Jan 21, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Islanders centerJohn Tavares
(91) passes the puck to New York Islanders left wingMatt Martin
(not pictured) for a goal against the New York Rangers during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Islanders are well on their way to replicating their late-season success from the lockout-truncated 2012-13 NHL season. Because just when you think you’re out, they pull you right back in.
It seems that when fans, media, and other teams discount the Isles, the team plays its best hockey. Just ask the people who braved Tuesday night’s blizzard conditions to watch them beat their crosstown rivals, the New York Rangers.
The Rangers’ Rick Nash put his team ahead 2-0 before 12 minutes were gone in the first period, but the Islanders fought back with the type of play characteristic of their recent road success.
Not only is Tavares chasing Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby for the scoring lead, but the Isles are starting to chase the final Eastern Conference wild card spot. And while their upcoming schedule isn’t getting any easier—Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Boston, the Rangers, and the Rangers again are the opponents in succession—the Islanders wouldn’t have it any other way.
All that early season losing? Maybe Tavares should’ve told the fans, “Don’t get used to it.”
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Across The Sound
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (15-22-1-4) are coming off a 5-1 home win against the Hartford Wolf Pack in which John Persson led the way with a goal and two assists. Also chipping in with a goal was former Islander Pierre-Marc Bouchard; Parker Milner recorded 31 saves to earn the victory.
The Sound Tigers’ next game is Friday Jan. 24 against the Portland Pirates, the team currently sitting one spot above Bridgeport in the Eastern Conference standings.
As always, thanks for reading Eyes On Isles. Keep it right here for all your New York Islanders news, notes, commentary, and analysis.