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Game Preview: Islanders vs Golden Knights

The Islanders and Golden Knights play for the first time ever on Monday (7 p.m., MSG+, MSG GO)

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (6-4-1) VS VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (8-1-0)

7 P.M. BARCLAYS CENTER - BUY TICKETS

TV: MSG+ MSG GO

RADIO: 88.7FM - WRHU, AM970 - The Answer, 103.9FM LI News

GAME NOTES - MORNING SKATE UPDATES


A trip to Music City has the Islanders power play singing a different tune. 

After starting the season 2-for-33, the power play went 3-for-5 against the Nashville Predators, the reigning Western Conference champions. The breakthrough came after the Islanders shuffled their power-play personnel, which saw Jordan Eberle and Mathew Barzal flip-flop on the first and second units. Ryan Pulock and Anthony Beauvillier were also added to the second unit.

"I like Ebs on that spot," Head Coach Doug Weight said. "I think it's important for him to have the puck a little bit more, especially the way things were going. I like the two units, we have a long way to go, but certainly they focused on the things we talked about which was good to see."

Video: NYI@NSH: Eberle pots his second goal of the game

Eberle also had a breakthrough, netting his first two goals as an Islander on Saturday night. The Islanders' winger was part of Weight's power-play shuffling, playing on the second unit, and line changes, appearing to have chemistry with new linemates Brock Nelson and Mathew Barzal. 

"Barzy is a good player. He finds areas to get the puck he's got a lot of speed and that creates open ice for us," Eberle said. "Nelly obviously is great with the puck as well. It was good to get some chemistry going. It's just one game, but we want to continue to play like that."

"I thought that line was really good," Weight said. "They created a lot of chances."

Video: NYI@NSH: Tavares records second hatty in three games

The hottest Islander of all is captain John Tavares, who has two hat-tricks in his last three games. Tavares' eighth-career trick was also his second natural hatty, scoring three consecutive goals in the third period of Saturday's game. Tavares joins Mike Bossy and Ziggy Palffy as the only Islanders to score two hat tricks in three games. 

Tavares has 10 points (7G, 3A) in his last four games and has vaulted up the NHL scoring race. The Islanders captain is third in the league in goals and tied for eighth in points. 

"When you have a hot stick, you've got a hot stick and we'd like to ride that," Eberle said of Tavares on Saturday.

Tavares was named the NHL's first star of the week on Monday morning.

Video: Tavares, Dansk, Pageau named 3 Stars of the Week

LINEUP NOTES: 

The Islanders are going with the same lineup from Saturday. That means Jaroslav Halak will start in goal, while Ryan Pulock and Dennis Seidenberg are in on defense.

ISLANDERS PROJECTED LINES:

FORWARDS
LEFT WING CENTER  RIGHT WING
ANDERS LEE JOHN TAVARES JOSH BAILEY
BROCK NELSON MATHEW BARZAL JORDAN EBERLE
ANDREW LADD CASEY CIZIKAS JASON CHIMERA
NIKOLAY KULEMIN ANTHONY BEAUVILLIER CAL CLUTTERBUCK
DEFENSE
NICK LEDDY JOHNNY BOYCHUK
CALVIN DE HAAN DENNIS SEIDENBERG
ADAM PELECH RYAN PULOCK

BY THE NUMBERS: 

6 - game point streak for Josh Bailey. Bailey has nine points (2G, 7A) on his currently streak.

5 - game point streak for Anders Lee. Lee has eight points (4G, 4A) on his streak.

3 - points in 3 games for Ryan Pulock. All three of Pulock's points (1G, 2A) have come on the power play, as he's been in on three of the Islanders five power-play goals. 

HALLOWEEN COSTUME CONTEST:

The Islanders are celebrating Halloween a night early. Fans who come dressed in costume to Monday's game will have a chance to win a team signed stick. 

Tweet from @NYIslanders: Wear your Halloween costume to tomorrow's #Isles game at @barclayscenter! ����Best costume wins a team signed stick! ������ #HockeyHalloween

THE OPPOSITION: 

Four months ago, the Vegas Golden Knights were brought together in an expansion draft, selecting one player from every NHL team. Now it seems like the Golden Knights have come together as a team. 

The NHL's newest team is off unprecedented 8-1-0 start to their franchise's history and bring a five-game winning streak to Barclays Center on Monday. To put Vegas' start in perspective, it took the 1972-73 Islanders 65 games to get to their eighth win (8-52-5). Most recently, the Golden Knights shut out the Colorado Avalanche 7-0. 

James Neal leads the Golden Knights in goals (7) and points (10), while the team overall is seventh in goals-per-60 minutes (3.31).

In net, Vegas may be down to their third-string goalie Oscar Dansk, but the 23-year-old has maintained the high level of play set by Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcom Subban. Dansk is 3-0-0 this season, allowing three goals over that span. He was named the NHL's second star of the week on Monday.

Center Vadim Shipachyov was suspended by Vegas on Sunday for leaving the team's AHL affiliate in Chicago. He will not play against the Islanders on Monday. 

Per NHL.com:
The Golden Knights signed Shipachyov, 30, to a two-year, $9 million contract on May 4. Playing for SKA St. Petersburg in 2016-17, Shipachyov was third in the Kontinental Hockey League with 76 points (26 goals, 50 assists) in 50 games.

Shipachyov began the season with Chicago but was recalled by the Golden Knights and scored a goal in his NHL debut against the Boston Bruins on Oct. 15. It was his only point in three games with Vegas before being sent back to Chicago.

GOLDEN KNIGHTS PROJECTED LINES:

FORWARDS
LEFT WING CENTER  RIGHT WING
DAVID PERRON CODY EAKIN JAMES NEAL
JONATHAN MARCHESSAULT WILLIAM KARLSSON REILLY SMITH
ERIK HAULA OSCAR LINDBERG ALEX TUCH
WILL CARRIER PIERRE-EDOUARD BELLEMARE TOMAS NOSEK
DEFENSE
NATE SCHMIDT LUCA SBISA
BRAYDEN MCNABB DERYK ENGELLAND
COLIN MILLER BRAD HUNT
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