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Day 9: Back in the Metro

Friday, 01.17.2014 / 6:09 PM
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Road Trip Blog
Day 9: Back in the Metro

The Islanders wrap up one of the most successful road runs in team history Saturday, as they close out their six-game trip in Philadelphia. The Islanders tied a club record with 16 points in nine road games and, having already won four-of-five games on their current trip, are setting the pace in the suddenly-hot Metropolitan Division.

As positive as the trip has been, Saturday’s tilt in Philadelphia is the most important game of the road swing, as the Islanders face the second-place team in the Metro standings.

A win, or pair of wins, in the home-and-home set, which concludes Monday at 1 p.m., closes the gap dramatically. After the Flyers games, the Metro teams keep coming; the Islanders head back to Madison Square Garden for a date with the Rangers and then host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.

Playing outside the division has been a breeze for the Islanders, who are 9-1-0 in their last 10 against non-Metro teams. It’s been a different tale inside the division, but the Islanders have been a different team over the past few weeks since beating the Rangers on Dec. 20.

The Islanders are getting big contributions from first-year players Kevin Poulin, Calvin de Haan and Brock Nelson. Poulin has won six-of-seven appearances, de Haan had a career-best five-game point streak until last night and Nelson has scored timely goals during this run, including a game-tying goal Jan. 10 against Colorado.

The top line has been among the best in the league, as the trio of John Tavares, Thomas Vanek and Kyle Okposo have combined for 35 points over the past nine road games. Tavares (4g/8a) and Okposo (7g/5a) each have 12 points while Vanek has 11 (3g/8a) in that span.

Unlike the last time the Islanders landed in Philly, the Isles are one of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference, having won eight-of-10, as well as eight-of-nine on the road. It’s been a fun ride for the Islanders, but it’s time to bring that free-wheeling road attitude back to the gridlock of the Metropolitan.

***

The Islanders left Tampa Bay today at 2 p.m. and landed in Philadelphia around 4 p.m. The team did not practice today and has scheduled a morning skate for Saturday morning in Philly.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 47 27 12 8 143 120 62
6 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
7 WSH 47 24 14 9 140 124 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 47 22 24 -1 46
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 47 9 25 17 34
B. Nelson 47 15 15 6 30
F. Nielsen 47 9 17 5 26
J. Boychuk 37 4 20 17 24
J. Bailey 35 8 14 9 22
N. Leddy 47 7 14 15 21
N. Kulemin 47 11 9 1 20
A. Lee 41 13 5 8 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 26 9 0 .913 2.37
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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