Islanders Insight’s Top Shelf: 3/8/16

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Oct 18, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) defends the net on a shot by New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, the New York Islanders return to Barclays Center for the first time in 19 days. Since they last played there (a 3-2 overtime loss to the league-leading Washington Capitals on February 18th), Jack Capuano’s team completed one of the most successful Western Conference road trips in the organization’s history.

After winning six out of seven games, including Sunday night’s at Madison Square Garden, the Islanders remain in third-place of the Metropolitan division, three points behind the New York Rangers, and three points ahead of tonight’s opponent, the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, fortunately for the orange and blue, they have three games-in-hand on their cross-town rivals, and two games-in-hand on the Penguins.

That the Islanders earned 12 out of a possible 14 points, including a four-point swing with the Rangers, but still remain in the same position in the standings underscores the remarkable parity and difficulty of their division. With their rivals playing as well as they are, any team that falters, even slightly, can find themselves on the outside looking in quickly. Tonight, with another potential four-point swing game, the Islanders have a chance to put the Penguins in that position.

Islanders Links:

Islanders Insight takes a look at what the team has in store this week

Jack Capuano’s hunch paid off handsomely against the Rangers

NHL Links:

The NHL has reportedly excluded Quebec City from their expansion plans (French)

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