The Islanders look to rebound after Tuesday’s 4-2 loss and continue their run as one of the Eastern Conference’s hottest teams. The Islanders are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games and prior to Tuesday’s loss, had won four straight overall and seven in a row on the road.
Tonight also marks the Islanders first chance to avenge a 3-2 shootout loss to the Lightning on Dec. 17, a game the Islanders held a late lead. The Lightning are 14-5-2 record at home this season, but have lost three straight at the Forum, which means it may be a prime time to stopover in Tampa.
Ahead of tonight’s game, both teams held morning skate. Here are some news, notes and quotes from the morning action in Tampa. Matt Martin takes the ice as the Islanders begin their morning skate. Lineup Notes/Changes: Regin In:
Peter Regin is back in the lineup tonight and will skate on the second line with Frans Nielsen and Josh Bailey. Regin, a natural center, will skate on the wing. Regin on playing wing:
I have to concentrate on staying on the wall because it's natural to go to the middle... I think [me and Frans Nielsen] have pretty good chemistry. If I go into the middle, he'll read off me and go to the wall. Peter Regin skates by linemate Josh Bailey at the morning skate. Hamonic Out:
Travis Hamonic will miss his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury. Martinek In:
Radek Martinek draws into the lineup tonight and will be paired with Thomas Hickey. Matt Carkner is out of the lineup tonight. The Islanders removed Martinek from their injured reserve list this afternoon.Poulin:
Kevin Poulin makes his fifth straight start and sixth consecutive appearance for the Islanders. Poulin had his career-high, five-game winning streak snapped in Sunrise, but is playing some inspired hockey and gets the nod from coach Capuano. Kevin Poulin takes a shot from Brock Nelson at the Islanders' morning skate. Faster Start:
The Islanders have given up the first goal in every game on their current road trip and are looking for a faster start against the Lightning: Martin on tonight's game:
We're still really confident in here. I don' t think we thought we were going to go the rest of the season without losing a game... The important thing here is to rebound tonight. It's important that we don't lose two, three, or four in a row. We have to end these things early... We have to come out right off the bat and be ready to play.Tavares vs. Hedman:
Tonight the number one and number two picks in the 2009 draft face off against each other. Top Line:
John Tavares has 17 points (8g/9a) in nine games since returning from a lower-body injury… Thomas Vanek has 18 points (6g/12a) in his last 13 games… Kyle Okposo has 20 points (11g/9a) in his last 16 games.
John Tavares waits for a one-timer at the end of the morning skate.
Calvin de Haan is riding five-game point streak (1g/6a). League Leaders:
Andrew MacDonald leads the NHL in blocked shots (163) while Matt Martin leads the NHL in hits (234). From the Coach: Click here to listen to Jack Capuano's morning press conference. The Lightning take the ice at their morning skate. Bishop:
Ben Bishop has been a stud this season for Tampa Bay and is posting some of the league’s best goalie numbers. Bishop is 23-5-3 with a 1.83 GAA and a league-leading .937 SV%. The Lightning have been good all season, but are better with their 6’6 netminder, as they have gone 9-0-2 in his last 11 starts. The Islanders have a tough task ahead of them tonight, as Bishop hasn’t allowed more than two goals in 15 of his last 16 outings. Stamkos Skates:
Steven Stamkos was on the ice for the Lightning’s morning skate, his first morning skate since breaking his leg on Nov. 11. Head coach Jon Cooper was pleased to see the progress for his superstar, but there is still no official timetable for his return. Steven Stamkos participates in his first morning skate since suffering a broken leg on Nov. 11. Hedman:
Victor Hedman will skate in his 300th NHL game tonight. The second-overall pick in the 2009 draft has 10 goals on the season and has 16 assists. St. Louis:
Lightning captain Martin St. Louis is riding a five-game point streak (3/g/3a).