All of a sudden, the New York Islanders are legitimately creeping back into playoff contention. A win on President's Day would be another huge step toward postseason play.
New York sits six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference heading into today's home tilt against Ottawa. The Islanders have been hot of late, 6-3-1 in their last 10 and are coming off a 4-3 victory over Carolina.
Ottawa hasn't played since Wednesday, when they dispatched Florida 6-2 at home. The Ottawa Senators are currently holding down the seventh seed, 10 points ahead of the Isles but having played two more games than them.
Something to keep an eye on is whether New York can get some offense going against Ottawa's 28th ranked defense. The Islanders have been brutal on the attack but need the trio of John Tavares, P.A. Parenteau and Matt Moulson to come up big down the stretch.
New York needs to take advantage of non-division games, considering how tough the Atlantic is. If the Islanders do make the playoffs, it will likely be as a last place team in their own division.
New York will be looking to get over the .500 mark for the first time since they were 3-2-0.
These two teams will meet again on Sunday in Ottawa. Today will set the tone going forward.
Game Time: 1:00 p.m. ET