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Game Preview: Islanders vs Canucks

The Islanders kick off the stretch drive against the Canucks (1 p.m., MSG+)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha / NewYorkIslanders.com

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (29-15-5) VS VANCOUVER CANUCKS (29-18-4)

1 PM | BARCLAYS CENTER | BUY TICKETS

HAWAIIAN SHIRT GIVEAWAY | PRE-GAME HAPPY HOUR

WATCH: MSG+ | MSG GO

LISTEN: 88.7FM | 103.9FM | 98.7FM


After a 10-day break, the New York Islanders are back in action when they host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday afternoon at Barclays Center. 

The Isles took a 4-2 win over the New York Rangers on Jan. 21 as they entered their All-Star break and bye week on a winning note. Josh Bailey, Anthony Beauvillier, Anders Lee and Brock Nelson scored for the Isles while Thomas Greiss made 40 saves. 

Vancouver has won both of their games since returning from their bye week and All-Star break. Most recently, the Canucks are coming off of 5-2 win over San Jose on Wednesday night. Quinn Hughes, Tyler Myers, Jake Virtanen, Brandon Sutter and Tanner Pearson scored for the Canucks, while Jacob Markstrom made 38 saves. 


MORNING SKATE UPDATES:

- Head Coach Barry Trotz did not confirm a starter in net for the Isles. Thomas Greiss has started the last two games for the Isles between the pipes and has a record of 14-7-1. Semyon Varlamov made his last start on Jan. 18 against Washington. Varlamov has a record of 15-8-4. 

- Canucks forward Tyler Motte will not play and is expected to be out for four-to-six weeks with a shoulder injury as confirmed by Vancouver head coach Travis Green ahead of Saturday's game. Tim Schaller will return to the lineup for the first time since Jan. 14. 

Tweet from @Canucks: Motte is out 4-to-6 weeks with a shoulder injury, said Coach Green. Schaller returns to the line-up & Roussel will play. Markstrom starts. pic.twitter.com/AuFIrhnFvh

CANUCKS PROJECTED LINEUP courtesy of Daily Faceoff:

Pearson - Horvat - Eriksson 

Miller - Pettersson - Virtanen 

Roussel - Gaudette - Boeser 

Schaller - Beagle - Sutter 

Edler - Stecher 

Hughes - Tanev 

Fantenberg - Myers 

Markstrom 

Video: Game Day Update 2/1: Barry Trotz


ISLES NOTES:

-   Bailey recorded his first three-point night of the season as he scored a goal and added two helpers against the Rangers. The goal was his 11th goal of the season and his third goal through his last five games. Through 49 games this season, the winger has 30 points (11G, 19A). 

-   Beauvillier scored his 13th goal of the season and also netted his third goal through five games. Beauvillier's power-play goal was his third of the season. Through 49 games this season, the 22-year-old winger has 29 points (13G, 16A). 

-   Lee scored his 16th goal of the season and his second goal in as many games. Through 49 games this season, the Isles captain has 29 points (16G, 13A). Lee's game-winning goal was his fifth of the season and tied him with Nelson for top of the Isles leaderboard. 

-   Nelson scored his 20th goal of the season and scored his fifth goal through his last six games. Nelson reached the 20-goal mark for the fifth time in the last six seasons. The center leads the Isles in goals and is second behind Mathew Barzal's team-leading 42 points. Nelson has 38 points through 49 games. 

-   Barzal had two assists against the Rangers. The 22-year-old center leads the Isles in points (42) and assists (25) and is second behind Nelson in goals (17) through 49 games this season. 

-   Barzal represented the Islanders at the 2020 NHL All-Star Weekend in St. Louis. Barzal dethroned three-time Fastest Skater champion Connor McDavid to win the honors with a 13.175 second lap. Barzal and the Metropolitan Division team lost to the Atlantic Division in the first round of the three-on-three tournament. 

-   Greiss made his 22nd start of the season and improved his record to 14-7-1. Greiss has a 2.43 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage. 

-   The Isles power play went two-for-two and is ranked 20th in the NHL with a conversion of 19.5%. The Isles are 11-4-1 when they score at least one power-play goal and 18-11-4 when they do not. The Isles have had the fewest power-play opportunities in the NHL with 113 (Anaheim is next lowest at 133). 

-   This season, the Isles are 4-0-2 at Barclays Center this season and have not lost a regular season game since Jan. 12, 2019 (against the Rangers 2-1). The Islanders next four games will all be in Brooklyn.


Video: The Isles define their team identity.


CANUCKS NOTES:

-   Vancouver has won five of their last six games and is atop the Pacific standings with 62 points (29-18-4). 

-   Elias Pettersson leads the Canucks in goals (21), points (52) and is tied for the team lead in assists. In his second season, Pettersson has emerged as one of the top-tier offensive player, as he is tied for 16th in the league in points. At NHL All-Star Weekend, the reigning rookie of the year registered a 102.4 mph slap shot and helped the Pacific Division win the three-on-three tournament.

-   Hughes scored his sixth goal of the season and had one assist against the Sharks. Through 50 games this season, the 20-year-old rookie defenseman has 36 points (6G, 30A) and is second in the NHL among rookies for points, but leads rookies in assists. Hughes was also named to the NHL All-Star Weekend in St. Louis.

-   Virtanen scored his 15th goal of the season and his fourth power play goal. The 23-year-old winger extended his point streak to four games with six points (2G, 4A) during that span. 

-   Pearson scored his 15th goal of the season and had one assist. The winger has goals in three of his last four games. Through 51 games this season, Pearson has 39 points. 

-   J.T. Miller registered two assists against the Sharks and extended his point streak to four games (3G, 3A). Through 51 games this season, the center has 50 points (19G, 31). His points and goals are second on the team leaderboard behind Elias Pettersson (21 goals and 52 points) and his assists are tied with Pettersson for the most. 

-   Markstrom made his 35th start of the season and improved his record to 19-13-3. The 30-year-old goalie - who was the third Canuck named to All-Star Weekend - has a 2.69 GAA and a .917 SV%. 

-   The Canucks have the league-leading faceoff win percentage of 54%. Against the Sharks, Vancouver was 66% when taking draws. 

-   Compared the Islanders, the Canucks are at the other end of the spectrum for power-play opportunities. Vancouver has had the most power-play opportunities in the NHL with 187. The Canucks power play is ranked seventh overall of a conversion percentage of 23.5%. 

-   Josh Levio is out with a lower-body injury and has been sidelined since Dec. 19 after fracturing his kneecap. Through 36 games, the winger had 19 points (7G, 12A). 

-   Tyler Graovoc has been sidelined since Dec. 1 with a lower-body injury. Through eight games, the center had two goals. 


Video: Back and Energized

ISLES VS. CANUCKS:

The Isles took both meetings from the Canucks last season. The Islanders claimed the first meeting 5-2 at Barclays Center on Nov. 13 and blanked Vancouver 4-0 at Rogers Arena on Feb. 24. 

The Islanders have won three straight games vs the Canucks in Brooklyn and are 6-0-1 overall in their last seven games against Vancouver. 

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