Image Credit: NY Islanders

Image Credit: NY Islanders

New York – The New York Islanders, as a result of a tough 5-3 loss to Ottawa two nights ago, find themselves a .500 team once again.

It was the first of a four-game home stand. Normally this would be exciting news except that in this truncated season, the Islanders have found their home ice of little comfort. The Islanders record at the Nassau Coliseum is only a poor 5-9-2 as opposed to the road where they are 8-4-1.

The Islanders have a little more than a month to make a run at a playoff spot. They currently have 29 points and trail the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, and Carolina Panthers who are all tied with 32 points.

They have had an up and down season. However the effort has been there for the most part even if luck hasn’t. Yet they continue to plug away night after night.

Their opponents, the Montreal Canadiens are second in the Eastern Conference with a 19-5-5 mark with 43 points, three behind the leaders, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Montreal comes in with fresh memories of their last two encounters with the Islanders where they fell 4-3 in overtime on rookie Thomas Hickey’s goal in Montreal in April and on March 5 here where the Islanders won handily 6-3.

The key again in this game will be the power play, focused defensive effort for the full 60 minutes and John Tavares, who leads the team with 17 goals and 31 points. Matt Moulsen has excellent as well with 11 goals and 30 points. Also picking up his play has been defenseman Brad Boyes who has 8 goals but is third with 25 points, many of which have come in the last two weeks. Evgeni Nabokov has been very good but mistakes have undone a lot of his good work.

Montreal has been paced by left wing Max Pacioretty who leads the team in points with 23 and center Tomas Plekanec who has a team leading 12 goals. Carey Price has offered great play in goal to the tune of a 2.35 GAA. They are coming off a tough road loss to Buffalo Tuesday where they lost in overtime 3-2 which snapped a five game winning streak which began after they lost to the Islanders here in Nassau.

Can lightning strike thrice? The Islanders surely hope so.

About Luis Vásquez

A ten year veteran in the field of freelance writing and editing. Among the publications he has written for is Defining TrendsMagazine, and NYC Sporting News. He has served as Editor-in-Chief for Ultimate Athlete Magazine.

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