By virtue of the quirky way the NHL decides tie games — with a skills competition that rewards the team that loses — both the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals have completed a steady climb into playoff position.
With a little more than three weeks left in the lockout-shortened regular season, the New York Islanders are in an unexpected position — fighting for their first playoff berth since 2006-07.
Fighting for a playoff spot, the New York Islanders could ill afford to waste a two-goal lead to start a crucial four-game trip. Thanks to John Tavares, they didn’t.
Tomas Vokoun was sharp in making 33 saves, and Brandon Sutter snapped a tie early in the third period for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who rallied for a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders that stretched their winning streak to 11 games on Friday night.
Sergei Gonchar scored with 1 minute left for the Ottawa Senators, who netted four goals in the third period and rallied to beat the New York Islanders 5-3 on Tuesday night.
John Tavares led the way with two power play goals in the Isles 5-2 victory over the Caps.
Nazem Kadri was remarkably calm for a player who scored his first career hat trick. He was more excited that the Maple Leafs forged an overtime win on the road.
The Sabres and the New York Islanders both agreed that Ryan Miller stole two points for Buffalo.
So here we are, in the midst of a very short training camp, one whole week for teams to get ready for a 48-game sprint to the playoffs. It’s crazy if you think about it. It’s even crazier if you play for the Islanders.
Sidney Crosby left briefly in the second period after being bloodied when he was struck in the face with the puck, but his return wasn’t enough for the slumping Pittsburgh Penguins, who were beaten again by the New York Islanders, 5-3 on Thursday night.
Frans Nielsen scored twice and the New York Islanders won in Pittsburgh for the first time in more than four years with a 5-3 victory over the Penguins on Tuesday night.
Josh Bailey scored the overtime winner as the Islanders defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 3-1 on Saturday night.
John Tavares tipped in Matt Moulson’s shot for the late tiebreaking goal, Evgeni Nabokov stopped 32 shots, and the New York Islanders snapped a five-game, road-losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
Matt Read scored twice and Jaromir Jagr had the go-ahead goal to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Alex Ovechkin scored at 1:35 of overtime after Troy Brouwer tallied twice in the final 3 1-2 minutes of regulation, giving the Washington Capitals an improbable 3-2 win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.