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Game Preview: Islanders vs Lightning

The Islanders take on the Lightning in their first game after the bye week (7 p.m., MSG+)

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / NewYorkIslanders.com

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (29-15-5) VS TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (37-11-2)

7 PM | NYCB LIVE | BUY TICKETS

WATCH: MSG+ | MSG GO | NHL.TV

LISTEN: 88.7FM WRHU | 103.9FM LI NEWS | RADIO.COM/ISLANDERS


SEASON SERIES: TIED 1-1-0

The home team has taken the first two games of the Islanders and Lightning's season series. Tampa beat the Islanders 4-2 on Nov. 8, while the Isles beat the Bolts 5-1 on Jan. 13 in Brooklyn. The Islanders scored three goals in the opening 4:43 of the team's most recent meeting with Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin all recording two points apiece. 

Video: Morning Skate: NYI vs. TBL 2/1
ISLANDERS NOTES: 

-   The Islanders return to action after eight days off for the All-Star break and league-mandated bye week. They play 33 games over 65 days to finish the season, including a back-to-back with Tampa Bay and LA. 

-   The Islanders lead the Metropolitan Division with 63 points, three points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. 

-   The Islanders enter Friday on a six-game point streak (5-0-1) and are 15-3-1 in their last 19 games. 

-   Robin Lehner leads the NHL in goals-against average (2.02) and save percentage (.931). Lehner is 11-1-1 (1.34, .953) in his last 13 decisions.

-   The Islanders recalled Michael Dal Colle and Devon Toews from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Thursday. Dal Colle and Toews were loaned to Bridgeport on Jan. 23 for the Isles break. Dal Colle appeared in the AHL All-Star Classic on Jan. 27th and 28th. 

-   Thomas Hickey and Andrew Ladd are both skating on their own and are poised to re-join the Islanders for optional practices, according to GM Lou Lamoriello. 


Video: Isles hit the ice after some rest


LIGHTNING NOTES: 

-   The Lightning enter Friday's action with a league-leading 76 points and 201 goals for. 

-   Tampa Bay is coming off a 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night. The Lightning have only lost consecutive games once this season. 

-   The Lightning are making their first visit to Long Island since a 3-1 loss on Dec. 20, 2014. Tampa Bay is 18-23-2 (plus one tie) in 44 games at Nassau Coliseum. 

-   Nikita Kucherov leads the NHL with 79 points (22G, 57A) this season. 

-   Brayden Point leads the Lightning with 30 goals and is second on the team with 65 points. 


CHARITY OF THE GAME: SMILE TRAIN

Smile Train was one of the causes nearest to Charles B. Wang's heart and the New York Islanders are proud to continue his legacy of repairing clefts for underprivileged children around the world. 

Smile Train is the charity of the game on Friday night when the Islanders take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Fans can donate at the Community Relations table at section eight, as well as online. Tickets purchased at this link will also benefit Smile Train.


*Graphic courtesy of Islanders PR

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