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Game Preview: Islanders at Lightning

The Islanders continue their three-game road trip in Tampa Bay (7 p.m., MSG+)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha /




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The Islanders opened up their three-game road trip with a 3-1 loss at Dallas on Saturday night. Mathew Barzal scored the Isles sole goal of the game but the Islanders could not climb out of a 3-0 hole. Thomas Greiss made 34 saves in the loss.  

Tampa is coming off of an electric 7-1 win over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night. The LIghtning scored twice on the power play with both goals coming from captain Steven Stamkos. Tampa also got goals from Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn, Victor Hedman and Carter Verhaeghe. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 37 saves.  

Video: Morning Skate : NYI vs TBL


- Nick Leddy will not play on Monday night as he is currently day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Leddy suffered the injury in the waning minutes of Saturday's 3-1 loss, as he got tangled up with Dallas' Esa Lindell. 

- Noah Dobson draws into the lineup for Leddy. Dobson is returning to the lineup for the first time since Nov. 27 against LA and will be paired with his regular partner in Johnny Boychuk. Dobson will also see some power play time in Leddy's spot. 

"It's great to get back in. As a player you always want to be playing, so the main thing over the last stretch is to make sure in practice that I'm preparing and able to step in and be effective," Dobson said. "I can learn from the last game in LA, I thought I didn't have my best after stepping in for a while, so mainly just keep it simple early on, but really happy to be back in and I'll make the most of the opportunity."

- Michael Dal Colle also draws back into the lineup on Monday, likely for Leo Komarov. Dal Colle has been out since Dec. 3, though Head Coach Barry Trotz pointed out that had more to do with the type of lineup he wanted to ice against a pair of heavy teams in Vegas and Dallas. Dal Colle has three points (1G, 2A) in 23 games this season. 

- Semyon Varlamov was the first goalie off the ice for morning skate and is likely to start vs Tampa. If he does, it'll extend the Islanders goalie rotation to a franchise-long 29 games to start a season. Varlamov has won his last two starts, stopping 61-of-64 shots in the process. 

- Curtis McElhinney is projected to start for Tampa. The 36-year-old is 3-2-2 in seven games this season with a 3.42 GAA and a .908 SV%. McElhinney won three game against the Islanders in last year's playoffs, when he played for the Carolina Hurricanes. 

- Tampa's Tyler Johnson will not play on Monday night. Mitchell Stephens is expected to make his NHL debut as a result. 


- Barzal scored his 12th goal of the season as he tipped in Devon Toews' shot from the point in the third period. Barzal leads the Isles in goals, assists (13) and points (25) through 28 games this season. The 22-year-old center has five points (3G, 2A) in his last five games.  

- Toews assisted on Barzal's goal to record his 10th helper of the season. Toews' assist snapped an eight-game drought without a point. Through 28 games this season, the blueliner has 12 points (2G, 10A) and is plus-seven.  

- Scott Mayfield also assisted on Barzal's goal and recorded his fifth helper of the season. Through 28 games, Mayfield has nine points and is tied with his career-high of four goals. The blueliner is riding a three-game point streak with three points on one goal and two assists in that span.  

- Greiss suited up in his 177th game for the Islanders to surpass Glenn Healy and tie himself with Jaroslav Halak for sixth place on the Isles list of games played for netminders. Greiss has a record of 10-4-0 this season, a 2.24 goals against average and a .930 save percentage.  

- Ross Johnston returned to the lineup for second-consecutive games and played in his 14th game of the season. Johnston logged 12:39 time on ice, had a team-high of nine hits and fired one shot on net.  

- The Isles penalty kill went 0-for-2 against the Stars. The Isles PK is ranked 15th in the NHL at 81.6%.  

- The Isles power play went 0-for-1 against Dallas. The Isles power-play unit is ranked 19th at 18.2%. The Isles have had the fewest power play opportunities across the NHL at 66. The Anaheim Ducks are the next team with the fewest chances on the man advantage at 74.  

- The Islanders are ranked second in the NHL for blocks. The Isles have blocked 479 shots this season. Adam Pelech leads the team in blocks with 67.  

- The Isles are third in the NHL for hits with 840. Cal Clutterbuck is the hits leader among the Isles with 98 and leads by a margin of 20, where Matt Martin has registered the second-highest amount of hits with 78.  

- The Isles are tied with St. Louis for first in the League for overtime goals with five. Brock Nelson has scored three of the five overtime goals.  

- Nick Leddy left the game with a lower-body injury during the final two minutes of action after he was tripped up in a race for the puck with Dallas' Esa Lindell. Head Coach Barry Trotz did not have an immediate update following the game.  

Video: Islanders top Lightning for eighth consecutive win


- Stamkos scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season and had one assist on the night. Through 24 games this season, Stamkos has 25 points and leads Tampa in power play goals with six.  

- Johnson scored his seventh goal of the season. Through 27 games this year, Johnson has 14 points. In the past four games, Johnson has four points (2G, 2A).  

- Killorn registered a team-high of four points against San Jose. Killorn scored his eighth goal of the season and dished out three helpers. The winger is riding a three-game point streak and three-game goal streak with six points on three goals and three assists in that span. Through 25 games this season, Killorn has 22 points (8G, 14A).  

- Hedman scored his seventh goal of the season and posted a three-point outing. Hedman is riding a five-game point streak and three-game goal streak with seven points (3G, 4A) in that span. Through 25 games this season, Hedman has the second-most points among the team and the highest among defenseman with 27 points (7G, 20A).  

- It was an off-night for Nikita Kucherov who went pointless against San Jose and had his seven-game point streak snapped. Kucherov had 13 points (4G, 9A) during his seven-game point streak. Kucherov leads the Lighting in goals (10), assists (21) and points (31) through 26 games this season.  

- Verhaeghe scored his first NHL goal against the Sharks and had two assists. The 24-year-old center has played 17-career games for the Lightning, all played this season. Verhaeghe has four points (1G, 3A) this season and on his career.  

- Vasilevskiy made his 20th start of the season and improved his record to 11-8-1. The 2019 Vezina Trophy recipient has a 2.91 goals against average and a .907 save percentage.  

- The Lightning's power play went 2-for-4 against San Jose. Tampa's power play is ranked second across the NHL at 30.0% and have scored the third-highest amount of power-play goals in the League with 27.  

- Tampa averages the most goals for per game in the NHL at 3.74 and have scored the fifth highest in the league with 101 through 27 games.  


The Islanders claimed the first meeting of the season with the Lightning 5-2 on Nov. 1 at NYCB Live. Barzal, Ryan Pulock, Josh Bailey, Anders Lee and Derick Brassard scored even-strength goals for the Isles while Greiss made 33 saves.  

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