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Game Preview: Islanders at Lightning

Two division leaders meet as the Isles take on the Bolts (7:30 p.m., MSG+)

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (8-4-2) AT TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (11-3-1)

7:30 PM | AMALIE ARENA

WATCH: MSG+ | MSG GO | NHL.TV

LISTEN: 88.7FM WRHU | 103.9 FM LI NEWS | RADIO.COM

GAME NOTES | MORNING SKATE UPDATES


Two division leaders meet on Thursday night, as the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Islanders take on the Atlantic Divison-leading Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena (7:30 p.m.). 

The Islanders bring a seven-game point streak (5-0-2) into Thursday's action, but Monday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens served as a wakeup call. After arriving in Tampa a day early, the Isles look to refocus for a formidable challenge against a lethal Lightning squad that sits atop the Eastern Conference. 

"We just have to get back to our fundamentals," Nick Leddy said after Wednesday's practice. "Monday wasn't our best game, but there are a lot of games in the season. We were lucky to get a point out of it and we're ready to get back to our game plan."

"We've seen that our fundamentals work," Leddy added. "Our foundation and when we're playing the right way we're a successful team." 

Thursday's game kicks off a two-game Florida swing for the Islanders, who play the Panthers on Saturday night in Sunrise. 

The Lightning won two of the three meetings between the teams last season and five of the past six overall. 


Video: Isles get back to the fundamentals


ISLANDERS NOTES: 

-- Jordan Eberle is expected to play against the Lightning after taking a maintenance day on Wednesday. Tom Kuhnhackl skated alongside Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier during the practice. 

-- Matt Martin (upper body) did not join the Islanders on their Florida road trip and as a result will miss his third straight game on Thursday. Ross Johnston continued to skate in Martin's place. 

-- Robin Lehner could return to action on Thursday night for the first time since Oct. 30. Lehner has been eased back into the Isles lineup, getting a week's worth of practices in while backing up Thomas Greiss in the previous two games. 

-- The Islanders are riding a seven-game point streak (5-0-2) and lead the Metropolitan Division with 18 points. 


LIGHTNING NOTES: 

-- After a 7-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Oct. 27, the Lightning have been rolling. Tampa has won three straight and four of their last five games. 

-- The Lightning lead the Eastern Conference with 23 points. 

-- Victor Hedman (upper body) will not play for the Islanders. Hedman will miss his seventh straight game. 

-- Brayden Point leads the Lightning in goals (9) and points (19). Point is tied with Nikita Kucherov for the team lead in assists (10). Point has 10 points in his last five games. 

-- Andrei Vailevskiy is tied for the NHL lead with eight wins this season. 

-- Not surprisingly, the Lightning boast good team numbers across the board, with the third-highest goals-for per game (3.60), fifth-lowest goals-against per game (2.67) and second-ranked penalty kill (89.3%).


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