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Game Preview: Islanders at Maple Leafs

The Islanders can move into the second Wild Card spot with a win over the Leafs (7:30 p.m., MSG+)

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders
New York Islanders (25-19-10) at Toronto Maple Leafs (25-18-11)
7:30 p.m., Air Canada Centre
Radio: AM970 - The Answer; 88.7FM - WRHU; 103.9FM - LI News

The New York Islanders can jump into a playoff spot with a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night at Air Canada Centre (7:30 p.m., MSG+). 

The Islanders (60 points) are currently one point back of the Leafs (61 points), who occupy the second Wild Card in the Eastern Conference. 

The Philadelphia Flyers (61 points) are idle on Tuesday night. 

Video: Nelson nets OT winner to rally Isles past Leafs, 6-5
Isles Going For Season Series Sweep of Leafs:

The Islanders took both meetings at Barclays Center, including a 6-5 overtime win eight days ago on Feb. 6 and can sweep the season series on Tuesday. New York rallied from three separate deficits, with Andrew Ladd forcing overtime with 1:29 to play in the third period, before Brock Nelson scored the OT winner. 

The Islanders also beat the Leafs 5-1 on Oct. 30 and are 3-0-1 in their last four games against Toronto. 

Leafs coach Mike Babcock spoke highly of the Islanders at Monday's practice. 

Via Adam Proteau at 

"I never ever thought they weren't a good team," Babcock said of the Islanders. "I don't think anyone really thought that. They have an elite, elite centre in John Tavares, and they have good players, and now they seem to have got excited and got it going."

Toronto Maple Leafs Notes: 

While Toronto currently occupies the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, the Leafs have stumbled since the all-star break, going 2-3-2 over that span. 

But even if the Islanders bounce the Leafs out of the Wild Card, Toronto still has a path to the playoffs through their division. The Leafs (61 points) have four games in hand on the Boston Bruins (64 points), so they can make up some ground while the Bruins are on their bye week (Feb. 13-17).  

Mitch Marner hasn't slowed since the all-star break, recording eight points (4G, 4A) over that span and leads the Leafs with 47 points (15G, 32A) this season. 

Check back for Morning Skate Updates on Tuesday for the latest Leafs and Islanders lineup notes.

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