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With young core, prospects of new home in Brooklyn, Islanders' present and future now bright

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    New York Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, of Russia, eyes the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo, N.Y., Friday, April 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)The Associated Press

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    Buffalo Sabres defenseman Adam Pardy (27) tangles with New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) as Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller (30) defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Buffalo, N.Y., Friday, April 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)The Associated Press

Mark Streit is a rarity for the New York Islanders. The veteran defenseman is one of the few players, who when given the chance to go anywhere, actually chose to play on Long Island.

Nearly five years after he signed his free-agent contract, Streit is about to wear the team's orange and blue sweater in a playoff game for the first time.

The Swiss defenseman had logged three seasons with the Canadiens when he hit the free-agent market in the summer of 2008. Five years later, the move is finally paying off with a cast of players that weren't around when he arrived.

With young superstar John Tavares leading the way and veteran Evgeni Nabokov in goal , the Islanders are in the playoffs for the first time since 2007.