The NY Islanders Get Some Much Needed Help Across the League Tonight

Chicago Blackhawks v New York Islanders
Chicago Blackhawks v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The NY Islanders had the night off after taking possession of the second Wild Card spot last night with a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Though back in playoff position for the night, that spot was up for grabs tonight with the Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings in action.

Aside from chasing a Wild Card spot, the Isles are in the thick of the battle for third place in the Metropolitan Division with the Philadelphia Flyers, who were also taking the ice tonight. The two teams were tied in points heading into the night, but the Flyers hold the tie-breaker with more regulation wins.

Maybe it was the earthquake that rocked much of the Northeast today, but across the league, pucks bounced in the Islanders' favor thanks to some familiar foes.

There are very few instances where Islanders fans will be actively rooting for the NY Rangers, but tonight was one of those nights. In a back-and-forth game throughout the night, the Rangers bested the Red Wings 4-3 thanks to a Chris Kreider game-winning goal.

The Carolina Hurricanes have been a thorn in the Islanders' side in the playoffs in recent memory, but tonight they helped clear a path for the Islanders to reach the postseason. The 'Canes dominated the Caps all night but found themselves down 2-0 late into the second period. A Jake Guentzel goal got the 'Canes on the board and soon tied things up just past the midway mark of the third period. Sebastian Aho gave the 'Canes their first lead of the night on the power play with under two minutes remaining. An empty net goal sealed the deal for a 4-2 victory.

The Flyers have been struggling to secure points over the last two weeks, floundering through the final games of the season. Philly visited Buffalo tonight where the two exchanged blows for a period and a half before the Sabres climbed out to a 3-1. The Flyers pulled within a goal halfway through the third, but Jack Quinn's second goal of the game closed the door on the Flyers' night

With six games remaining, the Islanders sit in third place in the Metro Division, even on games with the Caps, Red Wings, and charging Pittsburgh Penguins, and have a game in hand on the Flyers. Taking two points from the Nashville Predators would give the Isles some breathing room in their playoff push, but a loss could see them back out of playoff position. They now control their own destiny and can see themselves playing deeper into April as long as they keep the numbers adding up in the win column.