The New York Islanders and Anaheim Ducks were traveling the most dissimilar paths in the NHL for most of the last month. But the two teams will both carry winning streaks into action Sunday afternoon, when the Islanders host the Ducks at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.
The Islanders were off Saturday after earning their fourth straight win Friday night, a 2-0 victory over the visiting Washington Capitals. The Ducks will be completing a back-to-back Eastern Conference swing after edging the host New Jersey Devils, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon.
The win Friday was the 14th in the last 17 games dating back to Dec. 15 for the Islanders, who at least momentarily moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division by virtue of beating the Capitals. New York, which hasn't won a division title since the 1987-88 season, has been in first place this late in a season just twice since the 1990-91 campaign.
The Islanders weren't expected to occupy such exclusive real estate after missing the playoffs by 17 points last season and losing John Tavares via free agency to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
But they've vaulted into playoff contention thanks to new head coach Barry Trotz and new general manager Lou Lamoriello, who have shored up the league's worst defense -- New York allowed the most goals in the NHL last year (296) but will enter Sunday having allowed the fewest (119) thus far -- and changed the culture of the organization. >> Read More
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