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Game Preview: Islanders at Canucks

The Islanders look to improve to 5-2-1 on their current road trip with a win in Vancouver (10 p.m., MSG)

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders

New York Islanders (31-23-11) at Vancouver Canucks (28-30-8)

10PM ET, Rogers Arena

TV: MSG

Radio: AM970 - The Answer, 88.7FM - WRHU, 103.9FM - LI News

Game Notes Morning Skate Updates

After picking up two points in Edmonton on Tuesday night, the New York Islanders head to Vancouver looking to stay ahead in the Eastern Conference playoff race. 

The Islanders (73 points) currently hold the second wild card position, one point up on the Toronto Maple Leafs (72). Further back, the Philadelphia Flyers (70), Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers (69) all lurk within striking distance with 17 games to play this season. 

Philadelphia and Toronto face off on Thursday night, while Tampa Bay hosts Minnesota. Florida is idle. The Islanders are currently 4-2-1 on their franchise-high nine-game road trip. 

Video: NYI@EDM: Lee kicks rebound to stick to beat Talbot

Anders Lee's 25th Goal Ties Career High:

Anders Lee scored his 25th goal of the season on Tuesday, tying his career-high in goals. With 40 points, Lee is one shy of his career-high, set in the 2014-15 season. 

Lee has now hit the 25-goal mark in two of his last three seasons and is cementing himself as one of the Islanders top scorers and the Islanders top net-front presence. Lee isn't afraid to go to the dirty areas, as evidenced by the first of his two goals on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old's scoring touch has been especially hot under Doug Weight, as Lee has 10 goals in 22 games with Weight behind the bench. 

Shane Prince Goes Home, Boychuk Out: 

Shane Prince has gone home from the Islanders road trip after sustaining a lower-body injury on Tuesday night. Prince has five goals and 13 assists this season and was riding a two-game assist streak at the time of his injury. 

Stephen Gionta will draw into the lineup for Prince on Thursday. 

Doug Weight also said that Johnny Boychuk (lower body) was still tender and that the defenseman would miss a third-straight game. 

Video: Two-goal 3rd propels Isles past Canucks, 4-2

Season Series:

The Islanders beat the Canucks 4-2 on Nov. 7 at Barclays Center, their second straight win against Vancouver. The Islanders are looking for a second straight win in Vancouver for the first time since winning consecutive games in 1992 and 1993. 

Video: Ho-Sang reflects on first career goal

Canucks Playing For Season:

Seven points out with 16 games to play, the Vancouver Canucks have entered must-win mode to keep their fading playoff hopes alive. The Canucks are seven points back of the St. Louis Blues for the second wild card spot, while also having to leapfrog the Winnipeg Jets and LA Kings. 

The Canucks dealt a pair of mainstays in Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen at the trade deadline, so they'll be without two of their peskier players when the teams meet. 

Vancouver has struggled to score goals this season, averaging the third-fewest goals-per-game in the NHL (2.26). The Canucks also have the 27-ranked power play (14.1%) and the 25th-ranked penalty kill (77.8%). 

Sedins Passing Torch To Horvat:

Bo Horvat leads the Canucks in scoring this season with 20 goals and 45 points, but the 21-year-old center is on the verge of accomplishing a rare feat in Vancouver. Horvat is on the cusp of being the first non-Sedin Canucks scoring leader for the first time since the 2005-06 season, potentially ending a decade of Sedin dominance.

The Sedin twins have finished first and second in Canucks scoring every season from 2006-2016, the only current NHL duo to make that claim. This season they are second and third in scoring - Henrik has 39 points to Daniel's 36. Horvat was also the Canucks lone representative at the NHL All-Star Weekend in January. 

Horvat - the Canucks draft pick from the Cory Schneider trade - is having a career-year, setting new highs in goals, assists and points. 

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