Is there a hotter team in the NHL right now than St. Louis? The Blues have won seven straight games and 12 of their last 13 to pull even with the Nashville Predators for first place in the Central Division. Their 72 points is good for a second place tie, two points behind Anaheim, for the most in the entire NHL.
As the Flyers did on Saturday, when they extended their winning streak to four games, the Flyers spent most of Thursday night's game against the Islanders clinging to life. Aside from a three-minute stretch at the end of the second period, they succeeded.
They even had a chance to win. A 2-0 lead was lost late in the second. A 1-0 deficit in the deciding shootout was erased and the Flyers had two shots at the win. They couldn't score when it counted and the Islanders eventually took the game, 3-2, in a shootout.
"We left the extra point out there," Steve Mason said following the loss. It wasn't the first time the Flyers netminder had uttered that line.
PHILADELPHIA -- The Flyers' season-long four-game winning streak was halted Thursday, as they fell 3-2 to the New York Islanders in a shootout. They now have points in five-consecutive games, going 4-0-1 in that span.
After being sidelined all year with blood clots in his lungs and leg, Kimmo Timonen has been cleared to resume skating, the Flyers announced Thursday.
Timonen will be skating on his own for a period of seven-to-10 days, before joining the rest of the team. From there, a decision will be made as to his return to the lineup.
"It's been a long process," GM Ron Hextall said, "but in the end, Kimmo feels comfortable and we feel comfortable that the risk is minimal."
Timonen, 39, hasn't played since Game 7 of last year's first-round series against the New York Rangers, after being diagnosed with blood clots last summer.
He's maintained that he wants to end his career after walking off the ice with his "skates on," rather than being forced to leave due to injury. Whether or not Timonen will need to continue treatment on blood thinners is a matter that he will keep private, but for now, he and the Flyers organization have reason to be confident about his future.
"I kept that hope alive, I worked out really hard," Timonen said. "I feel really comfortable about skating and coming back."
Rob Riches is a contributor to Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Riches61