As noted by Kevin earlier, the Islanders finally had the full complement of their lineup (mostly) for the first time this season.  Josh Bailey and hockey's most famous case of tardiness, Lubomir Visnovsky, saw their first action. Bailey manned the left wing on a line with Casey Cizikas and Matt Martin (who was moved to RW) and Visnovski was paired with steady Brian Strait.  Of note also was the healthy scratching of Sabres' defenseman Tyler Myers (of Josh Bailey's draft class) for ineffective play.

The addition of Visnovsky meant that Mark Streit was paired with Thomas Hickey and the Andrew MacDonald and Travis Hamonic shutdown pair remained intact (with Matt Carkner apparently still ailing).  Boulton, Reasoner and Finley were the healthy scratches.

Curious was the absence of "grit" from the lineup in a game that boasted notable pests Steve Ott and Patrick Kaleta (who returned after a five game injury absence).

The Isles had a noticeable jump in their giddyup, but despite that, they gave up the games first goal again despite limiting Buffalo to three shots in the first half of the period.  The Isles were soft in front of their net when Andrew MacDonald followed Jordan Leopold behind vacating his area and the rest of the three Islanders in the vicinity failed to rotate over to cover the white hot Thomas Vanek.

John Tavares would get the equalizer with under a minute to go in the first when he followed the rebound of a Brian Strait point shot and banged it in to the vacant left side of Ryan Miller.  It was a period the Isles dominated (close score notwithstanding) to the tune of 15-4 in shots on goal. (And Buffalo blocking an additional 11).

The second followed virtually the same script as the first.  The Sabres took the lead back while being dominated for large stretches in shots and possession.  David Ullstrom was the culprit on the play failing to pick up former Islander denier Christian Ehrhoff as Buffalo gained the Isles zone 3 on 3.  Ehrhoff walked in alone on Nabokov and buried a wrister.

The Isles got the late equalizer from the unlikely Colin McDonald for his first as an Islander and his second career tally.  The play again started with Brian Strait getting a shot toward the net that Casey Cizikas retrieved and placed into the slot.

The goaltenders made some quality saves in the period and the Islanders power play with Lubomir Visnovsky moved the puck very well.  That said, the Isles should not be allowing teams to hang around for this long in games they are dominating. The shots through two were 29-11 Islanders.  A recipe for success to be sure, but conversion is the key.

In the third, the Sabres continued the trend of scoring first when Alexander Sulzer fired a puck through Nabokov who got a piece of it and may have been screened.  Again, there was traffic in the area (in the form of Mikhail Grigorenko) that couldn't be moved by Keith Aucoin. 

The Islanders had their opportunities for the equalizer. In particular, Matt Moulson had a sequence where he fired about six shots and was thwarted by about three blocks and two great saves. John Tavares hit a post on a breakaway wrist shot and was granted a penalty shot on another breakaway where he rang the post on the backhand. Brad Boyes took a late hooking penalty (18:40) that helped to squash any hope of a late comeback. Somehow, they applied some pressure with the goaltender pulled, but this time, they ran out of time.

There were positive signs to take away from this game despite the loss.  The play of Lubomir Visnovsky and Josh Bailey was promising and the Isles generated pressure from all of their forward lines (with the second line being the least effective in that aspect).  The defense was mobile and effective moving the puck out of the zone, but struggled clearing the front of the net.  The unfortunate part of tonight was that when the Isles made their mistakes, they were big ones...and the Sabres capitalized.  43 shots is generally going to get you some goals.  They need to bring that every night.

Noticings:

  • I said on twitter that maybe Josh Bailey should be promoted to the top line. He finished with 7 shots in just under 13 minutes on the 4th line.  But really, it may be better to keep him on another line if he can contiue to be that productive.  The Isles need to generate pressure from spots other than the 1st line.
  • David Ullstrom had the gaffe on the Ehrhoff goal, but he was very effective otherwise and in most games this season.  A look at the zone entry project via Lighthouse Hockey (by Garik16) shows how effective he has been gaining the offensive zone.  It's worth a look.  It needs improvement across the board.
  • I'm officially on the Lubo bandwagon. The guy was poised, decisive, instinctive and effective out there...particularly on the power play.  He was able to get shots toward the net and drive play to the middle and get people the puck in good spaces.  He looked like our best defenseman tonight.
  • This is the best Islander lineup that's been fielded this season.  I hope they give it a chance to gel a little bit.
  • Evgeni Nabokov is struggling, but who knows if the alternative is going to be any better.  This is a run of games where the Isles outplayed the opposition and still lost.  He needs to be better.
  • I just don't know what to say about Kyle Okposo's play.  It's like the puck is allergic to him.
  • Brian Strait had two assists as Visnovsky's partner tonight.  Small sample of course, but that's interesting.  He is now tied for the team lead in assists for defensemen with three.
Next game is Monday 2/11 at NVMC 7pm against the Carolina Hurricanes.  Ten days without power should be motivation enough to beat those guys.  Perhaps I should try to start an anti-hurricane promotion.
Tags: Islanders, News, Editorial Aside

Feb 25, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Islanders center Bracken Kearns (38) is checked by Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Markus Nutivaara (65) in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 25, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Islanders center Bracken Kearns (38) is checked by Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Markus Nutivaara (65) in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Islanders have returned forward Bracken Kearns on loan to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the team announced. 

