It took a dramatic finish, but the New York Islanders finally won a game on home ice during a Sunday matinee game, defeating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in the shootout.
The Islanders got on the board early in the game when Brad Boyes scored his fifth of the year, beating Robin Lehner glove side under the crossbar. The play started when Matt Moulson received a pass from Mark Streit at the Senators blue line and fed Boyes the puck as he was flying up the slot.
Not long after Boyes' goal, Matt Martin was found banging bodies all over the ice. In fact Martin had 6 hits in just over 3 minutes of play during the first period. Senators enforcer Chris Neil took exception to Martin's physical play and challenged him to a fight, but Martin ignored his request and continued to take out Senators along the wall.
He finished with 11 hits on the night. Coming into the game, Martin was just one shy of tying Buffalo Sabres forward Steve Ott for the league lead of 94 hits.
The Ottawa Senators have beaten the New York Rangers in three out of the four games the teams have played this year, which bodes well for the Senators in their first-round playoff match up. This record is a huge improvement over the Senators' record against the Boston Bruins, in which they lost five of six games, so it is great news the Senators are not squaring off against the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Senators have scored 15 goals against the Eastern Conference champions, and only allowed eight goals. Many people have written off Ottawa in the playoffs. The easy money is against the Senators, even with their impressive record against the Rangers. The...