New York Islanders Have A Chance To Earn Playoff Spot For First Time In Six Years

Casey Cizikas Flyers Islanders

Brad Penner – USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders got a signature win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night, which moved them into seventh place in the Eastern Conference and closer to a playoff berth. With eight games remaining, the Islanders offense has come alive, averaging nearly four goals per game in their last four wins. Evgeni Nabokov has been stellar in goal, allowing two goals or fewer in each of the Islanders last five outings.

The Islanders have thrived this season thanks to a high-scoring offense that has helped them over come some defensive shortcomings, but as of late their defense has stepped up as well. Their next two games will be critical for their playoff hopes, as they face the Boston Bruins on Thursday and the New York Rangers on Saturday. The Islanders currently hold a two point lead over the Rangers in the standings, and a win on Saturday would go a long way toward helping secure a playoff spot.

John Tavares and Matt Moulson each scored a goal in the win over the Flyers, as the Islanders top line continues to show it is one of the best in the league. Michael Grabner kept a hot streak going with his 13th goal of the season and second in the last two games. As has been the case often this season, the Islanders also got a goal from a depth player as Casey Cizikas’ sixth goal of the season (empty net) preserved the win.

The Islanders have won four straight games at home and have won seven of their last nine games. They are trying to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL senior writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JKatje or add him to you network on Google.

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