the booth, but I tried). I went into PR fulltime in the mid-90s, was named VP in 1999 and stayed in that position for 9 years.

 

sleep 5So many of the players and coaches on those early Islanders teams are spread out around the league as scouts, coaches and broadcasters and remain good friends and invaluable contacts. On the 1992-93 team alone, former players are now near the top of directories with NHL teams and the Players Association. My favorite time was working for Al Arbour and the '92-93 team, the second was the mini-revival in 2001-02 under Peter Laviolette and watching the Coliseum come alive again.

 

For more than a decade, I managed a press box that hosted scouts from every team in the league and elsewhere. Most of those relationships are still in place today. Naturally, I'm still in contact with many of my former colleagues in the Islanders front office.

 

So when I rank prospects, I may not always be bang-on, but understand I'm not throwing paper darts into the wind. When I write that the majority of scouts I've spoken with say Drew Doughty will have a better NHL career than Victor Hedman, it could ultimately be wrong, but I'm not listening to the voices inside my head. I'm a reporter who listens to dozens of men who do this for a living. Turns out the amateur scouts on the Point Blank speed dial knew almost all season Matt Duchene was 2 or 3, even when The Hockey News had him at 6.

 

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Blog Stats: With each month, the Page Views and Visits for Point Blank grew in leaps and bounds, peaking (of course) in March with Gueringate. The drama got so big, the numbers on Sunday - when everyone thought Bill was going to be traded - actually were better than the day of the Trade Deadline.

 

The really good news is that the stats in April barely dropped off. Lottery day was a good one, but it was so gratifying to see all the new readers we picked up in March seem to be sticking around.

 

When you consider the Islanders did not play an important game for the purposes of playoff contention since the holidays, the numbers have been remarkable. The credit goes to you for your dedication to this team and for spreading the word about the blog.

 

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Comments: One of the reasons why the Page Views of Point Blank have grown beyond my expectations is because of your efforts in the Comments space. I spoke with a top guy at NHL Security the other day who told me he is as interested in reading all the Comments as my blog entries. I wasn't offended. That's the way it should be on a good blog.

 

If many of you believe I'm a nut about moderating the Comments space, I take the hit but also have no regrets. We have all seen how the blogs of many talented writers have been almost destroyed by the nonsense that goes on in the Comments. I refuse to let that happen. For everyone I've ticked off, I still believe the Comment Guidelines are a vital reason why the site tends to get at least 100 legitimate, passionate, insightful Comments (and often a lot more) after each story. I want as many readers as possible to feel like they can share their opinions.

 

On criticism of my work, I have no problem when a reader disagrees with me, tears me apart or even plays the ever-popular shill card. (The son of a friend of mine posted from his college dorm a while ago that I was still Garth's boy). I love that stuff.

 

To be candid, the only ones I find personally annoying are the ones that say something like, "I don't care about this subject" or "Don't you have anything better to write about"? One of my favorites was when I broke the news the Islanders had signed third round pick Mark Katic and a regular reader of an Islanders blog said he didn't care and it was just "fodder."

 

If you are the kind of person who actually takes the time to post on an Islanders blog that you don't care about stories on Mike Bossy, Kirill Petrov, Denis Potvin, the Lighthouse - after all, it only determines the team's future - prospects and small anecdotes from behind-the-scenes, I encourage you to go somewhere else for your daily Islanders reading.

 

Now that we've been at this seven months and I have regularly asked readers to review the Comment Guidelines, I'm done with warnings. If you go off-topic, write not a comment but a full-blown blog entry, post more than 3 per thread, are profane, call your fellow readers "idiots" and "morons" and the ever-popular "___ clowns" or give me other reasons to be cautious, your Comment posts are going to moderation. If you'd like to address this issue, please send me an email so we can work it out one-on-one.

 

Effective today, while some readers may have their Comments go to moderation, no one is on permanent block any longer.

 

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sleep 5The Year in Review: After working for the team for so long, I was more comfortable transitioning to the media side than I expected. It probably helped that there was a new head coach and some key players (including Doug Weight) that I had never worked with.

 

Scott Gordon and I didn't have much to do with each other for about two months mid-season. He didn't like some stuff I wrote. I didn't like the way he handled it, so I passed on many of his media scrums because he wasn't saying much. In the final 4-6 weeks of the season, the working relationship improved. I stubbornly believe Scott has a few things he needs to work on. He stubbornly thinks I'm wrong and everything is okay. Scott works his tail off, is extremely bright and is a very talented coach. Time will tell how it works out.

 

Garth Snow was irritated with me for a few weeks, primarily because I wrote my 8-year old twins did a better job of staying on the same page as the Islanders were on the Rick DiPietro injury stuff. The Islanders stood by their version of the story. Over time, we moved on. As I wrote when I was in timeout, I do not need complete access to write the blog. When you shut out the media, it usually hurts the team more - especially when that team does not boast bountiful coverage. Felt the same way when I was the PR director.

 

I especially want to mention youngsters Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo for their professionalism during a difficult season. Think about Bailey. He knew about the immediate fan and press reaction when the team went from 5 to 7 to 9 and drafted him. I wrote that he should go to juniors, and then to the World Junior Championships. Yet through it all, he answered the questions and handled himself like a 15-year pro. My experience tells me that's a good sign.

