The Islanders won for the seventh time in nine games and moved two points ahead of the idle Rangers into seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia is 12th in the East, five points behind the Rangers and the post-season cutoff.
New York has been tied or ahead in the third period in 34 of 40 games but won for only the second time when scoring two goals or fewer (2-14-2). The Islanders are 18-2-2 when they score at least three.
The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.
— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres