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Game Preview: Islanders at Blues

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders

New York Islanders

8-15-5 (21 points – 8th in Metropolitan Division, 14th in Eastern Conference)
3-9-0 road
St. Louis Blues
18-5-3 (39 points 2nd in Central Division, 5th in Western Conference)
11-1-2 home
8:00 p.m.
Scottrade Center
St. Louis, MO
Television: MSG PLUS
Play-by-play: Howie Rose; Color: Butch Goring

Radio: WHRU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9 FM
Play-by-play: Chris King, Color: Greg Picker
2011-12 season series (0-1-0)

The Islanders last trip to St. Louis was a forgettable one, as they lost 5-1 at Scottrade Center. Frans Nielsen got the Islanders off on the right foot, scoring 59 seconds into the period, but the Blues stormed back with five unanswered goals. T.J. Oshie (1g/2a) and Alex Pietrangelo (3a) led the way with three points each.
Blues player to watch
Alex Steen - Center

Alex Steen is having a breakout year with the Blues, scoring 20 goals in 26 games, one goal shy of the league lead. Steen is four goals shy of a career high set in 2009-10. The former 1st round pick (24th overall in 2002) leads the Blues in goals, points (31), and had a 13-game point streak (13g/5a) from Oct. 17-Nov. 16. Traded from the Toronto Maple Leafs for Lee Stempniak in 2008, Steen is emerging as a late bloomer, but an essential piece of the Blues offense.

Islanders Storylines
Western Swing: The Islanders begin a five-game Western road trip Thursday in St. Louis. From Missouri, the Islanders head to California and Arizona for games against the Kings, Ducks, Sharks and Coyotes.
Stumbling Blues: The Blues lost back-to-back games in regulation for first time this season. Prior to the mini-slump, the Blues won five straight and are 7-3-0 in their last 10.
• First Goal: The Islanders are 6-2-4 when scoring first, but the Blues are 15-1-2, so opening the scoring is crucial for both teams.
The Matchup
16.0% (20th)
71.4% (30th)

Power play
Penalty kill
Goals for
Goals against
Last 10

23.9 (4th)
84.6% (11th)

New York Islanders previous game lines
26 Thomas Vanek – 91 John Tavares – 21 Kyle Okposo
40 Michael Grabner  – 51 Frans Nielsen – 12 Josh Bailey
96 Pierre-Marc Bouchard – 16 Peter Regin – 15 Cal Clutterbuck
17 Matt Martin – 53 Casey Cizikas – 13 Colin McDonald

47 Andrew MacDonald – 3 Travis Hamonic
14 Thomas Hickey – 44 Calvin de Haan
55 Aaron Ness – 7 Matt Carkner

45 Anders Nilsson
60 Kevin Poulin
St. Louis Blues previous game lines
20 Alex Steen - 42 David Backes - 74 T.J. Oshie
21 Patrik Berglund - 12 Derek Roy - 91 Vladimir Tarasenko
9 Jaden Schwartz - 17 Vladimir Sobotka - 25 Chris Stewart
10 Brenden Morrow - 40 Maxim Lapierre - 79 Adam Cracknell

27 Alex Pietrangelo - 19 Jay Bouwmeester
22 Kevin Shattenkirk - 5 Barret Jackman
28 Ian Cole - 46 Roman Polak

41 Jaroslav Halak
1 Brian Elliott

Quote of the Day:
Islanders forward Matt Martin on the Western swing:

"These teams in the west are big and physical and they use their size to their advantage. We have to try and be physical early and set the tone. St. Louis is a team that’s really physical. We know what to expect from these teams."

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