WHO WILL THEY PLAY?
Even with only two games left in the season, the Isles still could finish anywhere from fifth to eighth and could play one of four teams in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals:
Isles' record this season: 1-4-0
Pittsburgh is locked into the top seed in the East despite losing Sidney Crosby to a broken jaw, suffered the last time the Isles visited on March 30. He is back skating and appears on track to return for the postseason, not that the Pens have missed him terribly, with their 35-11-0 record.
Isles' record: 1-2-0
Boston has been its usual dominant self at times this season, though the Isles eked out a 2-1 win in Boston two weeks ago. Tuukka Rask has been among the best goaltenders in the league and the Bruins, like most teams in the condensed season, have overcome injuries to key players. They also have Islander-killer Jaromir Jagr after a deadline deal.
Isles' record: 2-0-1
Alex Ovechkin turned off the cruise control about 15 games ago and his squad, under first-year coach Adam Oates, rocketed from the bottom of the East to another Southeast Division crown and are locked in as the No. 3 seed. If the season ended Thursday, the Isles would face the Caps, which would mean Andrew MacDonald and Travis Hamonic seeing lots of the red-sweatered No. 8.
Isles' record: 2-1-0
Thomas Hickey's lone NHL goal will be long remembered this season; the OT winner in Montreal on Feb. 21 kick-started the Isles' upswing and surprised the red-hot Canadiens, who really haven't been as dominant since. The teams match up well, though P.K. Subban and his lethal slap shot would have to be dealt with better.