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Islanders not putting their focus on historic point streak

The Islanders' Ryan Pulock (top) celebrates with teammates

The Islanders' Ryan Pulock (top) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the third period of a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. Credit: AP/Gene J. Puskar

This is not fake news.

The Islanders do have a 14-0-1 streak since Oct. 12, matching the franchise record of earning at least one point in 15 straight games. They do have a chance to set a new club mark when they conclude a home-and-home series with the Penguins on Thursday night at Barclays Center. They did keep the streak alive with a 5-4 overtime win at Pittsburgh on Tuesday night after twice rallying from two-goal deficits.

The historic streak is not a media creation, no matter what Islanders coach Barry Trotz says.

“The funny thing is, the only ones that are talking about it is the media,” Trotz said after Tuesday’s win, in which his team was far from its best yet prevailed with two goals in the final 4:19 of regulation. “With all true honesty, we wouldn’t even know. Our team would have no clue if we won 10 in a row, or five in a row. We would just know we hadn’t lost in a while. That’s really been our mentality. But the media seems to keep bringing it up so we’re understanding the numbers now.”

The Islanders, who were off on Wednesday, also rallied from a three-goal deficit in the third period for a 4-3 shootout win at Philadelphia on Saturday night.

Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the Islanders are the first team in NHL history to win back-to-back games after trailing by multiple goals in the last seven minutes of the third period in each game.

“The mentality has been just look at the next game,” Trotz said. “We’ve got to be better the next game because we weren’t really good [at Pittsburgh].”

“Within our group, we deal really well with the pressure,” added left wing Anthony Beauvillier, who had a goal against the Penguins to give him five over a three-game stretch. “We keep the things that we don’t really need outside of the group. That’s how we had success last year. There were a lot of surroundings about what happened July 1 [John Tavares bolted via free agency for the Maple Leafs] and doubters that doubted us. We’re doing a really good job keeping things we don’t need out of the room.”

Still, to set the franchise record on Thursday, the Islanders will have to be significantly better than they were on Tuesday. The Islanders played too loose with the puck at times and, except for brief stretches, were not able to maintain sustained pressure in the offensive zone.

But they were resilient when it mattered most.

And matching the franchise record set with a club record 15-game winning streak from Jan. 21 to Feb. 20, 1982 by team in the midst of winning four straight Stanley Cups is significant.

Even if these Islanders aren’t focused on that now.

“Maybe we’ll look back at it,” Trotz said. “The teams they’ve had in the past, they’re legendary teams. So, I don’t know if it means anything right now because we’re so focused on the next game and then just the season. But I think when you look back, when you’re done, you’ll say, ‘Hey, remember that streak we had?' "

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