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Islanders ‘playing to win’ these days

Apr 10, 2013, 12:56 AM EDT

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders Getty Images

Members of the New York Islanders will wake up Wednesday morning in seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Islanders’ 44 points ties them with the sixth-place Ottawa Senators, who have lost five games in a row, however the Senators hold the tiebreaker with fewer games played to date.

The Islanders, now two points ahead of the New York Rangers, haven’t made the playoffs since the 2006-07 season, but they got one step closer to changing that with a 4-1 win over the fading Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

“We played like we wanted it more – I think that’s why we got the two points,” Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov told

“Everything is positive right now, but you can’t get carried away because you know that it’s such a fight for the playoffs with eight games left. You can find yourself very quickly the other way. You just want to keep the focus and intensity at the same level, win or lose.”

It’s been nothing more than a simple change in philosophy from the Islanders. They are no longer a running joke in the NHL. They’ve gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and in the thick of a playoff race.

We’re not playing to lose, we’re playing to win,” Islanders forward Kyle Okposo told Newsday Long Island.

“That’s a big change around here. We’ve got a ton of confidence right now.”

  1. kitshky - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    So. Stoked.

  2. 19to77 - Apr 10, 2013 at 3:10 AM

    Leafs almost a lock for the playoffs, Isles looking likely with only 8 games left. Even the Blue Jackets are fighting to the last game for the bottom seeds. I am going to freaking love this postseason.

  3. sdelmonte - Apr 10, 2013 at 6:51 AM

    Oh how long I have waited for this!

  4. islesjb - Apr 10, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    This is by far the most I’ve enjoyed watching the Islanders in the longest time. Winning consistently is awesome. I’m praying I get to see some playoff hockey this year.

    • barkar942 - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      And deservedly so for all of you Islander fans. I am a Ranger fan and have been watching the tremendous youth core mature. You have a real good future coming in the next few years.

      • islesjb - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        Appreciate. Happy to see the Isles-Rangers rivalry reigniting

  5. lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Welcome back, Islanders :)

  6. jpelle82 - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    great work, good to see. i like this story as a pens fan, i hope this game last night buried the flyers for good this season. islanders are on the uptick generally speaking, would be impressed if they can win more than 2 in a row leading into the playoffs…which i think they’ve only done once so far this year. a caps-islanders series in the first round would be fun to watch at 3 vs 6 as they have had some good games this year.

    • bcisleman - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      Good chance they will play either the Caps or Jets in 6th or the Habs in 7th. Any of those first round matchups favor them.

      • jl9830 - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        Ok, come on. You can’t say they’d be favored against Montreal, who is #2 in the conference right now. I know we won two against their one in head-to-head, but that does NOT mean that matchup favors us. Even Washington is as good or better overall and would have home-ice.

        As an Islanders fan, I would love a 3-6 match-up, or a 2-7 matchup. But you can’t really say the Islanders would be favored in any 2-7 series. Maybe the 3-6, but definitely not the 2-7.

  7. withseidelinn - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    The Sens could actually fall out of the race pretty easily with losing 5 in a row. Continued strong play from the Islanders could throw the Sens right into that 8/9/10 spot if they don’t pick up their play. Would be interesting to watch for sure!

  8. tuberippin - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    We want play-offs!!!

  9. hockeywithdrawal - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Doesn’t hurt that JT is currently third in goals, two behind Ovi and Stamkos…hopefully that guy will get some of the respect he deserves when the dust settles.

    • jpelle82 - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:43 PM

      boston, ott, pitt, toronto, mtl have effectively kept tavares in check with only 3 goals total against those teams in those 15 games. gonna have to step up the compete level against competitive teams before i start giving him any due credit. i will say this, he has very good numbers against the caps last 2 years, if the islanders keep surging and face them in the 1st round it will be an interesting series.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:57 PM

        Oh good lord man we don’t want to see them in the 1st round…Crosby has yet to play the Islanders without taking a puck to the face! I’m getting some baaaaaadddd juju from that match-up haha.

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