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GAME PREVIEW: ISLANDERS VS. AVALANCHE

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
The potent Isles line of Blake Comeau, PA Parenteau and Josh Bailey emerged in the second game of the season after sophomore centerman John Tavares suffered a mild concussion.


The line definitely developed quick chemistry as Comeau tallied three points in that game, Bailey notched two and Parenteau topped it off with one. The unit's production continued into Friday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, as Bailey tallied the Islanders first goal with a helper from Comeau, who also tallied an assist on Martinek’s game-tying goal.

In all, the line has tallied nine of the Islanders 24 points in the last three games and 13 of the Islanders 35 points thus far. In total, the line has earned six of the Islanders 13 goals this season.

Now the question is, with the return of Tavares, what will happen to this line that has developed chemistry so quickly this season? Tavares is expected to play tonight in his first game back since suffering the mild concussion, so it will be interesting to see how Islanders head coach Scott Gordon mixes up the lines.

The Islanders will also enjoy the return of their top defenseman, James Wisniewski, who sat out the last two games with a suspension.

This season, the Avalanche are 3-1-0, winning their first game of the season in overtime and their third game in the shootout. The Islanders have fell in both of their overtime contests this season, posting 1-1-2 on the season after last night’s contest.

Since the 1999-00 season, the Islanders have won all five home games played against the Colorado Avalanche. In seven out of 11 of the clubs’ last meetings, the Islanders have been victorious, posting a 7-2-2 record. The Islanders beat the Avalanche 3-2 in the teams’ lone meeting last season when they played in Denver at the Pepsi Center.

If the Islanders top line, no matter how it's made up, can be as productive as they’ve been this early in the season, tonight’s contest at the Coliseum should be an exciting game to watch.
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