 

All of the veterans were very good with the press, most notably for me Weight, Brendan Witt and Richard Park. The team's PR staff - Seth Sylvan, Corey Witt and young Josh Bernstein - are good men and made me feel comfortable in my new gig. I thank them for that.

 

Other than a few hours one Sunday early on when we battled over the "team-sponsored" thing, Greg Logan and I got along really well. He is a friend, and I have learned a lot from him. The days when Dan Martin of the Post and Peter Botte of the Daily News attend practice are always good days.

 

I also want to thank the MSG Network crew for putting me on the pre-game show and Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe for mentioning Point Blank more than a few times. Same to Steve Mears and Chris King for their support on the radio side and their assistance. Thank you to Lisa and the moderators at Islandermania for always linking to my stories. That's a huge help, and especially was early on when the blog was trying to get off the ground. Thank you to Roseanne and the crew at Gabrielle's for their amazing generosity as our unofficial watering hole.

 

In the world outside the Islanders, thank you to Don La Greca for guiding this novice on ESPN Radio. Thank you to Hofstra University for the opportunity to see if I can teach. Thank you to Stan Bratskeir for his PR guru-ness.

 

Thank you to Kevin Schultz of Barry Melrose Rocks for getting behind the Gran Torino when I had to step away. Thank you to B.D. Gallof for his help in the early days and best of luck with his new venture. Whatever happened in between, I wish him well in doing his best to make sure it doesn't happen again.

 

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Future: As of this date, there's a commitment to write this blog until the NHL Draft in late June. After that, I do not have any guarantees. It is my sincere wish to run Point Blank for at least another year and hopefully a lot more beyond that. I hope to know in the next few weeks if I'll be around past June. For now, please click the heck out of any sponsor ads you may see.

 

One thing is certain: the only way I will ever do this blog is if I'm provided the opportunity to cover the Islanders 24/7/365. From time to time readers suggest that if I move into another full-time career that I pop in and write once or twice a week. This franchise has been my life's work and a bit of an obsession now for 21 years. When I worked for the Islanders, I thought about my responsibilities every hour for two decades. It's impossible for me to picture doing this blog half-way. In fact, I'm sure I will never do it that way.

 

One more time, thank you to all of the Point Blank readers for checking out the site, sharing your insight, passing along your knowledge and keeping me in line. Here's hoping we can keep this going for a long time.

 

 

Since I went long, the 100-word limit is waived for this Comments section - as long as you stay on topic!

 

I need to take a personal day, maybe two, so I will miss the U.S.-Russia game on Friday morning. Unless there is any breaking Islanders news, I'll be off the laptop. I'm sure Greg and the Times blog, among other sites, will be on the Worlds.

 

Please feel free to submit any questions you may have related to this post and I will address as many as I can as soon as I return. Thanks...CB

Tags: News

Feb 19, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates his goal during the second period against the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)
Feb 19, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates his goal during the second period against the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

The Islanders face off against the Montreal Canadiens from the Bell Centre on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

According to STATS:

  • The Islanders beat the Red Wings, 3-1, in Detroit on Tuesday, improving to 6-3-0 in their last nine games. They only had 22 shots on goal in the game, one more than their season low of 21, done on November 12 at Florida. It was also their first time in their last five games they had allowed fewer than two goals.
  • The Canadiens beat the Rangers, 3-2, in a shootout in New York on Tuesday, giving Claude Julien his first win as their head coach. It also snapped a three-game losing streak, and ended a 2-7-1 span as well. After sitting comfortably in first in the Atlantic Division for most of the season, the Canadiens sit just two points ahead of Ottawa.
Tags: Josh Bailey
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 (AP)
(AP)

Thomas Greiss will start in goal tonight for the Islanders, Doug Weight told reporters Thursday morning.

Cal Clutterbuck is day-to-day with a lower body injury, and will miss Thursday's game against Montreal. Shane Prince, dealing with an upper body injury, will also miss tonight's game.

Stephen Gionta and Bracken Kearns will take their spots in tonight's lineup.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Shane Prince, Stephen Gionta, Thomas Greiss
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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Casey Cizikas has been placed on injured reserved retroactive to Feb. 21, the Islanders announced Thursday.

He will miss four weeks due to an upper-body injury, Arthur Staple of Newsday reported Wednesday.

Cizikas suffered the injury during Tuesday night's win over the Red Wings...

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Shane Prince
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates a Josh Bailey (12) goal against the Detroit Red Wings in the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates a Josh Bailey (12) goal against the Detroit Red Wings in the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

The Islanders' recent turnaround could help the team keep captain John Tavares long term, Craig Custance of ESPN suggests.

"If this is the beginning of a turnaround under Weight that has staying power, one that is rooted in reality and not just a short-term bounce, you have to believe the inclination would be to find a way to make it work beyond next season," Custance writes.

The Islanders have gone 6-3-1 over their last 10 games and are in a virtual tie with the Panthers for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference...

