It’s nearly over.
After tomorrow’s game in St. Louis, the New York Islanders can finally head home.
The Isles played their eighth straight road game last night in Vancouver, where they beat the Canucks, 4-3, in overtime. With the win, they improved to 5-2-1 in those eight games. Even if they lose to the Blues, the lengthy stretch away from Brooklyn — which was split into one three-game trip, and another six-game trip — can be deemed a success.
Granted, it was not a very impressive performance against the lowly Canucks, who ended up outshooting the Isles, 39-28. A goal by Vancouver rookie Troy Stecher sent the game to overtime with 19.3 seconds left.
“It wasn’t a great game,” captain John Tavares told reporters. “They came out hard. They’re playing desperate and threw everything at us. We did a good job of giving ourselves an opportunity to win. Unfortunate to give up one late, but good perseverance overcoming the way we played today and getting a big goal in overtime.”
With the two points, the Isles stayed just ahead of Toronto for the second wild-card spot in the East. The Maple Leafs had temporarily moved into that wild-card spot with a win over the Flyers.
“There’s going to be games every night when teams are going to win that are right around us,” said the Isles’ overtime hero, Andrew Ladd, per Newsday. “We just have to keep winning games. We know what’s ahead of us.”
In a slightly cruel twist, the Isles only return home for one game, Monday against the Hurricanes. Then they have to get right back on a plane to play the next night in Carolina.
After that, they get to go home again.