Kearns suited up in the last two games for the Islanders and recorded two penalty minutes and three shots on goal. 

The 35-year-old forward has 18 goals and 40 points in the AHL this season.

Injured forwards Cal Clutterbuck and Shane Prince are expected to skate Monday, head coach Doug Weight said Saturday.


 (Paul Vernon/AP)
(Paul Vernon/AP)

The Blue Jackets scored three times in the first period and never looked back, scoring more four times en route to a 7-0 shutout victory over the Islanders at Nationwide Arena on Saturday.

Josh Johnson and Nick Foligno scored two goals apiece to lead the Blue Jackets. With the loss, the Islanders snapped a three-game winning streak. >>Read More 

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Feb 23, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Islanders forward John Tavares (91) plays the puck during the first period against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Islanders forward John Tavares (91) plays the puck during the first period against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Islanders continue their lengthy road trip with a game against the Blue Jackets at 5 p.m.

According to STATS:

  • The Islanders beat the Canadiens, 3-0, in Montreal on Thursday, their third consecutive win. Since Doug Weight took over as head coach on January 17, New York is 12-4-2 -- only Washington (11-3-1) and Chicago (11-4-0) have better records in that span.
  • The Blue Jackets lost to the Predators, 4-3, in Columbus on Sunday before going into their bye week. The loss snapped a two-game win streak, and was the first time in their last seven games they had allowed over three goals.
Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets
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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)

Goaltender Thomas Greiss will be in net for the Islanders against the Blue Jackets on Saturday night, head coach Doug Weight told reporters. 

Weight also said he will use the same lineup as he did on Thursday against Montreal, which means Stephen Gionta and Bracken Kearns will suit up at forward in place of Cal Clutterbuck and Shane Prince. 

Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets, Thomas Greiss
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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)

Snow seems to be all in, with sources telling SNY that he's been given the green light by owner Jonathan Ledecky, to do what he deems necessary to add to an Islanders roster teeming with confidence right now.

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 (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
(Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Knicks owner James Dolan, the owners of the Mets, and others are interested in investing in a potential new arena for the Islanders just outside Queens, according to Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg.

The new arena would be near the Belmont site in Elmont, New York.

Soshnick notes that NHL rules allow the owner of one team to have a stake in another club's arena.

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New York Islanders interim head coach Doug Weight coaches against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders interim head coach Doug Weight coaches against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Not many thought it was possible just a month ago, but the New York Islanders are in control of their collective postseason fate.

With the Islanders' 3-0 victory in Montreal, New York remained in possession of the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. While the Islanders and Bruins both have 68 points, the Islanders have the eight spot because they have a game in hand on the Bruins. However, Boston has one more regulation or overtime win (29 to the Isles' 28), which is the first head-to-head tiebreaker.

"It's a validation," Doug Weight told reporters after the game. "To be in control of that spot, even with so many games left, and win one - it's us getting over the hump a bit, because we've had chances to jump into that spot before and not done it."

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New York Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier (72) reacts with teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at the Bell Centre. (Eric Bolte)
New York Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier (72) reacts with teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at the Bell Centre. (Eric Bolte)

Andy Graziano, SNY.tv

The climb continues, and if you believe in fairy tales and the stuff dreams are made of, the story written on the ice in Montreal Thursday evening had the perfect ending. 

Anthony Beauvillier, the Islanders 19-year old rookie forward who made the team, to some measure of surprise, out of training camp, played for the first time as a professional in his hometown in front of 50 family and friends.

The night started for Beauvillier with a 'gift' from his teammates, as they sent him out for pre-game warmups alone, without following him onto the ice. It's an old gag reserved for when the team wants to shift the attention to one singular player in hopes of showcasing him….or embarrassing him. 

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Shane Prince, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) skates during the warmup period before the game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. (Eric Bolte)
New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) skates during the warmup period before the game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. (Eric Bolte)

Thomas Greiss made 24 saves to notch his third shutout of the season and Anthony Beauvillier scored in his first-ever game in his hometown as the Islanders blanked the Montreal Canadiens, 3-0, on Thursday night at the Bell Centre. >> Read more


First period:

  • 5:28 NYI Anthony Beauvillier; Assists: Brock Nelson, Nick Leddy

Second period:

  • 5:58 NYI Anders Lee; Assists: Josh BaileyJohn Tavares

Third period:

  • 19:01 NYI John Tavares (empty net); Assists: Josh BaileyBrock Nelson
Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Nick Leddy, Thomas Greiss
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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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