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)
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.
The New York Islanders kick off their first road trip of the season tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. It will be the first of three meetings between the two teams during the shortened 48-game season.
With healthy head coach Jack Capuano back behind the bench, the Isles came out on Monday afternoon with confidence and agility. They look to keep the momentum going tonight and pick up another two points. (Photo Credit: gbalogh/Flickr)
On the same sheet of ice their season ended last April, the Penguins beat the Flyers 3-1 in the opening game of the NHL’s 2012-2013 season.
Fans tuning in to see the same post-whistle fireworks were in for a surprise, though – both teams shied away from the scrums and all out brawls that filled their first round playoff series 9 months ago.
And all the offense? Also almost non-existent.
Though, at the beginning, the Pens looked like they were about to pick up right where that playoff series left off. On their first powerplay opportunity of the season, the 2nd unit cashed in when a Paul Martin slapper found its way past a helpless Ilya...
The NHL is back, and there is no better way to celebrate the return of hockey in Pennsylvania than to have its two bitter rivals battle in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will travel to Philadelphia for a 3PM show down at the Wells Fargo Center. The arena will be filled to capacity with nearly 20,000 orange-and-black-clad Flyers fans, with a little yellow sprinkled in the mix.
The 2013 NHL season is no longer an 82 game marathon, but instead is a 48 game dash to the finish line.
Will teams that had multiple players skating in Europe fair better? Will veteran squads win because they will have fresh legs all season long? Only the next few months will tell.
Here are my Eastern Conference power rankings.
1. Pittsburgh Penguins – A healthyEvgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will lead Pittsburgh deep into the Stanley Cup playoffs. The addition of veteran goalie Tomas Vokoun gives Coach Dan Bylsma a solid option if Marc-Andre Fleury falters.