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Game Preview: Islanders at Blues

The Islanders take on the defending Stanley Cup champions (8 p.m., MSG+)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha / NewYorkIslanders.com

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (35-20-7) AT ST. LOUIS BLUES (37-17-10)

8 PM | ENTERPRISE CENTER

WATCH: MSG+ | MSG GO

LISTEN: 88.7FM | 103.9FM 


In the regular season series finale against the New York Rangers, the Isles fought until the final buzzer to pick up a vital point despite eventually losing 4-3 in overtime to their crosstown rivals. Down by two goals and without three skaters, the Isles rallied with 5:37 left in regulation to get out of a 3-1 hole and force the game into overtime. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored in his Islanders' debut while Jordan Eberle and Brock Nelson also found the back of the net. Semyon Varlamov made 24 saves. 

The Blues won their fifth-straight game in regulation as they edged Chicago 6-5 on Tuesday night to open up a three-game homestand. Zach Sanford scored twice including the game-winning, power-play goal, while Brayden Schenn, Robert Thomas and Ryan O'Reilly also scored. Jordan Binnington turned aside 25 shots. 


MORNING SKATE UPDATES:

- Thomas Greiss was the first goalie off at morning skate and is projected to start in net against St. Louis. Greiss has made 26 starts this season and has a record of 16-8-2, a goals against average of 2.65 and a save percentage of .916. Greiss made his last start against Nashville on Feb. 13 as Semyon Varlamov strung together starts through the last six games.

- Andy Greene and Michael Dal Colle were present and participated at morning skate. Greene and Dal Colle were both injured against the New York Rangers Tuesday night. Greene did not return after a collision along the boards early in the first period and Dal Colle left in the third period after an open-ice hit from Jacob Trouba. Head Coach Barry Trotz confirmed that Dal Colle will be available to play against St. Louis, while Greene is day-to-day. 

"[Greene] is day-to-day. [Dal Colle] is fine," Trotz said. "I expect him to be ready tonight. I think we'll have everybody. [Greene] is the only change that we'll make."

- St. Louis projected lineup (via Lou Korac):

Schwartz-O'Reilly-Schenn

Sanford-Thomas-Perron

Steen-Bozak-Kyrou

Barbashev-Sundqvist-Blais

Gunnarsson-Pietrangelo

Scandella-Parayko

Dunn-Faulk 

Binnington

Allen

Video: Morning Skate 2/27: Barry Trotz


ISLES NOTES:

-   Pageau, the newest member of the Islanders and current leading goal scorer, extended his career-high to 25 goals as he put the Isles on the board late in the second period. The center now has 41 points (25G, 16A) through 61 games this season. During his first game with the Isles, he centered Josh Bailey and Michael Dal Colle and logged 12:07, including 1:28 on the power play, threw three hits and won 10-of-14 faceoffs. Following Jacob Trouba's open-ice hit that knocked Dal Colle out of the game, Pageau stood up for his teammate and dropped the gloves. He was ejected from the game after receiving a two-minute penalty for instigating, a five-minute major for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct, but rightfully earned the respect and appreciation from his teammates, coaches and fans. 

-   Eberle scored his fourth goal in his last three games and extended his point streak to four games with six points (4G, 2A) over that span. The winger has compiled 36 points (14G, 22A) through 52 games this season. 

-   Nelson sent the game into overtime as he scored with 18 seconds left in regulation. The goal was Nelson's 23rd of the season and he also extended his point streak to four games with five points (2G, 3A) in that span. Nelson reached the 50-point (23G, 27A) mark for the second-straight year and second time in his career. 

-   Mathew Barzal registered his 200th and 201st-career NHL points (58G, 143A) in his 228th-career game, as he compiled two assists. The 22-year-old center is the fastest Islander to reach 200 points since Ziggy Palffy, who did so in his 205th game and the second-fastest in the post-Cup era. Barzal also extended his point streak to four games (six assists). Through 62 games, Barzal leads the Isles in assists (36) and points (54). 

