Islanders help out Rangers, beat Penguins in home-and-home set

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The Pittsburgh Penguins seem primed for a tough first round matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers, but one could argue that they’re glad the New York Islanders won’t make the playoffs. The Isles landed two crushing blows on the Penguins’ Atlantic Division title hopes this week as they took another regulation win tonight by a score of 5-3.

That matches the 5-3 score from the Islanders’ road win against the Penguins on Tuesday, holding Pittsburgh to 100 standings points – five behind the just-as-hated New York Rangers.

Some Islanders fans will probably find it bittersweet, but considering the slugfest from 2010-11, it’s obvious that New York has no love for the Penguins. (Even if they don’t have the same inner-state rivalry going.)

Josh Bailey has been especially hot lately, factoring into all five Islanders goals with two tallies and three assists tonight. That gives him a staggering eight points in those two contests against Pittsburgh, extending his points streak to six games (four goals, 10 assists for 14 points) and giving the team something to look forward to in 2012-13.

On the bright side for the Penguins, it seemed that Sidney Crosby dodged a bullet by recovering quickly after taking a puck to the face. There might be some panic for the less patient in Pittsburgh, but that nice break highlights the fact that things could get much, much worse.