An optimist could say the New York Islanders are challenging for the best record in the Eastern Conference, while a pessimist ca
An optimist could say the New York Islanders are challenging for the best record in the Eastern Conference, while a pessimist cain
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An optimist could say the New York Islanders are challenging for the best record in the Eastern Conference, while a pessimist can point toward a disturbing trend of blown big leads in recent weeks. Allie Long Jersey . Whatever the viewpoint, the Islanders will face another challenge with their longest road trip in over five years starting Wednesday night against the Winnipeg Jets. You can catch all of the action LIVE on TSN3 at 3:30ct or listen LIVE on TSN Radio 1290 with coverage beginning at 3pm ct. After missing the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years, the Islanders are experiencing a resurgence in their final season on Long Island before moving to Brooklyn. They are tied with Pittsburgh atop the Metropolitan Division - the first time theyve had a share of first place this late in the season since Feb. 20, 1990. New Yorks 49 points through 36 games is tied for the fourth most in franchise history, trailing 1978-79 (57), 80-81 (52) and 83-84 (50). While the Islanders (24-11-1) are proving to be a legitimate contender, the team has blown three-goal leads in back-to-back games, and remarkably, four times this month alone. They lost on the first three occasions before recovering to beat Washington 4-3 on Johnny Boychuks power-play goal in overtime Monday. We had a three-goal lead the last game and a three-goal lead today, and you cant be blowing those kind of leads, Boychuk said. But we found a way to get a win when they did have that comeback, and its another two points. Anders Lee, Lubomir Visnovsky and Calvin de Haan also scored for the Islanders, who ended an 0-for-13 drought on the power play by converting twice in seven opportunities. Maybe this is a game we dont win last year, coach Jack Capuano said. But we kept with it and found a way. Our goaltender played really well to give us a chance to win. That goaltender was Jaroslav Halak, who made 23 saves after missing two games with a lower-body injury. Halak is 16-2-0 with a 1.84 goals-against average in his last 18 starts, while New Yorks other goalies - Chad Johnson and Kevin Poulin - have lost five of six starts with a 3.91 GAA since mid-November. Only Tampa Bay has more home wins than the Islanders, but it will be a while before they can add to that total with the next seven games away from Nassau Coliseum. The seven-game trek is the Islanders longest since another seven-game trip Nov. 11-23, 2009. The first stop will be Winnipeg (19-11-7), where New York has gone 4-0-1 since the Jets relocated there for the 2011-12 season. The Islanders have some firepower up front, Jets center Mark Scheifele told the teams official website. Were going to stick to our game. We dont want to get into a track meet with them. Scheifeles team suffered a rare regulation loss Monday, falling 3-2 to visiting Minnesota to drop the Jets to 9-2-4 in their last 15 games. Power-play goals by Michael Frolik and Mathieu Perreault staked the home team to a 2-0 lead, but the Wild scored three unanswered in the second period. The Jets remain without their top four defensemen - Toby Enstrom, Zach Bogosian, Jacob Trouba and Mark Stuart - and forward Evander Kane is out until February with a lower-body injury. Michael Hutchinson had his three-game win streak snapped Monday. He could give way to Ondrej Pavelec, who is 3-0-3 in his last six starts and was in net for the Jets 4-3 victory on Long Island on Oct. 28. Captain Andrew Ladd scored twice in that win, giving him five goals and seven points in his last four games against the Islanders. Crystal Dunn Jersey . Howard had 17 points and a career-high-tying 26 rebounds in his Houston debut, James Harden added 21 points and the Rockets cruised to a 96-83 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night. Kelley OHara Jersey . Amid a rain of confetti, Shabazz Napier basked in the celebration on the court after being named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four following the 60-54 win over Kentucky. http://www.uswntproshop.com/c-9-meghan-klingenberg-usa-jersey.aspx . Blown save in the ninth inning? No problem.SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Phil Mickelson is going ahead with his Phoenix Open title defence after testing his ailing lower back on Wednesday at exclusive Whisper Rock. "I had a good practice session, though I didnt go full speed for much of it," Mickelson said in a statement. "I feel fine. I expect to play and play well." He first felt soreness two weeks ago in Abu Dhabi, and then withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open on Friday after making the cut at Torrey Pines. He flew to Georgia to see back specialist Tom Boers and was told his facet joints locked up. Last year at TPC Scottsdale, the former Arizona State star opened with an 11-under 60 and matched the Phoenix Open record of 28 under. He was set to make his 25th start in the event that he also won in 1996 and 2005. Mickelson lived in the Phoenix area for 12 years. "If it was any other tournament Id skip it," Mickelson said this week. "But Im defending, its my second hometown and I love the event." Lefty also said he expects to play next week at Pebble Beach, where hes a five-time champion. He is skipping Riviera and the Match Play Championship because his oldest daughter has spring break a week earlier than his other two children. On Thursday at TPC Scottsdale, the 43-year-old Mickelson was scheduled to open play on the 10th tee in a morning group with Bill Haas and Ryan Moore. While Mickelson now lives near his hometown of San Diego, Torrey Pines winner Scott Stallings is setting up a winter base in Scottsdale. He also is joining Whisper Rock, the club where Mickelson and other tour players are members. "My wife and I are renting in Scottsdale at Grayhawk, so we are five minutes away from here," Stallings said. "I have been playing and practicing out of here, actually also at Whisper Rock -- went through the whole process and we are going to make somewhat of a winter home out here. Especially, with the vile weather thats been in the South, I dont miss that at all. We miss our families, but I dont miss that weather at all.&" Stallings won Sunday in San Diego for his third tour title. Mallory Pugh Jersey. "That venue and that event was very special and a huge stepping stone in my career," he said. Stallings is getting over an illness that also hit his wife and son. "Honestly, if you asked me yesterday, Id say there is no way Im playing in the tournament," he said. "The Mayo Clinic and the tournament got me hooked up with some good doctors and nurses, all kind of IVs and fluid and stuff like that. Im a completely different person than I was yesterday." Patrick Reed is coming off a victory two weeks ago in California in the Humana Challenge. Riding a self-described "putting coma" at La Quinta, Reed opened with three straight 9-under 63s and closed with a 71 for a two-stroke victory. "The greens, when I first saw them, there were a couple brown spots on them, and I thought that meant it was going to be not rolling very true, but I didnt see any putts really hop," Reed said about TPC Scottsdale. "Whenever you have greens like that that are just really pure, just like they were at Humana, Im excited." Lee Westwood is making his first start in the event. He also played last week at Torrey Pines, in part because of the tours new wraparound schedule. "Normally, I would go play the Middle East swing. I would go and play Abu Dhabi, Qatar, and Dubai or two of those three," the Englishman said. "I decided not to go this year and wanted to play a few more events in the States. "If you dont play these, then youre giving up a big start, because they have played six before the season, so it started last year. So its like a quarter of the schedule gone if you dont start until Pebble or L.A., so it makes sense to play a couple of these." Mickelsons decision to play cost Ryo Ishikawa a spot in the field. The Japanese player tied for seventh last week at Torrey Pines, but didnt get into the Phoenix Open as a top-10 finisher because the field was full before that entry category. Wholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping NFL Jerseys Wholesale China NFL Gear Wholesale NFL Camo Jerseys Cheap NFL Hoodies Camo China NFL Jerseys ' ' '