Last night in the NHL was the final day of regular season games and the two week break for the Olympics is here now. The NHL participants for the men’s hockey tournament will fly over to Sochi, Russia and represent their countries in the tournament that begins on Wednesday.
With Pittsburgh beating Ottawa 4 - 1 and Los Angeles beating San Jose 2 - 0 last night, The Checking Line: Isles Edition will take a look into the other two semifinal series. (Photo Credit: Torch Creative)
The Flyers routed the Canadiens on Monday, 7-3. Now they host the Rangers on the next day following a long flight from Montreal. Will they ride off the huge win or will they be too exhausted after a big win?
It was milestone night in Philadelphia, but unfortunately for them, the milestones all belonged to the Rangers.
On a night where three Rangers reached impressive plateaus, the Flyers hit rock bottom. They dropped an embarrassing loss to the Rangers, losing 5-2 to knock them down to 14th place in the Eastern Conference.
The win for New York was the 400th career win for their head coach, John Tortorella.
Derek Stepan had a tremendous game for the Rangers, putting up a dominating four-point night.
(Pictured: Rich Nash is defended by Ruslan Fedotenko. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
The stage was set for an emotional carry over into Saturday morning regardless of the outcome of Friday night's Islanders/Rangers game; a win for the Isles against their biggest rival and top team in the Eastern Conference would keep their playoff hopes alive, but a loss to their number one foe would have been a crushing blow to their confidence and chances.
Fortunately, the orange and blue would come on top with a 4-3 shootout victory with Matt Moulson netting the finally tally in the fourth round.
Tensions were high at the start of the game and Matt Martin decided to ease things up a bit by fighting Stu Bickel just over two minutes into the game. Both got their licks in before Martin swung and missed, falling to the ice to end the fight early. A fair draw would set the tone for how evenly the game would be played.
The Islanders are heading into the Big Apple to face their archrivals, the New York Rangers. Coming off back-to-back shootout wins (courtesy of Frans Neilsen and his patented forehand-backhand-top shelf move), the young Isles team is carrying a bit of momentum into the World’s Greatest Arena. They are playing with more confidence and finding ways to win hockey games.
This is a good thing. Because they will need every ounce of momentum, confidence, skill, (and maybe even a little luck) to leave Madison Square Garden with 2 points against the Rangers in tonight’s contest.
The Rangers (with 3 games in hand) are currently tied for 2nd in the Atlantic Division with the Pittsburgh Penguins, as they each have managed 42 points so far this season.
Preview: The New York Islanders return home to Nassau Coliseum to take on their all-time rival, the New York Rangers.
The Islanders are coming off a western road trip which saw them give up a 3 goal lead in an overtime loss to the Avalanche, and a clinic put on by the Canucks in a loss to Vancouver. The Islanders have played better hockey since changing up their offensive lines a few games ago, putting up more scoring chances more consistently. However, they haven’t been able to translate the better play into wins. A win tonight against the Rangers would mean even more than usual, as it would end a slide of losing efforts.