The last few weeks have been very good for the New York Islanders and their fans.
The team has shown signs of life for the first time all season, and there is a buzz surrounding the future of the franchise.
Tonight, they take on the Los Angeles Kings, another young team that has reaped the benefits of their own rebuild, and who are are looking to secure a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Kings have been hot over the last few weeks, though, they dropped their last contest in a shootout to the cross-town New York Rangers.
The Isles' will have a tough game tonight, but they can win this one if they play good defense. They cannot have defensive lapses like they did against the Bruins, and they cannot turn the puck over to the extent that they did on Thursday night.
The Kings are a well-balanced team, with a capable offense, led by Anze Kopitar and an excellent defense, featuring Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson. They also have a very solid goalie tandem in Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier.
The Islanders have to play solidly in all areas of their game in order to be successful tonight.
Players to Watch:
1) John Tavares
The offense needs to have a big night, because they have been the key to the team's success over the last several games. He's been on his game lately, and he's going to keep that going tonight.
2) Frans Nielsen
The best two-way player on the team, a versatile player like Nielsen will play a major role in an Isles win tonight, should they get one.
3) Andrew MacDonald
He's the Islanders' best defenseman, and he needs to be exactly that tonight. Especially because you know the Kings' blueline will be at their very best.
I'll recap the game later tonight.