Isles in playoff mix

With a 5-2 win over Winnipeg Tuesday night, the Islanders pushed the Rangers out of the immediate playoff mix and passed their division rivals to claim the eighth spot.

Both the Islanders and the seventh-place Devils have 39 points, though New Jersey has a game in hand. The Rangers, two points back, have two games in hand including Wednesday's match against the first-place Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Islanders' recent surge -- five wins in the last six games -- has put general manager Garth Snow in position to be a buyer for Wednesday's trade deadline.

Snow has done it before, back in 2007 when he acquired Ryan Smyth as a trade deadline rental, and will likely try to add again with his team pushing for their first playoff appearance in six years.

Last Friday, Snow signed veteran defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky to a two-year contract extension worth $9.5 million, although he has not been able to lock up captain Mark Streit.

Contract talks between Streit's camp and Snow yielded no progress, even though the two sides are not believed to be far apart. As reported Tuesday, Streit is seeking a multi-year deal with an average annual value worth more than what Visnovsky received ($4.75M).

However, that does not mean Streit will be dealt. In fact, the 35-year-old defenseman was informed Tuesday by Snow that he will not be traded.