There 8 games up for grabs on Thursday night with Former Islanders aiding in 4 of those tilts. Former Islanders are trying to help many of their teams seal a coveted playoff spot. Here is a look at the FI happenings:
Montreal defenseman Mathieu Schneider had a powerplay helper on the opening goal as the Canadiens survived a near collapse to pull off a 3-2 OT win over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning. With an assist in his 2nd straight game Schneids now has 7 goals and 20 assists for 27 points on 61 games. Since coming back to Montreal the typically offensive d-man has been clicking with 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists) on 17 games. For the 11th straight season and 17th time on his career Schneider has reached 20 or more assists. Nearly half of his assists this season (9) have come on the man advantage.
Columbus winger Raffi Torres netted the 2nd Blue Jackets' insurance goal as they trashed the visiting Calgary Flames 5-0. With 3 goals over the last 3 outings Torres now has 11 goals and 6 assists for 17 points on 43 games. Torres' play has taken a considerably upswing with the embattled winger notching 8 goals and 1 assist for 9 points over the last 13 games including 4 game winners.
Sometimes putting your backup in to start, even against one of the worst teams in the league, might not work out the way you hope. Such was the case with the New York Rangers who started bench warmer Stephen Valiquette as the Blueshirts faced off against the host Atlanta Thrashers. The Rangers staked themselves to an impressive 4-0 lead late in the 2nd Period before the Thrashers systematically tore apart Valiquette and beat the Rags in a stunning 6 round SO 5-4. The OT loss set Vali back for his 3rd straight start (0-2-1). He is now 5-5-2 on the season with a .907 save percentage and a 2.84 goals against average. Over his last 3 starts he has surrendered an appalling 16 goals on 104 shots (.846 save percentage).
Vancouver winger Taylor Pyatt opened the scoring only 4:12 into play but all was for naught as the Canucks were felled by the host St. Louis Blues 4-2. T-Py snapped a 4 game goal-less and point-less streak and now has 10 goals and 8 assists for 18 points on 65 games. For the 3rd straight season and 5th time on his career Pyatt has notched 10+ goals. Taking the loss in net for 'Nucks was goaltender Roberto Luongo who stopped 28 of 32 shots. Lu lost for the 2nd time in his last 3 games and is now 28-11-6 on the season with a .917 save percentage and a 2.43 goals against average.
Check back with FIW soon for more updates and recaps.