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Game 3 Preview: Islanders-Lightning

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders

NEW YORK ISLANDERS VS. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

SERIES TIED: 1-1

7 P.M., BARCLAYS CENTER, NBCSN

FIVE THINGS

1. SERIES SHIFTS TO BROOKLYN FOR GAME 3:

With their series tied 1-1, the Islanders and Lightning play a pivotal Game 3 at Barclays Center on Tuesday night. It’s a familiar situation for the Islanders, who were tied 1-1 with the Florida Panthers in their first-round series and one they know they can take advantage with the series shifting back to Brooklyn. 

“We feel good,” Kyle Okposo said. “Obviously Game 2 wasn’t the way we wanted to play. I don’t think we’ve played our best in the series. We are going to have to change that. We know what we’ve done at home all year and we’re excited to get on the ice and prove what we can do as a team.”

They currently own home-ice advantage and can win this series just by protecting home ice. The Islanders are 2-1 at home in the playoffs are were 25-11-5 this season at Barclays Center, racking up their most home points (55) since 2003-04. 

“We’re excited,” John Tavares said. “Our fans have been great all year. I saw how tremendous they were in the first round. It should be great. We’re looking forward to getting that boost being back home and taking advantage of it.”

2JOSH BAILEY’S STATUS:

Josh Bailey (day-to-day, upper body) practiced with the Islanders on Monday, rejoining the team after not making the trip to Tampa Bay over the weekend. Bailey suffered the injury in the first period of Game 6. 

ISLES DAY-TO-DAY: BAILEY, PULOCK AND HALAK PRACTICE

Head Coach Jack Capuano called it “a possibility” for Bailey to play Tuesday, but said he had to consult his trainers first. Should he be healthy, the coach said he’d be inclined to play him. 

“[Bailey] is an experienced guy,” Capuano said. “He’s got 500 games or more. This time of year you need experience.” 

3. GET PUCKS ON NET:

After being held to 20 shots in Game 2 on Saturday afternoon and 22 in Game 1 on Wednesday, Jack Capuano said that was an area that Islanders needed to improve upon in Game 3. 

“We didn’t shoot the puck and we let Ben [Bishop] see a lot of things,” Capuano said. We didn’t have to show guys too much video because they saw it just from watching on the bench. We have to be better in three of four areas. Our guys know that and I expect we’ll have some jump here tomorrow night.”

Despite the recent downtick, the Islanders are still averaging 33.6 shots per game. A few trips to overtime may have influenced those numbers, but it’s not far off from their season average of 29.4 per game. 

4. ALAN QUINE STREAKING:


With an assist on Nikolay Kulemin’s power-play goal on Saturday, Alan Quine extended his point streak to four games (1G, 3A). Quine – who has played more NHL playoff games (8) than regular season games (2) – made a name for himself with the double-overtime winner in Game 5 vs. Florida and earned a promotion to the top line with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo. Quine’s five points (1G, 4A) are second among rookies, trailing only Chicago’s Artemi Panarin. 

5. LIGHTNING ROSTER NOTES:

Anton Stralman, J.T. Brown and Matt Carle skated before Lightning practice on Monday, but head coach Jon Cooper did not offer a timetable for either’s return. Stralman is likely the furthest out, as he is just resuming skating after fracturing his leg against the Islanders on March 25, but it was an encouraging sign for the Lightning defenseman.

"Those guys are feeling better so we will re-evaluate [Tuesday]," Cooper told NHL.com. "You want all your guys back. We are slowly chipping away at our injury list. As I said, we will see how our guys feel [Tuesday]."

Forward Erik Condra participated in a full team skate on the fourth line with Vladislav Namestnikov and Jonathan Marchessault. Condra missed Game 2 after leaving Game 1 in the first period, but has skated twice since, so he is a possibility for Game 3 on Tuesday night. 

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