The Islanders will kick off 4-game home stand tonight when they take on the Ottawa Senators for the third and final time this season. After a difficult 3-1 loss to the Sens back in February, the Isles took the most recent matchup with a pair of stellar shootout goals by the likes of Frans Nielsen and John Tavares.
So far this month, the Isles are 5-1-1, which has currently placed them 3 points out of the 8th and last playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. The Isles have also improved on their dreadful home record, going 3-0-2 in their last 5 games at the Nassau Coliseum.
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.
Later this afternoon, the New York Islanders will take on the Ottawa Senators at the Nassau Coliseum. It will be the second of three meetings between the two Eastern Conference clubs.
Coming into the game with the worst home record in the NHL at 2-8-1, the Isles are looking to turn things around today against a team that has struggled to score but manages to stay afloat due to their stellar backup goaltenders.
As expected last night was a relatively tight match between two teams who had pretty similar stats going into the game. Twenty-one year old, Swede, Robin Lehner was called up from the AHL to hopefully repeat the shutout performance he had in Boston exactly one year before...but he was bested by Patrice Bergeron in overtime.
The first period saw the Bruins kill off their twenty-sixth straight penalty, their best PK record since 2009. The B's also outshot the Sens eleven to five and had twice as many face off wins in the first twenty minutes, despite heading into intermission scoreless.
As the Hawks try and make a run to stay in the playoff hunt in the Western Conference, potentially a new team has emerged. With injuries to key players and a necessity to change the course this team was headed on a new Blackhawks team has arisen like a Phoenix from the ashes.
This new team has a different look and a mixture of experience sprinkled in with raw youthful vigor, finesse seasoned with bit of grit. The one thing that remains constant is the teams speed. I’m not sure if this new team should be called the Ice Hawks or the Black Hogs with the new found energy and grit that Andrew Shaw, Jimmy Hayes and Brandon Bollig have given them. Oh yeah and that Oduya ...
Ah, the Ottawa Senators. Islanders fans would like to forget this past Monday's game against them. You remember...the matinee? Yeah, I want to forget, too.
The Ottawa Senators are probably one of the most underrated teams in the NHL right now. A team in which everyone thought could be one of the worst teams in the history of the NHL before the season started. But look at them now; They are in seventh place in the East and I'm convinced that they will make a huge playoff run.
While Kevin Poulin has been enjoying his deserved Pou-LIN-sanity awards and rewards his partner between the pipes Anders Nilsson has gone quietly about his job setting records of his own. On Saturday night he tied the Bridgeport Sound Tigers record for consecutive wins by a tender blocking 26 of the 28 shots he faced in a win over the Adirondack Phantoms. The next afternoon he broke the record previously held by Nate Lawson recording his eighth straight win. In this win over the perennial powerhouse Hershey Bears he allowed only one of the 21 shots he faced to cross the line. Not giving up a goal in overtime he went on to stop all 5 shots he faced in the shoot-out.
Yesterdays game was a rare one o’clock matinee and after playing Sat. at 7pm, Sun. at 3pm Anders picked up the first AHL shut out of his career stopping all twenty-six shots sent his way by the Albany Devils. Team record nine wins in a row for this Swedish behemoth, who looks like a transformer when fully dressed.