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3 keys to Islanders' success

Jaroslav Halak of the Islanders makes the first-period

Jaroslav Halak of the Islanders makes the first-period save against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on Oct. 2, 2014 in Newark. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Bruce Bennett

Goaltending

Jaroslav Halak and Chad Johnson have won elsewhere and their presence has given the rest of the Islanders confidence. Now they could do with strong starts in goal.

Protecting leads

No one was worse at holding third-period leads in the NHL than the Isles last season (15-6-6 when leading after two), and the Isles coughed up 15 two-goal leads (2-6-7 in those games). Team defense has to be better throughout the game and especially with the lead.

A healthy captain

John Tavares was on a personal-best scoring pace when his season ended in Sochi. He's not injury prone and it goes without saying the Isles need Tavares for the full slate. We'll say it anyway.

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