Tags: John Tavares, Andy Graziano
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Dec 29, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Islanders 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Dec 29, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Islanders 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

In his last four starts, J-F Berube has struggled, while Jaro Halak has posted a 1.96 goals against average and a .931 save percentage since being demoted to the AHL. Should the Islanders make a change at the backup goalie position? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss…

Brian Erni, SNY.TV

J-F Berube is fighting it of late to the tune of a .876 save percentage over his last four starts. Meanwhile, Jaro Halak is playing lights out at Bridgeport. Andy, should the Islanders consider recalling Jaro to be the backup for the stretch run?

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Islanders center Shane Prince (11) controls the puck in the first period of the game against San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. The San Jose Sharks defeated the New York Islanders with a score of 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Islanders center Shane Prince (11) controls the puck in the first period of the game against San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. The San Jose Sharks defeated the New York Islanders with a score of 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

The Islanders have placed F Shane Prince on injured reserve with an upper body injury, the Islanders said on Wednesday. Veteran F Bracken Kearns has been emergency recalled from Bridgeport of the AHL.

Prince has scored five goals and tallied 16 points in 43 games with the Islanders this season. The 24-year-old has not played since Feb. 12, a span of five games.

Tags: Shane Prince
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates his goal with right wing Ryan Strome (18) and left wing Josh Bailey (12) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates his goal with right wing Ryan Strome (18) and left wing Josh Bailey (12) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)

Andy Graziano, SNY.tv

The roadie from hell has officially begun. Nine straight games away from Brooklyn for the New York Islanders, who entered play last night tied for fewest road wins in the entire National Hockey League at seven.

After a first period that saw them take the lead on a beauty from Josh Bailey, still their most consistent offensive player all season, they fell asleep at the wheel with the clock running down and surrendered an awful goal to Henrik Zetterberg with 0.1 seconds remaining to tie the game.

Instead of getting down, they picked themselves up, went out and executed simplicity on the road, exactly what is needed to pick up two crucial points at this juncture of the regular season, when the grind of an 82-game schedule really starts to wear down the body, no matter how conditioned or prepared you think you might be.

Tags: Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Ryan Pulock, Ryan Strome, Shane Prince, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Islanders have signed Connor Jones to a two-way deal for the remainder of the season, the team announced Wednesday.

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New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) skates during the second period in game five of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)
New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) skates during the second period in game five of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)

Josh Bailey has remained red hot, and it boosted the Islanders to a much-needed victory to start their nine-game road trip.

Bailey opened the scoring in the first by stealing a Petr Mrazek pass and firing a wrister past the Red Wings goaltender to give the Islanders an early 1-0 lead. Then, with the Isles up 2-1 in the third just under four minutes into the third, Bailey gloved down a Wings' clearing attempt at the blue line, skated toward the middle, faked a big shot, then cut toward the far circle. Bailey centered a pass to John Tavares, who roofed one over Mrazek to give New York all the breathing room it would need.

"Obviously, there's a lot of luck involved there," Bailey said of his set of up Tavares. "I was staying on the wall hoping that he would throw it down the middle and I could get to it, but he fanned on it a little and that's how I got it. We were laughing on the bench because I had to wait for Anders (Lee) to get out of my way so that I could shoot."

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares, Josh Bailey
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New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring a goal.  (Rick Osentoski (USA Today))
New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring a goal. (Rick Osentoski (USA Today))

Calvin de Haan was credited with a go-ahead goal that caromed off an opponent late in the second period and the New York Islanders went on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 Tuesday night.

De Haan's shot from above the left circle was stopped by Petr Mrazek, but the rebound went off Detroit defenseman Xavier Ouellet and the back of the goaltender's left leg and into the net. John Tavares scored early in the third period to give the Islanders a two-goal lead and they coasted to the victory.

Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist, and Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots for New York.

Tags: John Tavares, Josh Bailey
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New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) skates with the puck against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)
New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) skates with the puck against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)

Thomas Greiss will start in goal for the Islanders' game against the Red Wings on Tuesday, Doug Weight told reporters Tuesday morning.

The Isles will use the same defenders as Sunday's win over New Jersey.

13 forwards participated in New York's morning skate, but Cal Clutterbuck will definitely be in the lineup Tuesday. Clutterbuck has not played since Feb. 3.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Thomas Greiss
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New York Islanders left wing Andrew Ladd (16) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring a goal in the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. (Rick Osentoski)
New York Islanders left wing Andrew Ladd (16) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring a goal in the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. (Rick Osentoski)

Two big wins on the weekend against two of the NHL's top teams have the Detroit Red Wings in a much better frame of mind as they head into Tuesday's crucial home date with the New York Islanders.

On Sunday, the Red Wings whipped defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh 5-2, handing the Penguins just their fourth regulation loss at home this season. That came on the heels of Saturday's 3-2, home-ice shootout win over the Washington Capitals, the top team in the NHL standings.

"It certainly feels good," Detroit forward Thomas Vanek said. "Like I've said before, the big picture is not pretty, so I think the message is just play game by game."

