NEW YORK -- Two teams who hoped to spend the final few weeks of the season vying for playoff positioning will instead continue playing out the string Saturday night when the New York Islanders host the Chicago Blackhawks in a battle of last-place clubs at Barclays Center.
Both teams continued skidding Thursday night. The Islanders' frantic third-period comeback fell short in a 7-6 loss to the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning. The host Blackhawks were beaten 5-2 by the Vancouver Canucks.
The loss was the 12th in the last 14 games for the Islanders (31-33-10), who have fallen from a wild-card spot to the edge of official elimination during their 2-8-4 slump. New York's "tragic number" for elimination is six points. >> Read more
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