NEW YORK ISLANDERS (10-6-2) AT TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (15-2-2)
7 P.M. AMALIE ARENA
TV: MSG+ MSG GO
RADIO: 88.7FM, 101.9FM, 660AM
The league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning will be a litmus test for the New York Islanders, as they get a shot at the NHL's top team on the road on Saturday night. (7 p.m., MSG+, MSG GO).
The Islanders are coming in off two straight wins, as the Isles scored a win over the best team in the Western Conference last Saturday in St. Louis and beat a team that has given them fits over with a win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.
In Tampa, they'll be facing both a conference leader and a matchup that's given them trouble, as the Islanders have lost seven straight games against the Lightning dating back to Game 2 of the 2016 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Expect the goals to pile up in Saturday's affair, as the Lightning (4.00) and Islanders (3.61) are first and second in goals-per-game. The Isles have scored five or more goals eight times this season, including both of their last two games.
The Islanders are going with the same defensemen from Thursday night, but the forwards will be a gametime decision. Thomas Greiss will start in goal.
BY THE NUMBERS:
18 straight penalties killed by the Lightning. Tampa has gone seven straight games without allowing a power-play goal.
6-0-0 when the Islanders score the first goal. The Islanders hve scored the first goal last Saturday and on Thursday.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are off to their best start in franchise history, going 15-2-2 in their first 19 games, leading the NHL in wins (15), points (32) and goal differential (+30).
Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov are the NHL's top duo, as Stamkos leads the league with 35 points, while Kucherov leads the league in goals (17). Kucherov is second in the NHL with 33 points (17G, 16A).
Andrei Vasilevskiy is 14-1-1 this season with a 2.24 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage. His 14 wins lead the league, while his GAA and SV% are in the upper echelon.