Tags: Detroit Red Wings
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New York Islanders center Ryan Strome (18) takes a backhanded shot against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders center Ryan Strome (18) takes a backhanded shot against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.tv

The New York Islanders will now take to the road, where they are 7-13-4, tied for the fewest road wins in the National Hockey League, for three weeks as Barclays Center welcomes the circus and ACC basketball tournament. New York will play their next nine games away from home, not returning until Monday, March 13 for a game against the Carolina Hurricanes. 

"There's not a good feeling, not a good vibe on the road right now," said interim head coach Doug Weight after the Islanders 6-4 win over New Jersey. "We're built to be a good road team. We've been here (in Brooklyn) a lot and we've been great, so it's a bit of a crutch. Hopefully we get out on the road and get together as a team."

After a 3-2 loss in Newark on Saturday evening, thanks to a sleepy start and one stingy goalpost, the Islanders bounced back for the win last night against the same pesky opponents who, no matter their record, always seem to give New York fits, regardless of their lifetime record against them. It's never been easy.

Tags: John Tavares, Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier (72) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. (Brace Hemmelgarn)
New York Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier (72) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Anthony Beauvillier was moved back to center on Sunday evening, and he impressed against New Jersey's top line.

Beauvillier switched places with Brock Nelson, as their line drew the Devils' top unit led by Taylor Hall, and his teammates came away with a favorable impression.

"I know firsthand as a young guy who came up as a center, it's hard to play along the wall when you're not used to it," Ryan Strome said of his linemate who returned to his natural position. "It's tough to win those battles. I thought Beau looked really comfortable in the middle. He brought that speed and I think it helped our line."

Tags: Brock Nelson
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New York Islanders celebrate scoring during the first period against the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders celebrate scoring during the first period against the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)

Ryan Strome had two goals and one assist as the New York Islanders beat the New Jersey Devils, 6-4, on Sunday at Barclays Center. >> Read more


First period:

  • 9:15 NJ Miles Wood (Power play); Assists: Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri
  • 14:33 NYI Ryan Strome; Assists: Anthony Beauvillier, Dennis Seidenberg

Second period:

  • 2:44 NYI Casey Cizikas; Assists: Stephen Gionta
  • 9:32 NYI Strome
  • 11:59 NYI Andrew Ladd (short handed); Assist: Johnny Boychuk
  • 13:21 NJ Palmieri; Assists: Travis Zajac, Hall
  • 17:55 NJ Steven Santini; Assists: Zajac, Hall

Third period:

  • 0:26 NYI John Tavares (power play); Assists: Strome, Anders Lee
  • 1:00 NYI Jason Chimera
  • 8:37 NJ Hall (Power play); Assists: Damon Severson, Keith Kinkaid
Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Kyle Palmieri, Ryan Strome, Stephen Gionta, Taylor Hall, Travis Zajac
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New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

A pair of teams looking to gain valuable ground in the jumbled Eastern Conference wild card race will play for the second time in as many nights Sunday, when the New York Islanders host the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center.

The Devils further complicated the wild card race on Saturday, when they held off a furious late comeback by the Islanders to earn a 3-2 victory at Prudential Center.

Devante Smith-PellyTravis Zajac and Pavel Zacha scored as the Devils carried a 3-0 lead into the final 17 minutes, but Andrew Ladd and Anthony Beauvillier scored for the Islanders, who missed a chance to tie the game in the final 90 seconds when Nick Leddy's shot at an open net bounced off a post. >> Read more

Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Nick Leddy, Pavel Zacha, Travis Zajac
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Feb 16, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider (35) makes a save during the third period at Prudential Center. The Senators defeated the Devils 3-0. Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 16, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider (35) makes a save during the third period at Prudential Center. The Senators defeated the Devils 3-0. Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Devils built up a 3-0 lead before the Islanders chipped away to come within one goal, but ultimately New Jersey held on for a 3-2 victory Saturday night at the Prudential Center. >> Read more

First Period:

  • 7:10 NJD Devante Smith-Pelly; Assists: Travis Zajac, Jon Merrill

Second Period:

  • 8:49 NJD Travis Zajac (Short Handed); Assists: Adam Henrique

Third Period:

  • 6:21 NJD Pavel Zacha (Power Play); Assists: P.A. Parenteau, Damon Severson
  • 8:58 NYI Andrew Ladd; Assists: Calvin de Haan
  • 13:48 NYI Anthony Beauvillier; Assists: Alan Quine, Johnny Boychuk
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Dec 13, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri (21) and New York Islanders center Calvin de Haan (44) battle for a loose puck at Barclays Center. The Islanders defeated the Devils 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Dec 13, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri (21) and New York Islanders center Calvin de Haan (44) battle for a loose puck at Barclays Center. The Islanders defeated the Devils 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Islanders head to New Jersey to take on the Devils at 7 p.m.

