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Game Preview: Islanders at Golden Knights

The Islanders take on the Golden Knights in Vegas (10:30 p.m., MSG+)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha / NewYorkIslanders.com

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (33-17-6) AT VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (29-22-8)

10:30 PM | T-MOBILE ARENA

WATCH: MSG+ | MSG GO

LISTEN: 88.7FM | 103.9FM | 1050AM


The New York Islanders look to bounce back after a tough and uncharacteristic 5-0 loss in Nashville on Thursday night when they take on the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.

The Isles began their four-game Western Conference road trip getting blanked 5-0 at Bridgestone Arena, their third time being shut out this season. Thomas Greiss made his 26th start of the season but was relieved after 13:33 by Semyon Varlamov after allowing three goals on eight shots. Varlamov played 46:27 between the pipes and made 16 saves on 18 shots. Anders Lee had a game-high eight shots on goal. 

Vegas kicked off a five-game homestand with a 6-5 overtime victory over the reigning Stanley Cup champions the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night at T-Mobile Arena. Jonathan Marchessault sealed the victory 2:30 into overtime with his second period-power play goal of the game. Max Pacioretty also scored twice, including once on the power play, while Nate Schmidt also had a power-play goal and Alex Tuch also scored. Malcolm Subban made 19 saves. 


MORNING SKATE UPDATES:

- Semyon Varlamov was the first goalie off the ice for morning skate, suggesting he'll start on Saturday vs Vegas. Varlamov stopped 16-of-18 shots in a relief appearance against Nashville on Thursday and won his last start, stopping 35-of-38 shots in a 5-3 win over Philadelphia. 

- Head Coach Barry Trotz said there was the possibility of lineup changes for Saturday's game. Kieffer Bellows and Cole Bardreau stayed on for extra work after morning skate, suggesting Ross Johnston and Tom Kuhnhackl could draw into the lineup. 

- Jonathan Marchessault is a game-time decision, per Vegas Head Coach Peter DeBoer. Marchessault has 40 points (20G, 20A) in 54 games.

- Marc-Andre Fleury will start in goal for the Golden Knights. Fleury is 21-14-5 with a 2.87 GAA and a .904 SV%.

Golden Knights Projected Lines: 

Roy-Stastny-Smith
Pacioretty-Karlsson-Stone
Stephenson-Eakin-Glass
Carrier-Nosek-Reaves

McNabb-Schmidt
Holden-Theodore
Merrill-Whitecloud

(lines per of Jesse Granger)

Video: Morning Skate: NYI vs VGK


ISLES NOTES:

-   Lee matched his season-high with eight shots on goal against the Predators. The Isles captain leads the Isles in shots on goal this season with 152 and has a shooting percentage of 11.2%. 

-   Derick Brassard registered five shots on goal which marks the second highest of this season (recorded six shots against New York on Jan. 13.) 

-   Mathew Barzal played in his 220th consecutive game, tying Bryan McCabe for 10th on the club's all-time list. Barzal is the Isles leader in points (48) and assists (30) through 56 games this season. 

-   The Isles were shut out for only the third time this season (Anaheim on Nov. 25 and Toronto on Jan. 4).

-   The Isles did not commit a penalty for the fourth time this season. Their penalty kill unit is ranked 16th in the league with a percentage of 79.7%. The Isles power play went 0-for-2 against the Preds. In the NHL, their extra man unit is ranked 21st at 18.9%. The Isles have had the fewest power play opportunities in the NHL with 127. The next lowest team is San Jose with 149.  

-   Cole Bardreau suited up for the first time since Nov. 9 and played 12:46 time on ice. Bardreau centered Matt Martin and Leo Komarov and recorded one shot on goal and had two hits. The 26-year-old center was recalled by the Islanders from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Feb. 12 as a result of Casey Cizikas being placed on IR with a leg laceration from Tuesday's game against Philadelphia.

-   The Isles are 11-7-2 in Metro Division matchups and 22-10-4 in games versus outside divisions. Against Eastern conference teams, the Isles are 24-10-3 and are 9-7-3 against Western conference teams.  

Video: NYI Practice: Barry Trotz


GOLDEN KNIGHTS NOTES:

-   Vegas' power play went four-for-five against St. Louis. In the NHL, the Golden Knights power play is 10th overall with a conversion rate of 22.2%. 

-   Marchessault scored his 19th and 20th goals of the season. The center scored his sixth power play marker of the season and his third game-winning goal. Through 54 games, Marchessault has 40 points. 

-   Pacioretty posted a three-point night as he scored his 25th and 26th goals of the season. The winger also scored his sixth power-play goal of the year. Pacioretty is atop the Vegas leaderboard with his 26 goals through 59 games. 

-   Schmidt found the back of the net for the seventh time this season and the first time on the power play. Through 47 games, the defenseman has 27 points. 

-   Tuch recorded a two-point night and scored his eighth goal of the season. The winger has 17 points through 42 games. 

-   Mark Stone compiled a team-high four points on the night with four helpers. Stone leads Vegas in points (57) and assists (37) through 59 games this season. 

-   Subban made his 18th start of the season and improved his record to 8-7-3. 

-   Vegas leads the NHL in shots per game with a nightly average of 34.5. 

-   Rookie Cody Glass has been sidelined since Jan. 4 with a lower-body injury after getting tangled up with St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester in the third period. The 20-year-old center is week-to-week. 


Video: Pulock scores in OT to lift Islanders to 3-2 win

ISLES VS. GOLDEN KNIGHTS:

The Islanders defeated Vegas 3-2 in overtime on Dec. 5 at NYCB Live. Ryan Pulock scored the OT winner on the power play while Cal Clutterbuck and Brock Nelson scored in regulation. Varlamov made 31 saves. 

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