New York Islanders vs. St. Louis Blues Pick & Prediction MARCH 5th 2024

By winning Monday night, the St. Louis Blues also managed to help the New York Islanders.

Neither team will be in the mood to be generous Tuesday night when the Islanders host the Blues in Elmont, N.Y., in a battle of teams trying to climb into playoff position.

The Blues will be completing a back-to-back road set against Metropolitan Division contenders after edging the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in a shootout on Monday. The Islanders have been off since winning their third straight game on Saturday, a 5-1 victory over the visiting Boston Bruins.

The Blues pulled within five points of the idle Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators, who occupy the two Western Conference wild-card spots. And by beating Philadelphia in any fashion, St. Louis also minimized the damage for the Islanders, who slipped six points behind the Flyers in the race for third place in the Metropolitan instead of falling behind by seven points.

New York is also six points behind the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, who are tied for the two Eastern Conference wild-card positions.

The victory was the second straight for the Blues, who hadn’t won consecutive games since Feb. 10-11. St. Louis went 2-5-1 in between back-to-back wins.

Scott Laughton put the Flyers ahead late in the first period, but Kevin Hayes — playing in Philadelphia for the first time since he was traded by the Flyers to St. Louis last June 27 — scored a fluky goal on a breakaway late in the second. Jake Neighbours and Pavel Buchnevich scored for the Blues in the shootout.

Hayes, who spent the previous four seasons with the Flyers, lost control of the puck while shuffling it from his forehand to his backhand, but the puck still trickled underneath the legs of goalie Samuel Ersson for his first goal since Jan. 13.

“It was a huge two points,” Hayes said. “I don’t know how the goal went in. I toe-picked and it ended up in the back of the net. I’ll take them any way I can.”

The Islanders are similarly focused on the bottom line following a doubly important win over the Bruins fueled by a natural first-period hat trick by Kyle Palmieri. The 33-year-old forward posted his first multigoal game of the season.

The victory was the first time New York led wire-to-wire under Patrick Roy, who is 7-5-3 since taking over for Lane Lambert on Jan. 20. The Islanders squandered a lead in each of their previous six wins.

The Saturday result also gave the Islanders their longest winning streak since a season-best four-game run from Dec. 7-13.

“It was a big game for us — we want to keep building and are not done,” Islanders center Jean-Gabriel Pageau said, according to “I think you saw a team that’s competing and wants to keep climbing. And that’s our main focus.”

–Field Level Media

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