According to STATS: 

  • This will be the first meeting this season between the Islanders and Devils. New York is 7-0-1 in its last eight road games versus New Jersey, shutting the Devils out in two of its last three games played at Prudential Center in Newark.
  • The Islanders beat the Rangers, 4-2, at home despite trailing, 1-0, at the end of the first period, their 10th comeback win of the season. New York is now 15-6-4 since December 20, the fourth-best record in the NHL over that span (entering the weekend).
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Jan 21, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders interim head coach Doug Weight coaches against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Barclays Center. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 21, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders interim head coach Doug Weight coaches against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Barclays Center. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Islanders forwards Casey Cizikas and Stephen Gionta joined NHL Now after the team's win over the Rangers and had positive things to say about interim head coach Doug Weight. 

After the win over the Rangers on Thursday, the Islanders are 9-3-2 under Weight.

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV: 

Tags: Casey Cizikas
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New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers with teammates during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers with teammates during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

 

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

The standings in the Eastern Conference race for the final wild card spot continue to be tight and this race could go right down to the wire with roughly 25 games remaining in the 2016-17 regular season. The Islanders could drive a stake into the New Jersey Devils' hopes this weekend with back-to-back matchups starting tonight in Newark. But then, it's a nine-game road trip -- longest in franchise history -- which will certainly define where this team ends up in April

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New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) celebrates his goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)
New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) celebrates his goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)

The Islanders' 4-2 over the Rangers had to put some smiles on all the Islanders' faces, but maybe none more so than relative newcomer Jason Chimera.

Chimera, who is only a few months into his tenure with the Isles, told reporters that his time in Brooklyn has already made him intolerant of Blueshirts or their fans.

"I've only been here six months, and I hate 'em," Chimera said of the Isles' crosstown rivals. "It's not just the team, it's the people that cheer for them. You hear your neighbors talking about the Rangers and you want to beat them even more."

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Jason Chimera
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New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers with teammates during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers with teammates during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Another night, another impressive performance from the Islanders' top line.

With the Isles trailing 1-0, the trio of Anders LeeJohn Tavares, and Josh Bailey got their club on the board with a highlight reel goal. Tavares shuffled a blind, backhanded pass to Bailey at the far circle. Bailey then turned as if to shoot and drew Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers' defense toward him before feathering a beautiful pass to an emerging Lee at the side of the net. Lee took the pass with his back to the net, spun and cashed it in to even the game at one.

"All these games are pretty much playoff games for us," Lee told reporters after the game. "It's just keeping that excitement in the room. We're in a position where we're chasing down teams and it's a fun one to be in, especially after the way we started the season. It's just an exciting time. It's easy to get up for a game like this, especially after getting thumped the other night."

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Nikolay Kulemin
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New York Islanders right wing Stephen Gionta (24) skates against the Colorado Avalanche during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders right wing Stephen Gionta (24) skates against the Colorado Avalanche during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Andrew Ladd's two-goal night came at a perfect time for the islanders, but it wouldn't have been possible without the hard work of Stephen Gionta.

Six-and-a-half minutes into the second period, Gionta forced Marc Staal into a turnover behind the net, gained possession, and quickly sent a centering feed to Ladd who flicked a quick wrister past Henrik Lundqvist to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead.

For Gionta, it was his third point (all assists) in his seventh game this season

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Stephen Gionta
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GEICO SportsNite: Isles best NYR 00:00:24
Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh discusses the Rangers 4-2 loss to the Islanders on the road at Barclays Center.

Andrew Ladd scored twice and the Islanders extended their unbeaten streak at the Barclays Center to 10 games with a 4-2 win over the Rangers, who came into the game having won six straight. >> Read more


First period:

  • 6:23 NYR Nick Holden; Assists: Mats Zuccarello, Brady Skjei

Second period:

  • 2:43 NYI Anders Lee; Assists: Josh Bailey, John Tavares
  • 6:24 NYI Andrew Ladd; Assists: Stephen Gionta

Third period

  • 3:03 NYI Nikolay Kulemin (short handed); Assists: John Tavares
  • 3:46 NYR Jimmy Vesey (power play); Assists: Brady Skjei, Rick Nash
  • 18:50 NYI Andrew Ladd (empty net); Assists: Jason Chimera
Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Nikolay Kulemin, Stephen Gionta
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 (John E. Sokolowski)
(John E. Sokolowski)

The Islanders host the Rangers at Barclays Center on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.

According to STATS:

  • The Islanders were throttled by the Maple Leafs on Tuesday, 7-1. The six-goal margin of defeat was the largest for the Islanders since a 6-0 loss to Minnesota on March 18, 2014.
  • The Rangers winning streak reached a season-high six games with Monday's 3-2 victory at the Blue Jackets. It is the longest winning streak by the Rangers since a run of nine games from October 25 -- November 15, 2015.
Tags: Dan Girardi, Jason Chimera, Jimmy Vesey
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New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) looks on during warm ups prior to the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski)
New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) looks on during warm ups prior to the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski)

Thomas Greiss will start in goal for the Islanders tonight against the Rangers, Doug Weight told reporters Thursday morning.

Scott Mayfield will be in the lineup for Adam Pelech

The Islanders will play the same forwards as Tuesday's loss to Toronto.

Tags: Thomas Greiss
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Brian Compton and Mike Carver discuss the Islanders' lousy loss to the Maple Leafs, and speaking of Toronto, the guys react to the awful column calling out Isles' management on their apparent lack of support of John Tavares. Plus, the guys take to Twitter to answer questions from fans.

