NEW YORK ISLANDERS (18-13-3) VS ANAHEIM DUCKS (14-13-8)
7 P.M. BARCLAYS CENTER - BUY TICKETS
TV: MSG+, MSG GO
RADIO: 88.7FM - WRHU, 103.9FM - LI News, AM970 - The Answer
GAME NOTES - MORNING SKATE UPDATES
The New York Islanders won their bid to build an arena at Belmont Park on Wednesday. On Thursday, they turn their attention back to the ice when they host the Anaheim Ducks.
The Islanders are allowing a league-high 3.50 goals-per-game and will need to shore up their back end. The Isles have allowed three-or-more goals in nine of their 10 games in December and are 3-6-1 over that span. The Islanders are currently holding the second Wild Card in the Eastern Conference.
This is the second meeting between the Islanders and Ducks this season. Anaheim skated to a 3-2 win over the Islanders on Oct. 11 at Honda Center.
Josh Bailey and Anders Lee bring six-game point streaks into Thursday's contest, while John Tavares is riding a five-game point streak.
UPDATE: Shane Prince will make his season debut, taking out Anthony Beauvillier. Thomas Hickey returns after missing five games with an upper-body injury. Dennis Seidenberg comes out of the lineup. Jaroslav Halak will start in goal. Read more in our morning skate updates.
The Islanders recalled Shane Prince from his conditioning stint on Wednesday, a major step in his recovery from ankle surgery that's kept the winger out since August. Prince recorded two assists in four games with the Sound Tigers and could have stayed in Bridgeport until Saturday. Prince last saw NHL game action on April 2 and could make his season debut on Thursday.
Thomas Hickey could also return to the lineup after missing five games with an upper-body injury. Head coach Doug Weight said he wanted Hickey to have another practice as the reason for holding him out of Tuesday's game.
BY THE NUMBERS:
3.50 - goals against per game. The Islanders are averaging the most goals allowed per game in the NHL.
42 - points for John Tavares and Josh Bailey. Tavares (19G, 23A) and Bailey (10G, 32A) co-lead the team in scoring.
Last Game: L4-1 @ NYR
Goals: Jakob Silfverberg - 9
Assists: Corey Perry - 16
Points: Corey Perry - 22
Power Play: 17.3% - 22nd
Penalty Kill: 83.5% - 6th
The Anaheim Ducks are currently on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture and are currently on a three-game skid (0-2-1). Their most recent defeat came Tuesday night in a 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
The Ducks beat the Islanders 3-2 in their first meeting of the season on Oct. 11 at Honda Center. Prior to that meeting, the Isles had won four straight games against the Ducks.
Corey Perry leads Anaheim with 22 points (6G, 16A) in 31 games this season, but has been sidelined since Dec. 11 with a knee injury. That was the same day that Ryan Getzlaf returned to the lineup after missing all of November with a facial fracture. Getzlaf has points in four straight games entering Thursday's contest.
John Gibson has started the majority of games for Anaheim this season, getting the call 27 out of 36 times. He could get it once again on Thursday night, though backup Ryan Miller holds an 18-10-3 career record vs. the Islanders.
The Ducks will travel to Pittsburgh on Saturday to battle the Penguins before heading home next week to face the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday.
With files from Dan Hanson