The New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Fllyers are both in unfamiliar situations coming into the final two games of the regular season. The visiting Isles managed to clinch their first playoff berth since 2007 with an overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night, while the Flyers sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference and are mathematically eliminated from any playoff contention for the first time since the same year.
It will be the fourth and final meeting between the two Atlantic Division rivals at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. After a brutal 7-0 home loss to Philly earlier in the season, the Islanders responded with a pair of wins to lead the season series 2-1.
Teams destined to miss the playoffs put on 60 minutes of hockey devoid of defense and chock full of a dominant performance by winger Wayne Simmonds in a 5-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.
18 shots in the first period for the Flyers proved the insignificant defensive pressure by the Hurricanes. In fact, Jakub Voracek almost scored within the first 10 seconds of the game forcing starter Justin Peters had to make a desperate save to keep the puck from crossing the goal line.
A battle of two teams out of the playoff picture happens tonight in Raleigh, NC. What will the storyline be? Will both teams play for pride? Steve Mason gets the start for the Flyers as they take on the Carolina Hurricanes.
The New York Islanders kick of their final stretch of games for the 2013 season against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. The Isles play their last 5 games of the lockout-shortened season away from Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders head in to Toronto 1-0-1 against the Maple Leafs this season. After a huge 7-4 win over the Leafs back in January, the Isles lost 5-4 in overtime against Toronto in February, where Nazeem Kadri tallied his first NHL hat-trick for the Leafs.
Looking to extend a two-game win streak, the New York Islanders began a 7-game home stretch on Sunday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. Unfortunately, the Isles gave up a two-goal lead and were defeated 4-2.
Already winning two games last season against the Canes, the Isles started backup goaltender Kevin Poulin in net. After waiving and ultimately sending Rick DiPietro down to the Bridgeport Soundtigers, the Isles called up Poulin to indefinitely serve as backup to Evgeni Nabakov.
The Islanders begin a 7 game home stand tonight when Carolina storms into the Nassau Coliseum. New York has found a way to get back to winning ways and packing their bags may have been the medicine for their losing ways.
Fans have been frustrated with the fact that the team has not played well at home this year. Their league worst 2-6-0 record at home supports the notion that they are simply not playing up to par in front of the home fans.
For whatever reason, the Islanders have played much better on the road and even in losing efforts they just come across as a stronger team. They are truly fortunate that they have found ways to beat great teams in their own buildings marking down a 6-3-1 record away from Long Island.
In trading the prospect Dec. 3 2009, fellow general managers Brian Burke and Jim Rutherford agreed 2006 first-round pick Jiri Tlusty would not thrive in Toronto.
VIA The Toronto Star:
"(Tlusty) is a player who has a better chance to flourish in a smaller market," Hurricanes general manager Rutherford said in 2009. "It takes a certain type of character to flourish in Toronto. Some guys like it, some guys don't. It's something (Burke) and I talked about when we were making this deal."
The Maple Leafs gave Tlusty little time to develop - trading the Czech forward before his 22nd birthday - having played 74 games for the buds over a span of three ...
The first seven games for the Tampa Bay Lightning were a scoring fest. The Bolts netted 37 goals and went 6-1. Over the last four games, three on the road, the Bolts have scored just six goals and lost all four contests.
Tampa Bay is now 6-5 and leads the Carolina Hurricanes and Winnipeg Jets by one point in the Southeastern Division.
The best thing that happened on the Bolts first extended road trip of the season was the cancellation of their game versus the Boston Bruins on Saturday night. (Steven Stamkos photograph/Susan Ferlita)
On Sunday night the New York Hagelins trounced the Lightning 5-1. Carl Hagelin had t...
After dropping their last four games, the Islanders will look to turn things around tonight when they face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes at home.
After dressing two suspended players, Josh Bailey and Lubomir Visnovsky, the Isles played a hard fought game against the Sabres on Saturday night. Despite outshooting Buffalo 43-15, the Isles fell short in a 3-2 loss, cementing a four-game losing streak. (Photo Credit: Beauty Playin 'Eh/Flickr)
After three games the Tampa Bay Lightning are 2-1 with four points and are first in the Southeast division. While it is all but impossible to glean much information from such a small sample of games, the Bolts are buying into Coach Guy Boucher’s platform and are showing signs of improvement on defense and in the net. "It’s going to be defense first. That’s our mindset, because we’ve got the offense," said Boucher. (Photo/Susan Ferlita)
Tampa Bay opened the season at home on Saturday night with a well earned 6-3 victory over division rival Washington. Martin St. Louis and Eric Brewer each scored two goa...