Click below to listen!

 

Tags: John Tavares
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Feb 14, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (50) and goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) hit the puck away from Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander (29) during the second period at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Feb 14, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (50) and goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) hit the puck away from Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander (29) during the second period at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

The March 1 trade deadline is just two weeks away, and the Islanders have a decision to make. Should Garth Snow be buying or selling? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss…

Brian Erni, SNY.TV

The Islanders have made up a ton of ground, and entering play on Wednesday, are just three points out of a playoff spot. So, Andy, with the trade deadline just two weeks away, should they be buyers or sellers?

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Feb 14, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders forward John Tavares (91) shoots the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the first period at the Air Canada Centre.  (John E. Sokolowski (USA Today))
Feb 14, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders forward John Tavares (91) shoots the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the first period at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski (USA Today))

Auston Matthews scored twice, Frederik Andersen earned his 100th NHL win and the Toronto Maple Leafs routed the New York Islanders 7-1 on Tuesday night in a game with playoff implications.

The Maple Leafs set a season high for goals and won for the third time in nine games. They moved three points ahead of the Islanders for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.

Jason Chimera scored on a penalty shot for New York. Thomas Greiss and Jean-Francois Berube combined to give up seven goals on 41 shots.

New York fell to 10-4-2 in its past 16 games. >> Read more on SNY...

Tags: John Tavares
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Dec 15, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien during the third period against the Anaheim Ducks at TD Garden. The Anaheim Ducks won 4-3. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 15, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien during the third period against the Anaheim Ducks at TD Garden. The Anaheim Ducks won 4-3. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

The Canadiens have fired Michel Therrien and hired Claude Julien as head coach, the team announced Tuesday.

Julien was fired by the Bruins earlier this month after going 419-246-94 in 10 seasons as head coach and guiding the team to a Stanley Cup title in 2011. 

It was reported last week that the Islanders were happy with the job interim coach Doug Weight has done and were "still evaluating" whether to make a run at Julien, according to longtime Bruins reporter Jimmy Murphy

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The trade market has become incredibly expensive as the deadline looms at 3 p.m. ET on March 1, reports Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.

Avalanche GM Joe Sakic, who has two of the most coveted forwards on the market in Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene, is looking to make a killing on either one, says Garrioch.

Garrioch noted that when Senators GM Pierre Dorion spoke to Sakic, the cost for either player was 23-year-old defenseman Codi Ceci, a 2017 first-round draft pick, one of two blue chip prospects in defenseman Thomas Chabot -- star of the just completed world junior championship -- or center Colin White, plus perhaps a couple of other parts.

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, Ryan Pulock, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey, Travis Hamonic
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New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) takes a breather during the second period of the game against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre. (Eric Bolte)
New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) takes a breather during the second period of the game against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre. (Eric Bolte)

Thomas Greiss will start in goal for the Islanders on Tuesday night against Toronto, Doug Weight told reporters Tuesday morning.

Alan Quine will be in the lineup in place of Shane Prince.

Tags: Alain Quine, Shane Prince, Thomas Greiss
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

By Doug Weight's and his own players' admission, not much has changed systematically for the Islanders since Jack Capuano was fired on January 17 and replaced on an interim basis by the NHL veteran of 1,238 games -- including 107 with the Islanders.

A 'tweak' to defensive zone coverage has been all that's been mentioned to the media ever since the switch, and the results have been strangely similar under both coaches. The Islanders have not lost consecutive games in regulation since December 13-15, when they were defeated by the Capitals and Blackhawks -- a run that has spanned 25 games: 13 under Capuano and 12 under Weight.

After Sunday night's victory over the offensively challenged Avalanche, the league's worst team, New York is now 8-2-2 under Weight, only two games better than the 6-4-2 they went in the previous 12 games under Capuano's leadership. Diving into more team-based statistics from the same time period, the results once again come out very similar.

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Nick Leddy, Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) skates with the puck in the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. (Rick Osentoski)
New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) skates with the puck in the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. (Rick Osentoski)

Nick Leddy has looked like a completely different player since the calendar turned to 2017, and it's paying dividends for the Islanders.

Leddy opened the scoring for the Isles in the first period on Sunday evening, then chipped in two assists, ultimately surpassing the 200 point mark for his career.

In addition, Leddy and his pairing mate Johnny Boychuck played to a +3 rating for the evening, and were on the ice for all five Islanders goals. According to Islanders statistician Eric Hornick, Leddy is averaged just shy of a point per game (4-11-15) in the last 16 games, and has a +9 rating over that span.

Tags: Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Travis Hamonic
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New York Islanders goalie Jean-Francois Berube (30) makes a pad save against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders goalie Jean-Francois Berube (30) makes a pad save against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

J-F Berube turned in a strong performance Sunday evening in a game the Isles had to have.

Berube turned aside 26 Colorado shots in the team's 5-1 victory at Barclays Center. He allowed just one goal, a first period breakaway that Joe Colborne cashed in.

