What a way to ring out the old.
The power play was the one thing that still hadn't looked good in the Isles' recent resurgence, but that changed in a big way Monday night as the Islanders scored on three straight man-up opportunities to beat the Hurricanes on the road, 4-1, for their fifth win in six games to close out 2007.
There's plenty to look forward to in the new year. Rick DiPietro should be returning to the lineup shortly, the goal-scoring drought seems to be becoming a memory, the team is getting nice offensive production from the d-line, and young players like Blake Comeau and Freddy Meyer are playing well with the prospect of Kyle Okposo joining the team in the second half of the season.
And while the Isles may be fifth in their own division, they're right in the thick of the playoff battle, just three points from the fourth seed in the conference standings.
Monday's win saw three goals in less than four minutes in the second period to give the Isles a 3-0 lead. Marc-Andre Bergeron and Bill Guerin scored on the power play, followed by a gate-crashing goal by Ruslan Fedotenko. Bergeron scored again on the power play late in the period, his third goal in two games.
Wade Dubielewicz made 28 saves in another solid start in relief of DiPietro. The Isles host the Panthers Thursday night before hitting the road for five straight, the first four against western conference foes.