-   Varlamov made his sixth-straight start and 36th start of the season. The Russian netminder's record dropped to 19-12-5. Varlamov has a 2.51 goals against average and a .918 save percentage. 

-   The Isles fired off a season-high 45 shots on goal against the Rangers, who had 28. 

-   Andy Greene and Dal Colle both sustained upper-body injuries and did not return. Head Coach Barry Trotz did not have an immediate update on either player following the game. Greene left the game after logging 3:24 in the first period following a collision into the boards. Dal Colle immediately left the game after the hit from Trouba. Both players are traveling with the team to St. Louis, as is Cal Clutterbuck. 

-   With the point, the Isles (77 points) sit in the first wild card position and are two points back of Philadelphia (79 points) for third in the Metropolitan Division. The Isles have a game in hand on the Flyers. 


Video: NYI Practice: Barry Trotz
BLUES NOTES:

-   Sanford completed the outing with three points as he scored his 14th and 15th goals of the season and had an assist as he snapped dry spell of five games without a point. The game-winner was his second of the season and his first strike on the power play. Through 51 games, the winger has 29 points (15G, 14A). 

-   Schenn scored his 22nd goal of the season and is second among Blues in goals. The center has goals in back-to-back games. Through 64 games this season, Schenn has 51 points (22G, 29A). 

-   O'Reilly scored his 12th goal of the season and recorded his team-high 44th assist of the season. The center has 56 points through 64 games, which ranks second on the team. 

-   Thomas potted his 10th goal of the season and registered his third three-point night of the season. Through 59 games, the 20-year-old center has 39 points. 

-   David Perron compiled two assists. The winger leads the Blues in points (59) and goals (24) through 64 games this season. 

-   Binnington made his 46th start of the season and improved his record to 28-11-7. The 26-year-old goalie has a 2.61 GAA and a .911 SV%. 

-   Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is ranked fifth among all defenseman in the NHL with 48 points (13G, 35A) through 63 games. 

-   The victory further separated the margin (by four points) between the Central-leading Blues and teams on the chase like Dallas and Colorado. St. Louis leads the Central Division with 84 points and a record of 37-17-10. 

-   Against Chicago, the Blues fifth-ranked power play (24.1%) went 2-for-4. 

-   At the faceoff circle, the Blues are ranked sixth in the NHL with a faceoff win percentage of 51.4. Against Chicago, St. Louis won 48% of their draws. 

-   Ahead of the trade deadline, the Blues acquired Marco Scandella from Montreal in exchange for 2020 second-round pick and a 2021 conditional fourth-round pick. Since joining the Blues, Scandella has one assist. On the season, defenseman has 13 points (4G, 9A). 

-   On Feb. 25, the Blues recalled forward Troy Brouwer from the team's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage.

-   Forward Vladimir Tarasenko suffered a dislocated left shoulder that required surgery Oct. 29, but is making progress in his recovery and could return to back to action before the regular season ends, but there is no specific timeline for his return. 

-   Jay Bouwmeester announced on Wednesday that he will not play for the remainder of the regular season or playoffs. Bouwmeester spoke to the media for the first time since his cardiac episode that occurred during the Blues game against Anaheim on Feb. 11. During the first period, Bouwmeester collapsed on the bench and went into cardiac arrest. He was treated on-site and taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange County, California, where he had been hospitalized until returning to St. Louis a few days later. The 36-year-old defenseman has played in 56 games and has nine points (1G, 8A).

"I'm going to have to evaluate (the future), but I wouldn't say I've done that fully yet," Bouwmeester said via the Blues official Twitter account. "There are decisions I'm going to have to make, but that will come later."


Video: Islanders rally late, top Blues in OT, 3-2
ISLES VS. BLUES:

The Isles and Blue last faced each other on October 14. Down by two goals in the third period, the Isles rallied to force the game into overtime as Nelson and Barzal scored in regulation. Toews sealed the OT victory 1:13 into the extra period. Thomas Greiss made 21 saves. 

The Isles have won four straight vs St. Louis and are seeking their third straight win at Enterprise Center. 

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