Six years have passed since the New York Islanders last made the playoffs or the Philadelphia Flyers failed to qualify.
Both of those runs are now over.
Two days after their postseason drought officially ended, the Islanders look to maintain their April point streak Thursday night and beat a Flyers team in the midst of a solid stretch that's coming far too late.
A regular season-ending five-game road trip could have left New York fans unable to see their team in person again until the fall, but now they're assured of at least two more games this spring. That's because there will be playoff hockey on Long Island for the first time since 2007 thanks to New York earning a 4-3 shootout loss over Carolina on Tuesday while ninth-place Winnipeg lost in regulation.
"You know we're happy to be there and give ourselves an opportunity to compete in the playoffs," said top scorer John Tavares, in his fourth season with the Islanders. "A lot of us haven't had that experience."