Believe it: Islanders beat the Bruins, inch closer to playoff berth


Only seven games remain in the regular season for the New York Islanders. Over the past few years, this would’ve meant playing out the schedule, prepping for a top pick in the draft and dusting off the golf clubs.

That’s not the case in 2013. The Islanders, playing on the road, held on for a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

The Islanders, who haven’t made the playoffs since 2007, remain seventh in the Eastern Conference standings, still two points ahead of the New York Rangers. The Islanders are currently riding a three-game winning streak and have an 8-1-1 record over their last 10 games.

Only the Washington Capitals are hotter right now in the East.

“They’re believing in one another, they’re believing in the system, and they’re playing hard,” Islanders head coach Jack Capuano told

“At this time of year, I think teams that work extremely hard and win their battles – elevate their battle level and win their battles – have a good chance to win the game, and that’s what we’re doing.”

But can the Islanders keep this up?

There are two things to consider:

1) Five of the Islanders’ remaining seven games are on the road, beginning next Thursday in Toronto, then west to Winnipeg, south to Carolina, and then back up north to Philadelphia and Buffalo. They’ll play five games over an eight-day stretch.

2) Of their next seven games, only two of those are against teams currently in a playoff position.


Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.