CALGARY, AB -- Though only five games have passed since the Calgary Flames last faced them, the New York Islanders will certainly have a different look to them when they visit Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday night.
The Islanders were sellers at the NHL Trade Deadline, shipping off the likes of Andrew MacDonald and Thomas Vanek in order to build up future assets. The club is already without John Tavares after the franchise face suffered what amounts to be a season-ending knee injury at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
How the new-look Islanders respond down the stretch remains to be seen.
This Season: 24-32-9, 57 points (14th in East)
Last season: 24-17-7, 55 points (8th in East)
Notable Injuries: John Tavares is sidelined with a knee injury suffered at the Sochi Olympics.
Flames Season Series Record: 1-0-0
Lee has been on fire since his recall last week, his first of the season for the 23-year-old. The Edina, MN product has four goals and an assist in five points, including two multi-point games. Lee turned pro after wrapping up his collegiate career with Notre Dame last season and has five goals and seven points in seven career NHL games.
Nabokov has slumped of late between the pipes for the Islanders, winning just one of his past five decisions and two of his last 11 appearances overall. The 38-year-old netminder hasn’t posted a save percentage above .900 in the past five games, either. Overall, Nabokov is 11-13-6 with a 2.89 goals against average and .901 SV%.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
With the departure of MacDonald to the Philadelphia Flyers at the NHL Trade Deadline, Hickey inherits the throne in terms of point product from the Islanders’ blue line. The Calgary, AB product has 17 points in 65 games this season and his last goal came Feb. 6 against the Flames.
As ferocious a hitter as there is in the NHL, Clutterbuck sits third in the League in dishing out the body with 211 checks this season. He’s also been contributing in other ways of late, too, as the 26-year-old Welland, ON native has assists in three straight games to push his point total on the season to 14.
Okposo is almost a certainty to lead the Islanders in goals and points this year after Tavares’ season-ending injury at the Olympics in February. Though the 25-year-old has been held off the scoresheet in each of New York’s previous two outings, Okposo has a team-high 25 goals and has also recorded 61 points, five shy of Tavares’ team-lead.