The New York Islanders extended their best home-winning streak this season to 4 on Tuesday night by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. The Isles, who are now 7-1-1 in their last 9 games, are now tied for 6th place in the Eastern Conference at 44 points with the Ottawa Senators.
After Michael Grabner scored the go-ahead goal towards the end the of second period, the Isles held their composure in another stellar third period effort to come out on top of the Atlantic Division's bottom club. (Photo Credit: IslesPunkFan/Flickr)
The Islanders face the Pittsburgh Penguins this afternoon for the 5th and final time this season. After winning the first matchup, the Isles fell to the Pens in the three following games.
The Islanders come into today's 1pm matinee game at Energy Consol Centre tied for 8th place in the Eastern Conference with the New York Rangers. Thanks to a huge shootout victory against the Flyers on Thursday night, New York is currently on their best win streak of the season at 3.
Being in the right place at the right time finally paid off for Scott Hartnell this season.
Hartnell made that his living last season when he scored a team-high 37 goals. This year, he has four goals in 17 games, and had only one in the 11 games leading into last night.
Last night, Hartnell scored twice, including the game-tying goal with 30 seconds left in the Flyers 4-3 shoot-out loss to the Islanders. He even dropped the mitts with Colin McDonald, who also had two of New York's goals.
(Pictured: Scott Hartnell is stopped by Evgeni Nabokov in the 3rd period. AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Failure to hold a lead once again did the Flyers in.
The Flyers blew a 2-0 lead in the final 21 minutes of the game to drop their fourth straight, losing 4-3 in a shootout. Though the Flyers managed to tie the game in the final minute of play, they overall blew an opportunity at two important points.
"I think once they came out, they had some power plays early, we gave them two power plays early and we gave them a little zone time, they scored a goal," head coach Peter Laviolette said. "It seemed like we stopped playing, but we stopped pressing offensively like we had been. It was like we were trying to defend that lead as opposed to getting the next goal."
With the Islanders fresh off of their biggest win of the year in DC, they moved towards Philadelphia with the 8th seed in sight. Their eyes were certainly on the scoreboard to see what the Rangers were doing in Ottawa.
However, they needed to take control and take care of business in Philly first. Two important points were on the line.
Playing in Philly has been nothing short of a nightmare in recent years for the orange and blue. So when the road Isles went down 2-0 early, no one could have expected a come back could be in the works.
But these Islanders have shown a lot of grit and persistence on the road. They battled back behind Colin McDonald's two goal party.
Ullstrom is most effective when he's skating hard and working the forecheck to create turnovers. When he is on, he's also a pest and easily gets under the skin of opponents, all the while playing a clean game.
When Ullstrom is doing these little things, that's when he is creating his best offense. Forcing turnovers and converting them to offense is the hallmark of the young Swede.