New York Islanders Move within One Game of Eastern Conference Finals

Brock Nelson, New York Islanders. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Brock Nelson, New York Islanders. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The New York Islanders have been on fire since the NHL got back underway, and now they’re only one game away from getting to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The New York Islanders haven’t been to the Eastern Conference Finals since the 1993 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and now they’re just one game away from getting right back to that stage.

Since those 1993 playoffs when the Islanders lost to the Montreal Canadiens in five games, they have won only three playoff series’ (not including this year’s qualifying round), and they hold a record of 27-40.

This being said, the Islanders haven’t exactly been great over the past nearly three decades, but now they have an incredible opportunity to turn that all around.

After game three was postponed until Saturday night due to ongoing protests of racial inequality, the Islanders were forced to play a back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday. With that, Barry Trotz subbed out Semyon Varlamov for Thomas Greiss on Sunday night, and it would turn out to be a good move.

Greiss had seen the ice only once in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, in game two against the Flyers when Varlamov let up three goals in the first period, putting New York behind 3-0 with more than two periods of hockey to go.

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That being said, nobody was quite sure how Greiss would fare on Sunday night without much ice time recently, but he would be just as impressive as he was in game two. Greiss faced 38 shots and recorded saves on 36 of them with one of the other two goals coming while the Islanders were down a man.

Greiss was very impressive for the Islanders and was a huge reason why they would go onto win 3-2, and he was the third star because of it.

However, the Islanders were good all-around on Sunday night as Brock Nelson collected two goals, Josh Bailey collected two assists, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau collected a goal as well, giving the Islanders a 3-2 win, going up 3-1 in the series.

The Islanders have outscored the Flyers 13-7 through four games, and have now won six of the seven matchups against Philadelphia this season between the regular season and playoffs.

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The Islanders will have the opportunity to move onto the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in nearly 30 years on Tuesday, September 1st, as they look to send the top seed in the East, back to Philadelphia.