It's been a whirlwind of emotions for the NY Islanders and the Toronto Maple Leafs this season as the two faceoff against one another tonight at UBS Arena.
The Isles have taken points in 11 of their last 12 games, giving them 31 points on the year. The Leafs are just shy of the Isles streak, taking points in 10 of their last 11, giving them 32 points on the season.
The two clubs have gone to overtime more than any other teams in the NHL this season, as the Leafs have played extra hockey 11 times to the Islanders 10. While 3 on 3 and the shootout have not been friendly to the Isles, snatching victory just three times, the Leafs have made the extra stanza a strength of theirs, taking home both points seven times in 11 opportunities.
The Isles' flurry of OT games could have been avoided if able to hold third period leads. Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings, the Isles flipped the narrative, putting a comeback of their own together, heading into the third period trailing by two goals only to walk out with a 3-2 OT victory.
Mat Barzal has been the catalyst for the Isles in their recent run of success, contributing 19 points (7 goals, 12 assists) since the streak began in Edmonton on Nov. 13. On the other hand, William Nylander has been the Leafs' top performer, putting together his best season as a pro with his contract set to expire at seasons end. Nylander's 14 points lead the way for the Leafs during their streak, as the Swedish forward now has 32 points through 24 games.
Aside from carrying momentum into the holiday season, former Islanders' captain John Tavares has an opportunity to record his 1,000th point tonight. The Isles surely don't want to give him that satisfaction tonight, as they typically play their best against the former top overall selection.