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

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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 NHL.com.

“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.