New York Islanders Ottawa Senators
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The New York Islanders completed their first-ever season sweep of the Ottawa Senators after back-to-back wins in the home and home series.

With four points in tow through two games that felt too close for comfort, the New York Islanders can move on to their 15 remaining games.

In years prior, these were the stereotypical trap games that would have likely resulted in overtime losses. One of the NHL’s best teams in the Islanders, caught in the midst of a banner race with the Washington Capitals, fearlessly took on the 31st place Ottawa Senators.

Historically, this game had letdown written all over it and to a degree, there was still something left to be desired. After a strong first period, the Islanders re-entered the game in the second period and were lucky to allow just a single goal to Oscar Lindberg.

Prior to tonight, Thomas Greiss had started in only one game since Feb. 20 while Robin Lehner continued his hot streak before injury. Since being called upon, he hasn’t missed a beat including 35 saves on the night.

There is reasonable cause for some alarm with how much the Islanders allowed Ottawa to linger in both games. Despite claiming all four points the last couple of games Tuesday’s 5-4 shootout win was way too close for comfort and the Islanders relied heavily on Greiss to keep them even in the second period.

As the Isles top-six struggle with production, they’re being revitalized by Valtteri Filppula and the depth scoring. Filppula’s two-goal first period cushioned the Islanders through a bit of funk and Casey Cizikas added the insurance after a huge go-ahead goal from Anthony Beauvillier.

Though their power-play continues to do them no favors, the Islanders’ penalty kill has been near-perfect over the last 40-plus attempts including 2-for-2 on Thursday night.

With the pressure of taking every point in a must-win situation, the Islanders must now address the surging Flyers. Sitting seven points from a wild-card spot, the Flyers are in full desperation mode and the Islanders need to regroup to match their energy.

Two wins against the Senators isn’t just cause for celebration at this point; it’s simply “taking care of business.” Of their next 15 opponents, the Islanders will see three different Metropolitan Divison teams five times.

Tied with Washington for first in the division, the Islanders have a real chance to pull away with it. Of the 12 different teams the Islanders will face, six of them are not in a playoff spot. Three of them are in the same division.

The time is officially now. Any benefit of the doubt that Barry Trotz may have been giving some repeat offenders has to be forgotten. An offensive shakeup needs to happen to this team, and the Islanders have yet to dress one of their freshest call-ups who provided a similar spark in their push in 2016-17.

Crunch time starts this Saturday against Philly for the Islanders with puck drop set for 7 p.m. ET on MSG+.

Grew up a diehard Islanders and Mets fan based out of Northern New Jersey. Concluding my Broadcast Communications degree at William Paterson University. WP Sportsdesk member, Stan Fischler correspondent, music buff and total Star Wars freak. Follow my social media handles to learn more. Matt Di Giacomo is a Staff Writer for the Islanders on Elite Sports NY. He encourages team discussion. Tweet him @mdigiacESNY and check out his reviews on YouTube.