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Game Preview: Islanders at Wild

The Islanders look to snap a three-game winless streak in the State of Hockey (6 p.m., MSG+)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha /




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The Islanders are coming off of a 5-2 loss at Chicago on Friday evening. Ross Johnston scored in the first period to put the Isles up 1-0, while Casey Cizikas scored a shorthanded goal in the third period, but the Blackhawks scored five-straight goals in between. Thomas Greiss started in net and made eight saves on 11 shots, but was relieved after 11:56 by Semyon Varlamov. Varlamov made 17 saves on 19 shots and played 48:04. 

The Wild rallied for three-third period goals to beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-4 on Friday night. Mats Zuccarello, Victor Rask and Ryan Suter scored in the third period comeback, while Carson Soucy, Eric Staal and Brad Hunt rounded out the scoring. Devan Dubynk made 40 saves. 


-   The Islanders have lost two straight regulation games and are 0-2-1 in their last three contests. The Isles are 1-3-1 in their last five games and have allowed 24 goals over that span. 

-   Johnston scored his third goal of the season on Friday night and has three points through 21 games. Johnston's three goals matches his career-high set in the 2017-18 season.

-   Cizikas scored his third shorthanded goal of the season and the most of his career. The center has five shorthanded points this season on the Isles' six shorthanded goals. Cizikas' three shorthanded goals and five shorthanded points are tied with Vegas' William Karlsson and the Rangers' Mika Zibanejad for the NHL lead in shorthanded points. Through 31 games this season, Cizikas has 10 points (6G, 4A). 

-   Greiss made his 18th start of the season. The German netminder has a record of 11-7-0, a 2.58 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. Greiss has lost his last three starts. 

-   Varlamov has a record of 12-3-3, a 2.47 GAA and a .918 SV%. The Russian netminder has made 18 starts this season. 

-   Josh Bailey assisted on Johnston's goal and ended a five-game pointless streak. Bailey is tied for second on the Isles' leaderboard with 15 assists. The winger has 23 points (8G, 15A) through 36 games this season. 

-   Nick Leddy also assisted on Johnston's goal. The blueliner has four points (1G, 3A) in his last three games. Through 28 games this season, Leddy has 15 points (3G, 12A). 

-   Tom Kuhnhackl registered his first point of the season as he assisted on Cizikas' shorthanded goal. The winger played in his fourth-straight game since returning to the lineup on Dec. 19 and his 10th total game of the season.  

-   The Isles registered their second-highest shots on goal total of the season against Chicago with 40. 

-   The Isles penalty kill went 4-for-4 and the power play went 0-for-2 against Chicago.  

-   Andrew Ladd was returned on loan to Bridgeport on Friday morning. 

Video: NYI Practice: Minnesota

- The Wild have won three of their last four games and improved their record to 19-15-5. The win over Colorado advanced Minnesota within one point of both wild card spots in the Western Conference and within two points of third place in the Central Division where the Wild are ranked fifth with 43 points. 

- Staal scored his team-leading 15th goal of the season and his second goal in back-to-back games. Staal leads the Wild goals and points with 32 through 39 games this season. In his last eight games, Staal has seven goals and 11 points in that span. 

-   Hunt scored his seventh goal of the season and third on the power play. The defenseman has 15 points through 39 games this season. 

-   Zuccarello scored his 10th goal of the season. The former Ranger has 23 points (10G, 13A) through 35 games with his new club. 

-   Rask scored his second game-winning goal of the season his fourth total goal. The center has 10 points through 29 games. 

-   Suter scored his fifth goal of the season. The blueliner leads the Wild in assists with 20 through 39 games this season. Suter's 25:11 TOI/GP leads the Wild and ranks seventh among all NHL players. That's actually the lowest TOI/GP for Suter in six years, as he's averaged at least 26 minutes per game in each season, headlined with two seasons over 29 minutes per game.

-   Dubnyk made his 16th start of the season and improved his record to 7-8-2. The 33-year-old goalie has a 3.24 GAA and a .898 SV%. 

-   The Wild are without Jason Zucker, captain Mikko Koivu and Greg Pateryn who are all on injured reserve. Zucker underwent surgery last week to repair a fractured fibula and is expected to miss four to six weeks. Koivu has been sidelined since Dec. 3 with a lower-body injury. Pateryn has yet to make his season debut after undergoing a bilateral core muscle repair surgery before the start of the season. Pateryn has returned on a conditioning stint with Minnesota's AHL affiliate the Iowa Wild. 

Video: NYI Practice: Minnesota


The Isles swept the Wild in the season series last year, beating Minnesota by a one-goal margin in both contests. The Isles defeated the Wild 2-1 on Feb. 10 at Barclays Center where Anthony Beauvillier and Devon Toews scored. Greiss made 26 saves. The Islanders won 3-2 in overtime on March 17 as Brock Nelson scored the game-winner and Eberle and Lee scored in regulation. Greiss made 32 saves.

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