The standings implications were big and so was the result for the New York Islanders.
The Islanders scored a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday at Wells Fargo Center and now sit one point behind the Flyers in the Eastern Conference - with three games in hand. (With the Boston Bruins victory over San Jose, the Islanders are two points back of the second Wild Card, but the Isles have four games in hand on Boston.)
Anders Lee, Jason Chimera and Casey Cizikas scored for the Islanders on Thursday, while Thomas Greiss made 33 saves for the win.
"We played with a lot of character," Cizikas said. "Our defense get a lot of credit and Greisser as usual. They blocked a lot of pucks today, they boxed out, they got pucks to the forwards quickly, they played an outstanding game."
Video: NYI@PHI: Tavares beats Mason from the circle for PPG
It didn't look as though the Islanders were poised for a big win in the early goings of Thursday's game. Philadelphia opened up a 13-2 shot advantage by the time Wayne Simmonds' power-play goal put the Flyers up 1-0, but that was the jolt the Islanders needed. Lee deflected John Tavares' wrist shot past Steve Mason for a power-play goal at 16:40 of the first period, as the teams skated to a 1-1 draw after 20 minutes.
"We weren't moving, didn't play with a lot of pace and actually their goal kind of woke us up a little bit," Interim Coach Doug Weight said. "We started playing the game the right way. We started moving and putting the puck in good spots."
Video: NYI@PHI: Chimera chips a rolling puck past Mason
The Islanders found their legs early in the second, taking a 2-1 lead on Chimera's 12th of the season. Andrew Ladd hit a streaking Chimera with a pass at the hashmarks and the veteran forward chipped a backhander past Mason at 2:13 of the second.
Cizikas added the insurance marker at 1:21 of the third, spinning off of Shayne Gostisbehere before sliding the puck past Mason.
Video: NYI@PHI: Cizikas slides puck home on second effort
"It was a bit of a tough start, but once we got our legs into it we had a really good second period and played aggressive," Tavares said. "When you're playing with the lead it's a lot easier to control the game."
Thursday's win wouldn't be possible without a strong effort from Greiss, who rebounded after allowing five goals in each of his last two games. Greiss' 15 saves were the difference in the first period, but the goalie got some help the rest of the way, including a skate save by Nick Leddy with Greiss out of position in the second. Greiss was called upon again late in the third, as the Islanders killed off two penalties in the last 7:33 of the third period.
Video: NYI@PHI: Greiss robs Giroux with great blocker save
"Greiss kept us in it. We had some good defensive plays by some guys," Weight said. "We got the big saves and the big plays and bent, but didn't break. We took the game over and played really well after that."
The Islanders return to action on Saturday afternoon when they take on the Ottawa Senators. Puck drop from Ottawa is at 1 p.m.