The Islanders head out west for a four-game road trip beginning in Vancouver and wrapping up in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Officially outside of the playoff bubble, the Isles hope to get back in the win column as their winless streak has reached six games (0-3-3). The Isles claimed their first point in four games in their 3-2 overtime loss to Carolina on Saturday.
Ryan Pulock and Josh Bailey scored for the Isles while Thomas Greiss made 25 saves. Carolina sealed the win 1:36 into overtime with Vincent Trocheck's power-play goal on the power play. Trocheck's goal caused quite the controversy as Andrei Svechnikov redirected a puck out of mid-air and extended his stick above the crossbar. Svechnikov's redirect struck the crossbar and popped out to Trocheck on the back door. Upon review, the referees deemed the goal valid since Svechnikov had hit the post which kept the play alive.
Vancouver lost for the fifth time in the last six games with a 2-1 defeat to Columbus on Sunday. Elias Pettersson scored the Canucks sole goal against the Blue Jackets, while Thatcher Demko made 20 saves. Vancouver closes out a four-game homestand as they host the Islanders at 10 pm ET on Tuesday.
MORNING SKATE UPDATES:
- Semyon Varlamov was the first goalie off the ice at morning skate and is the projected starter. Varlamov is 0-2-1 in his last three starts, allowing four goals in each contest. The Isles' goaltender is 19-14-5 this season with a 2.59 GAA, a .915 SV% and two shutouts.
- Barry Trotz did not offer any updates on lineup changes.
- Johnny Boychuk skated for the second straight day, taking the ice after the team's morning skate. Thomas Hickey left morning skate for personal reasons.
- Brock Boeser will return to the Canucks lineup on Tuesday after missing a month (12 games) with fractured rib cartilage. Boeser has 45 points (16G, 29A) in 56 games this season.
- Thatcher Demko is the projected starter for the Canucks. Demko is 12-10-2 this season with a 3.03 GAA and a .904 SV%. The netminder is 2-4-0 with a 3.03 GAA and .903 SV% in six starts since Jacob Markstrom got hurt.
CANUCKS PROJECTED LINES:
Tanner Pearson - Bo Horvat - Brock Boeser J.T. Miller - Elias Pettersson - Tyler Toffoli Antoine Roussel - Adam Gaudette - Zack MacEwen Loui Eriksson - Brandon Sutter - Jake Virtanen
Quinn Hughes - Chris Tanev Alex Edler - Troy Stecher Oscar Fantenberg - Tyler Myers
- Pulock scored his third goal in as many games as he matched his career-high of 10 goals. Pulock leads all Isles defenseman in goals, assists (25) and points (35). Pulock's three-game goal streak is a career-high.
- Bailey found the back of the net for the 14th time this season. The winger has 42 points (14G, 28A) through 67 games.
- Anders Lee assisted on Pulock's goal and earned his 300th career point. The Isles captain has 172 goals and 128 assists over 492 career games. Through 67 games this season, Lee has 42 points (20G, 22A).
- Greiss returned between the pipes as he made his 29th start of the season. The German netminder has a record of 16-9-4, a 2.74 GAA and a .913 SV%.
- Cal Clutterbuck did not play against the Canes after being ruled a game-time decision. No update was provided on Clutterbuck, though Head Coach Barry Trotz said the issue was separate from his wrist laceration prior to Saturday's game. In his place, Andrew Ladd drew into the lineup alongside Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Michael Dal Colle. Ladd logged 12:06 in his first game back in the Isles lineup since Feb. 21, had one shot and three hits. Leo Komarov also returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch against Ottawa on Thursday. Komarov played 8:31 next to Derick Brassard and Matt Martin and had four hits.
- The Islanders went 0-for-3 on the power play after scoring three power play goals in four games. The Isles are 13-7-3 when they score at least one power play goal and 22-16-6 when they do not. In the NHL, the Isles power play unit is ranked 23rd overall at 17.6%. The Isles have had the fewest opportunities on the power play in the league with only 165. Anaheim has the next lowest with 181.
- The Isles penalty kill went 4-for-5 against Carolina. In the NHL, the PK unit is ranked 14th with a kill percentage of 81.0%.
- The Isles are 1-9-4 in the last 14 games that they have allowed the first goal. The Isles are 23-8-4 when scoring first and are 12-15-5 when allowing the opening goal. The Isles are 6-1-1 in the last eight games they have scored first.
- Johnny Boychuk skated after the Islanders practice on Monday in Vancouver. Boychuk has been sidelined since March 3 after suffering an errant skate to the face which cut his eyelid and required 90 stitches to repair. There is no timeline for Boychuk's potential return.
- Casey Cizikas did not make the trip with the team, but skated back on Long Island on Monday, per Trotz. Cizikas has been out of the lineup since Feb. 11 with an injury from a skate as well. Cizikas suffered a leg laceration from a skate against Philadelphia.
- Pettersson tied J.T. Miller for the Canucks' goals leaderboard as the 21-year-old center potted his 27th goal of the season. Through 67 games, the Swede has 65 points. Pettersson is one goal away from reaching a new career high, and is two points shy of setting a new career high. Last season, Pettersson won the Calder Memorial Trophy with 66 points (28G, 38A) through 71 games.
- Demko made his 24th start of the season while his record dropped to 12-10-2. The 24-year-old netminder has a GAA of 3.03 and a SV% of .904.
- Despite going without a point against Columbus, J.T. Miller has 14 points (5G, 9A) in his last nine games. Miller is tied for the Canucks lead in goals (27) and assists (44), but leads the team in points (71)
- Tyler Toffoli was acquired by the Canucks from Los Angeles on Feb. 17 in exchange for Tim Schaller, the rights to Tyler Madden, a 2020 second-round pick and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2022. The winger has eight points (5G, 3A) in his nine games with Vancouver. Through 67 games this season, Toffoli has 42 points.
- Quinn Hughes leads all NHL rookies with 52 points and 44 assists. Quinn's 52 points are also the fifth-most among all defenseman in the league.
- Against Columbus, Vancouver's power play went 0-for-3. In the NHL, the Canucks are ranked fourth overall on the PP at 23.9%. Vancouver has received the second-most power play opportunities in the NHL with 234, behind Colorado's 235.
- Vancouver is ranked second in the NHL at the faceoff circle with a faceoff win percentage of 54.1%.
- Vancouver has been struck by the injury bug as Jay Beagle (lower-body), Michael Ferland (concussion), Josh Leivo (knee), Tyler Graovac (lower-body), Brock Boeser (rib) and Jacob Markstrom (lower body) are all out of the lineup. Boeser was a full-contact participant in Vancouver's morning skate ahead of facing Columbus. Boeser has been sidelined since Feb. 8 and was ruled to be out for the remainder of the season, but is progressing and could be back before the end of the regular season.
- Vancouver is tied with the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference, one point behind the Minnesota Wild.
The Islanders and Canucks last met on Feb. 1, commencing play after the All-Star break. Vancouver defeated the Islanders 4-3 in overtime as Hughes scored 42 seconds into the extra period. Vancouver received regulation goals from Miller, Hughes and Schaller. The Isles had goals from Dal Colle, Jordan Eberle and Brock Nelson, who sent the game into overtime with 26 seconds remaining in regulation. Greiss made 20 saves for the Islanders.