"I was sharp, I didn't give too many sloppy rebounds," Berube told reporters after the game about his performance. "Guys were talking a lot on the ice and that helps a lot to find the puck."

Tags: Jaroslav Halak
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New York Islanders forward Anders Lee (27) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. (Brace Hemmelgarn)
New York Islanders forward Anders Lee (27) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Anders Lee has been one of the NHL's premiere goal scorers over the last three months, and it's helping to form a dominant top line for the Islanders.

According to Elias, only Montreal Canadiens' Max Pacioretty (24) has scored more goals in the NHL over the last 35 games. Lee, who now has 21 on the season, had just one goal in his first 18 games.

"I think him and Bails have proved a lot of people wrong as far as guys who can play those kind of minutes," Doug Weight said of the Islanders top line. "They've helped Johnny in a lot of ways, too."

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Nick Leddy
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New York Islanders center Ryan Strome celebrates his power play goal against the Colorado Avalanche with New York Islanders center Anders Lee during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders center Ryan Strome celebrates his power play goal against the Colorado Avalanche with New York Islanders center Anders Lee during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Islanders beat the Colorado Avalanche, 5-1, Sunday at Barclays Center. >> Read more


First period:

  • 8:12 COL Joe Colborne; Assists: Andreas Martinsen, Fedor Tyutin
  • 12:01 NYI Nick Leddy; Assists: Stephen Gionta, Casey Cizikas

Second period:

  • 14:46 NYI Ryan Strome (power play); Assists: John Tavares, Leddy

Third period:

  • 1:21 NYI Anders Lee; Assists: Tavares, Johnny Boychuk
  • 11:22 NYI Lee (power play); Assists: Boychuk, Leddy
  • 13:48 NYI Jason Chimera; Assist: Brock Nelson
Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Colorado Avalanche, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Ryan Strome, Stephen Gionta
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New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk takes a shot and Ottawa Senators forwardRyan Dzingel defends during the first period at Canadian Tire Centre. (Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk takes a shot and Ottawa Senators forwardRyan Dzingel defends during the first period at Canadian Tire Centre. (Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports)

The Colorado Avalanche long ago became resigned to playing the role of spoiler during the second half of the NHL season, On Sunday night, they'll have a rare chance to damage an opponent's playoff chances for a second time when they visit the New York islanders at Barclays Center.

The game will be the second of a back-to-back set for both the Islanders and Avalanche, each of whom lost on Saturday. New York fell to the Ottawa Senators, 3-0, while Colorado dropped a 4-2 decision to the New York Rangers.

The Avalanche are an NHL-worst 15-35-2, including just 3-15-1 since play resumed following the holiday break. But one of those wins came against the Islanders on Jan. 6, when Colorado earned a 2-1 overtime victory at Pepsi Center.

That loss could loom big for the Islanders (24-19-10), who have gone 18-9-6 since Nov. 28 to climb into the wild card race. The defeat on Saturday dropped New York three points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers, who are currently tied for the second wild card.

Tags: Colorado Avalanche, John Tavares
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Feb 11, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators forward Zack Smith (15) scores a goal against New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) during the second period at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 11, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators forward Zack Smith (15) scores a goal against New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) during the second period at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

First Period 

  • 4:10 OTT Mark Stone; Assist: Erik Karlsson

Second Period 

  • 4:35 OTT Zack Smith; Assists: Kyle Turris, Dion Phaneuf
  • 7:12 OTT Jean-Gabriel Pageau; Assist: Tom Pyatt

Recap: 

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Feb 9, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) celebrates his goal left wing Andrew Ladd (16) against the Philadelphia Flyers with during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 9, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) celebrates his goal left wing Andrew Ladd (16) against the Philadelphia Flyers with during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Islanders (24-18-10) have been on fire under new coach Doug Weight. Since he replaced the fired Jack Capuano, they have gone 7-1-2, including a 3-1 victory over Philadelphia on Thursday that inched them to within one point of the Flyers and two of the Boston Bruins in the race for a wild-card spot.

"We dug ourselves a big hole in the first 2 1/2 months," Weight said after the win over Philly. "Now it's got to be playoff time for us every game."

Tags: Ottawa Senators
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New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) makes a save as Philadelphia Flyers left wing Roman Lyubimov (13) looks for the rebound during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)
New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) makes a save as Philadelphia Flyers left wing Roman Lyubimov (13) looks for the rebound during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)

Thomas Greiss looks like a man on a mission to get his Islanders to the postseason.

Greiss made 34 saves in the Islanders' 3-1 victory over the Flyers on Thursday. Philadelphia's lone goal came on a first period power play.

"We were definitely a little hesitant in all three zones," captain John Tavares said of his team's performance early. "[But] Greisser was huge for us there, and we got the goal and everyone pulled their socks up."

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Thomas Greiss
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

It looks like Ryan Strome may have finally rediscovered his game.

Strome, who picked up the secondary assist on Anders Lee's first period goal on the power play Thursday night against the Flyers, now has points in five consecutive games (2-5-7). Strome, who was stationed at the right side of the Flyers net, took a feed from Josh Bailey and whistled a hard pass to John Tavares, who was stationed at the near circle. Tavares ripped a wrister that Lee was able to deflect home.

