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Game Preview: Islanders vs Lightning

The Islanders go for an eighth-straight win when they host the Lightning (7 p.m., MSG+)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha /





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The New York Islanders look to claim an eighth-straight victory - a feat they haven't accomplished since the 1989-90 season - when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night.

Friday's tilt with Tampa kicks off a tough back-to-back set for the Isles, who take on the reigning Presidents' Trophy winners, before travelling to Buffalo on Saturday. 

Tampa Bay closes out a three-game road trip with their finale at the Islanders. On Wednesday, the Lightning overcame a 5-3 deficit to claim a 7-6 overtime victory over the New Jersey Devils after losing 4-1 the previous night to the New York Rangers. 

The Lighting bested the Islanders 1-1-1 last season. Tampa took a 4-2 win over the Isles on Nov. 8, 2018. The Isles picked up a 5-1 win over Tampa on Jan. 13. Josh Bailey scored three goals both of the first two meetings. On Feb. 1, Tampa claimed the third and final meeting with 1-0 shootout win. 


- After missing Thursday's practice with an illness, Anthony Beauvillier skated with the team on Friday morning and is expected to play against the Lightning. 

- Noah Dobson also skated after missing two practices with an illness, but isn't expected to play, as he stayed on the ice for extra work with Otto Koivula and Andrew Ladd. 

- Thomas Greiss was the first goalie off the ice for morning skate, suggesting that he'll get the start for the Islanders. Greiss went 1-0-1 against the Lightning last season, stopping 79-of-80 shots in the two games. