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Game Preview: Islanders at Flames

The Islanders continue their Western Canada road trip in Calgary (9 p.m., MSG+)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha / NewYorkIslanders.com

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (35-23-10) AT CALGARY FLAMES (36-27-7)

9 PM | SCOTIABANK SADDLEDOME

WATCH: MSG+ | MSG GO

LISTEN: 88.7FM | 103.9FM | 98.7FM


The Islanders picked up a precious point on Tuesday night, falling 5-4 in a shootout in Vancouver, in the first leg of their four-game road trip. The shootout extended the Islanders winless streak to seven games (0-3-4). 

Brock Nelson scored twice, including a third period goal that forced overtime while Andrew Ladd and Jordan Eberle also scored. Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves. 

Calgary's three-game winning streak came to a close on Sunday night in a 5-3 loss to Vegas. Down 3-0 early in the second period, the Flames got goals from Milan Lucic, Dillon Dube (power play) and Matthew Tkachuk to tie the score 3-3 before Vegas sealed the win late in the third. David Rittich made 27 saves. 


ISLES NOTES:

-   Ladd opened up scoring for the Islanders 1:36 into the first period as he tipped-in Josh Bailey's initial shot. The Maple Ridge, BC native scored his first goal since Oct. 30, 2018 and his first goal of the season. The veteran winger suited up for his 950th-career game and recorded his 249th-career goal. 

-   Eberle found the back of the net for the 16th time this season. The winger has 40 points through 58 games this season. 

-   Nelson set new career-highs in points (54) and matched his career high in goals (26). Nelson is now tied with Jean-Gabriel Pageau for the Isles leaderboard in goals. 

-   Mathew Barzal scored his 60th point of the season as he assisted on Eberle's goal. The 22-year-old center is the second-youngest Islander to have three seasons with 60 or more points joining Islander legend Bryan Trottier. 

-   Anders Lee extended his point streak to three games with as many points (1G, 2A) during that span. The Isles captain has 43 points (20G, 23A) through 68 games this season. 

-   Noah Dobson recorded his second assist in as many games. The rookie defenseman has seven points (1G, 6A) through 34 games this season. 

-   Varlamov made his 39th start of the season, while his record dropped to 19-14-6. The 31-year-old netminder has a 2.62 GAA and a .914 SV%. 

-   Bailey joined the Islanders for practice in Calgary on Wednesday afternoon. Bailey sustained an undisclosed injury in the first period and did not return. The winger logged 4:32 including 1:39 of power play time, had one assist and one shot on goal. No immediate update was given after the game.

-   The Islanders power play went 0-for-3 during 5:24 of power play time, including 36 seconds of a 5-on-3. The Isles have had the lowest power play opportunities in the NHL with just 168 this season. Anaheim has had the next fewest with 183. 

-   The Isles PK unit went 1-for-2 against Vancouver's third-ranked power play in the NHL. The Isles PK is ranked 15th overall with a kill percentage of 80.7%. 

-   Johnny Boychuk skated with the team on Wednesday in Calgary. Boychuk had previously only skated on his own after the Islanders practice in Vancouver on Monday and morning skate on Tuesday. The veteran defenseman took the ice just one week after taking an errant skate to the his eyelid which required 90 stitches. There is no timetable for Boychuk's return to game action. 

-   The Islanders are sixth in the Metropolitan Division (35-23-10) with 80 points and are one point behind Carolina and Columbus, who currently occupy the two Eastern Conference Wild Card spots. 

Video: Practice Update 3/11: Barry Trotz


FLAMES NOTES:

-   Lucic found the back of the net for the eighth time this season as he posted a two-point (1G, 1A) outing. Lucic has 20 points through 68 games in his first year with Calgary. 

-   Dube scored his sixth goal of the season and first goal on the power play. The 21-year-old center has 16 points through 45 games this season. 

-   Tkachuk scored his 23rd game of the season extended his point streak to three games (2G, 3A). The 22-year-old center leads the Flames in scoring with 61 points through 69 games. 

-   Rittich made his 48th start of the season while his record dropped to 24-17-6. The 27-year-old Czech goalie has a GAA of 2.97 and an SV% of .907. 

-   Noah Hanafin left Sunday's game with an upper-body injury and did not join the team for practice on Tuesday. The 23-year-old blueliner logged 2:00. 

-   Johnny Gaudreau, who leads the Flames with 40 assists, had his four-game point streak snapped against Vegas. Gaudreau had five points (2G, 3A) during that span. Through 70 games this season, the winger has 58 points. 

-   Former Islander Travis Hamonic fully participated in practice on Tuesday and is getting closer to a return to action after missing the past 14 games with an upper-body injury. 

-   Calgary's power play went 1-for-1, while their penalty kill went 0-for-1 against Vegas. Calgary's power play is ranked 12th in the league with a conversion rate of 21.2%. The Flames PK unit is ranked ninth overall in the NHL with a kill percentage of 82.1%.

-   The Flames are 24-15-3 under Interim Head Coach Geoff Ward. Ward took over for Bill Peters on Nov. 29, 2019.

-   At the NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 24, the Flames boosted their blueline with the additions of Erik Gustafsson from Chicago in exchange for a 2020 third-round draft pick and Derek Forburt from Los Angeles in exchange for a conditional 2021 fourth-round draft pick. Gustafsson recorded his third assist since being traded to the Flames and has 29 points (6G, 23A) through 66 games. Forburt has yet to record a point with Calgary yet, but has been in the lineup. 

-   The Flames are third in the Pacific with a record of 36-27-7 and 79 points. 

-   Other than Hamonic and Hanafin, Juuso Valimaki is the only other Calgary player on IR. Valimaki has not played this season due to undergoing ACL surgery. 

Video: Practice Update 3/11: Johnny Boychuk


ISLES VS. FLAMES:

The Isles and Flames have yet to play each other this season, but will complete the 2019-20 series out within one week. Last season, Calgary claimed both meetings with 4-2 and 3-1 results. The Flames have won four of the last five games between the teams, after the Isles won the five games before that.

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