NEW YORK ISLANDERS (5-3-1) at MINNESOTA WILD (2-3-2)
8 P.M. XCEL ENERGY CENTER
TV: MSG+, MSG GO
RADIO: 88.7FM - WRHU, AM970 - The Answer, 103.9FM - LI News
GAME NOTES PROJECTED LINES
The New York Islanders are looking for their fourth straight win when they visit the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night (8 p.m., MSG+, MSG GO).
The Islanders have won three straight and four of their last five games, most recently sweeping a two-game homestand against San Jose and Arizona. Thursday's game begins a two-game road trip for the Islanders.
The Islanders are 7-3-1 in their last 11 games against the Wild with the team's splitting the season series last year. Home teams won both meetings in 2016-17.
HO-SANG TO BRIDGEPORT:
The Islanders head to Minnesota without Josh Ho-Sang, who was reassigned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Wednesday afternoon.
Ho-Sang had four assists in six games to start the season, but was a healthy scratch in two straight games. The 21-year-old was also a healthy scratch in the Islanders season opener in Columbus.
On Thursday, Head Coach Doug Weight elaborated on the "tough decision" to assign Ho-Sang to the Sound Tigers. He said it was in part due to the Islanders activating Alan Quine off injured reserve and being over the 23-man roster limit. Quine was loaned to Bridgeport on Thursday morning for conditioning, but is still on the Islanders active roster.
"It was a tough decision," Weight said. "For Josh, where he's come in 12 months, he's been an awesome pro for us. There are no issues with Josh Ho-Sang, his game is getting better, he needs to work on some structure and work on some things. We had a great talk the last couple of days and obviously yesterday and he's in a good place and he's going to get good coaching down in Bridgeport, play a lot of minutes and that's important for him right now in his process."
Ho-Sang recorded 36 points (10G, 26A) in 50 games with the Sound Tigers last season. The Sound Tigers play on Friday in Hartford and host Wilkes-Barre on Saturday.
Thomas Greiss will start in goal for the Islanders against the Wild.
With Ho-Sang in Bridgeport, the Islanders are down to 12 healthy forwards, so Doug Weight is going with the same forward corps from Tuesday's win over Arizona.
|LEFT WING ||CENTER ||RIGHT WING |
|ANDERS LEE ||JOHN TAVARES ||JORDAN EBERLE |
|ANTHONY BEAUVILLIER ||MATHEW BARZAL ||JOSH BAILEY |
|ANDREW LADD ||BROCK NELSON ||JASON CHIMERA |
|NIKOLAY KULEMIN ||CASEY CIZIKAS ||CAL CLUTTERBUCK |
|NICK LEDDY ||JOHNNY BOYCHUK |
|CALVIN DE HAAN ||ADAM PELECH |
|THOMAS HICKEY ||SCOTT MAYFIELD |
BY THE NUMBERS (Tavares edition):
John Tavares is…
7th - all-time in Islanders goals (241) and points (547). Tavares passed Bob Bourne on the goals list and John Tonelli on the points list on Tuesday night.
46 - goals shy of matching Pat Lafontaine and Brent Sutter (287) for fifth on the Islanders all-time goal chart.
11 - assists shy of Stefan Persson (317) for eighth on the Islanders all-time assist chart.
19 - points shy of Pat LaFontaine (566) for sixth all-time in Islanders points.
1 - game shy of tying Kenny Jonsson (597) for 14th in Islanders games played.
After a 106-point season a year ago, the Minnesota Wild are off to a 2-3-2 start this year, but injuries and a road-heavy schedule may be factors. The Wild opened their season with five of their first six games on the road, but are now in the midst of a six-game homestand.
Zach Parise will miss 8-10 weeks after undergoing back surgery (microdiscectomy) on Tuesday, adding to the Wild's injury woes. Parise joins Charlie Coyle (broken leg) and Nino Niederreiter (sprained ankle) on the sidelines. Coyle and Niederreiter were two of the Wild's top-five scorers from last season.
Minnesota did get one injured player back in Tuesday's 1-0 loss to Vancouver, as Mikael Granlund - last season's leading scorer - returned after missing five games with a groin injury.
Devan Dubnyk will start in goal for the Wild on Thursday night.
ISLANDERS PROJECTED LINES:
|LEFT WING ||CENTER ||RIGHT WING |
|JASON ZUCKER ||MIKKO KOIVU ||MIKAEL GRANLUND |
|TYLER ENNIS ||ERIC STAAL ||LUKE KUNIN |
|MARCUS FOLIGNO ||JOEL ERIKSSON EK ||CHRIS STEWART |
|DANIEL WINNIK ||MATT CULLEN ||ZACK MITCHELL |
|RYAN SUTER ||JARED SPRUGEON |
|MIKE REILLY ||JONAS BRODIN |
|KYLE QUINCEY ||MATHEW DUMBA |