NEW YORK, N.Y. - After missing the playoffs seven times in nine seasons, the New York Islanders might finally be finding out what its like to be on the right side of the breaks.Just past the midpoint in this surprising season, the Islanders have landed atop the Eastern Conference — ahead of Pittsburgh, Montreal and Detroit. In front of Tampa Bay and the rival New York Rangers.It was only fitting that the Islanders reached the summit with a thorough 3-0 victory over the Rangers on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden — arguably the biggest stage in the NHL and certainly the largest in New York.We havent accomplished a whole lot yet, captain John Tavares said. We expect to win against everyone we play against.I think anytime you beat the Rangers as an Islander, its a lot of fun.This was already setting up as a special year for the Islanders, who will be leaving Long Island and the Nassau Coliseum once the season is over and relocating to Brooklyn. Success on the ice has planted the seeds that perhaps nostalgia wont be the only reason why this season is remembered and celebrated.They won the Stanley Cup four times back in the 1980s. The Islanders know another championship would provide the perfect farewell to the Nassau Coliseum — the only home they have ever known.Our goal is always to win the Stanley Cup, Tavares said.The defending Eastern Conference champion Rangers were feted upon their return home from a three-game California sweep. Welcoming the Islanders only raised the hype, and the bright lights and attention didnt rattle them.The Islanders took the play to the Rangers, overwhelmed them in the second period, and finished the shutout in the third after driving goalie Henrik Lundqvist to the bench.It was a four-point game because they are catching up to us, said Jaroslav Halak, who stopped 27 shots and earned his fourth shutout. The guys did a great job. Playing in Madison Square Garden isnt easy, but we played our game.The Islanders (29-13-1) opened a seven-point lead over the Rangers, the fourth place team in the Metropolitan Division. The Islanders lead Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh by one point for the overall lead in the East.We havent wanted to get too high on our highs or too low on our lows, defenceman Travis Hamonic said. Weve done a good job this year rebounding from losses.Not only are they playing at the top of their game, having won three straight and five times during a seven-game road trip that ended Tuesday, the Islanders are getting good bounces.With the game scoreless in the first period, the Rangers struck the goal post three times within seconds — first with a drive by All-Star Rick Nash and another by Derick Brassard that hit the right post before sailing across the crease and hitting the left one.Luck was on my side, Halak said. It could have been a different game if they got the first one.Not only didnt they get the first one, they didnt get any past the goalie who is in his first season with the Islanders. It marked only the second time this season the Rangers were shut out, and it was the first time the Islanders did it at the Garden since Billy Smith posted another 3-0 win on Dec. 17, 1975.They had some chances, Tavares said. We were playing on the road against a pretty good team. We did a pretty good job getting pucks to the net.They did that 32 times in two periods against Lundqvist, scoring all three goals against him in the second. Lundqvist watched the third from the bench as Cam Talbot took over and stopped all 12 shots he faced.Rangers coach Alain Vigneault made the switch to try to change things for his team. Instead, the Islanders stuck to their game and finished off the big win.Theyre a tough team to play against. They play the right way, Nash said. They lock you in your own zone and they kind of drain all the momentum from your game.With 29 wins and 43 games under their belts, it is less surprising anytime the Islanders come out on top — regardless of the opponent. The schedule doesnt get any easier. When the Islanders return home Friday, the high-powered Pittsburgh Penguins will be there waiting.The Islanders are five wins shy of last seasons total with 39 games left.You go back to training camp and go over the things that are confidentially held in that room and what we wanted to accomplish, coach Jack Capuano said. Its about the character and comfort the guys have in one another, and up until this point how we have performed.We have a lot of hockey left. Air Max 720 Australia Sale . Trailing by a goal after 20 minutes of play, Joe Pavelski responded with three goals and an assist as the Sharks snapped a two-game losing skid with a 5-2 victory over the struggling Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. Cheap Air Max 720 Online Australia . 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Austin became the latest No. 12 seed to pull off an upset, tying the game on Desmond Haymons did-that-just-happen four-point play with 3.Baseballs most prominent agent, Scott Boras, openly criticized the Toronto Blue Jays stagnant offseason on Sunday, likening the team to a "car with a huge engine that is impeded by a big corporate stop sign." Speaking to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Boras, the man who represents the likes of Texas Rangers slugger Prince Fielder, 2013 AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals phenom Bryce Harper, places the blame on general manager Alex Anthopouloss failure to dip into the free agent market on the shoulders of Jays ownership, a group Boras deems "a successful and committed ownership that needs to give their baseball people financial flexibility." "There is no one who has the asset base of Rogers," Boras said to Rosenthal. "[Torontos] a premium city. Its a premium owner with equity. And its a very, very good team that with additional premium talent could become a contending team." Outside of catcher Dioner Navarro, the Jays, tipped to be after free agent pitching and a second baseman, have remained entirely inactive while the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez, A.J. Burnett and Masahiro Tanaka found new clubs. Because the team has two protected first-round picks, the Jays seemingly would have leverage when it comes to compensation-eligible free agents. Anthopoulos, for his part, defended ownership on being informed of Borass remarks. "Our ownership has been outstanding and given us all the resources we need," said Anthopoulos. The Blue Jays and Boras have traditionally had a frosty relationship. Borass very first major contract showdown was between the Jays and reliever Bill Caudill in 1984. After acquiring the pitcher from the Oakland As, Boras negotiated a five-year extension for his client at $1.5 million a season that made him the highest paid player on the team. Caudill flamed out due to injury and was released in 1986 after pitching only jjust over 105 innings for the team.dddddddddddd The acrimony from the deal lingered. In 2009, the Jays drafted lefty starter James Paxton of Ladner, BC. The Jays could not come to an agreement with Paxton, who was being advised by Boras at the time, and he chose to head back to the University of Kentucky to play for its baseball team. Blue Jays president Paul Beeston called into question the actual nature of Paxtons relationship with Boras. "Because it was Scott, the way you deal, you deal through him," Beeston told the Globe and Mail at the time. "You dont deal through the family." The NCAA allows its athletes to have "family advisers," but forbids them from having agents, as it would compromise their amateur status. Due to Beestons comments, the NCAA launched an investigation into Paxtons arrangement with Boras. Paxton did not participate with the investigation out of fear of being suspended by the school. Kentucky, fearing that the school would face sanctions if it allowed Paxton to play whilst under investigation, filed a motion that allowed Paxton to keep his scholarship and remain part of the team, but did not let him actually play in any games. Part of that filing included the suggestion that Paxton breached the "no agent" rule. Paxton, now a member of the Seattle Mariners, was eventually declared ineligible and left the school for a Texas team in the independent league. Boras currently represents two of the last three compensation free agents on the market (with starter Ervin Santana the other) in Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales. The Jays dont appear to have any interest in Morales, but could explore the possibility of slotting Drew in at second base. The 30-year-old former Red Sox shortstop has never played a game at second in his career. 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