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

I had a sneaking suspicion that Strome's production might pick up after Weight took the reins, and the early returns are good...

Tags: Ryan Strome, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) celebrates his goal left wing Andrew Ladd (16) against the Philadelphia Flyers with during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)
New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) celebrates his goal left wing Andrew Ladd (16) against the Philadelphia Flyers with during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)

Andy Graziano, SNY.tv

After allowing five goals in three consecutive games against the Detroit Red Wings, Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs, you would not have been alone in not liking the Islanders chances too much heading into their own 'house of horrors' against a team they do not seem to match up well against, the Philadelphia Flyers.

In dropping the first two games of the season series and allowing over 80 shot attempts both times, New York fell to 33-77-11-6 lifetime in Philadelphia with one regulation win over their last 24 games in the city of brotherly love. But this is a team riding high in the confidence department lately with a remarkable turnaround from the first half of the season, and they put a halt on all the bad mojo in capturing a huge 3-1 victory.

Although they did allow another 80 shot attempts, 36 came in the opening twenty minutes of Flyers domination, where the Islanders were fortunate to come out of tied at one thanks to a power play goal by Anders Lee, as he deflected John Tavares' bullet snapper from the right wing faceoff circle to collect his 19th goal, pushing him to within one of his second 20-goal season and just six off his career high, set in 2014-15 over 76 games.

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano
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 (Matt Slocum (USA Today))
(Matt Slocum (USA Today))

The Islanders scored three unanswered goals to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-1, Thursday in Philadelphia. >> Read more


First period:

  • 12:07 PHI Wayne Simmonds (power play); Assists: Shayne Gostisbehere, Jakub Voracek
  • 16:40 NYI John Tavares (power play); Assists: Ryan Strome, Josh Bailey

Second period:

  • 2:13 NYI Jason Chimera; Assists: Andrew Ladd, Dennis Seidenberg

Third period

  • 1:21 NYI Casey Cizikas; Assists: Johnny Boychuk
Tags: Andrew Ladd, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Ryan Strome
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Feb 3, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (second from right) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring in the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)
Feb 3, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (second from right) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring in the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Osentoski)

The New York Islanders play the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.

  • The Flyers own an active five-game winning streak against the Islanders. It is Philadelphia's fourth-longest winning streak against New York all-time and longest since an eight-game stretch covering 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Tags: Brock Nelson
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New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) makes a blocker save against the Washington Capitals during the third period at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin)
New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) makes a blocker save against the Washington Capitals during the third period at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin)

Thomas Greiss will start in goal tonight for the Islanders' game against the Flyers, Doug Weight told reporters Thursday morning.

The Isles will use the same lineup as Monday's game, an exciting 6-5 overtime victory over Toronto.

Tags: Thomas Greiss
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 (Ron Chenoy)
(Ron Chenoy)

On Tuesday morning, the Boston Bruins fired Claude Julien, who helped lead the franchise to the 2011 Stanley Cup. Could he end up at the helm of the Islanders? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss…

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

It didn't take long after Claude Julien was dismissed on Tuesday before Islanders fans began to wonder if he could be a solution to the team's coaching search. What do you think, Andy. Is Julien a good fit?

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV

It seems that everyone has an opinion on the Islanders arena situation, but there is only one that offends me personally. It's one I'd like to dispel, and it's the idea that the Brooklyn experiment failed because Islanders fans just don't come out to support their team. That's ridiculous, and if there is any reason Barclays Center simply doesn't work for hockey, it has nothing to do with a lack of support for this organization.

Scott Soshnick, the reporter who broke the Bloomberg story about Barclays Center becoming anxious to end their shaky marriage with the Islanders, said on many radio interviews that fans simply haven't come out in the droves that the arena brass expected. Whether intended or not, that has led to a degree of blame placed on this fan base by some of the national media (who is not nearly qualified to talk about this situation based on their lack of familiarity with all of its intricacies) and fans of other teams.

But make no mistake: Islanders fans are not the problem in this equation.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

After a weekend that saw the Islanders collect only one of four possible points in losses to the Red Wings and Hurricanes, thoughts of a late-season playoff push were temporarily put on hold, especially with results around the league teaming up to go against them.

Then a welcome sight to Brooklyn entered the picture on Monday evening. The Maple Leafs came into the borough with a stable of talented, young, dynamic forwards in Zach Hyman, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and, of course, Auston Matthews. But this year, while the team rebuilds its core, defense is the sacrifice. Only Tampa Bay and Philadelphia have allowed more goals in the Eastern conference and to make matters worse for head coach Mike Babcock, Frederick Andersen didn't bring his A or B games, either.

The Islanders, who allowed 10 goals in the back-to-back 5-4 losses to Detroit and Carolina, continued their own inept play in the defensive zone, so what happened on the ice at Barclays Center was completely expected. An offensive explosion with defense worthy of an all-star game led to an exciting, but sloppy, 6-5 overtime win for New York, who have now allowed a whopping 15 goals over their past three games.

Tags: Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey, Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano
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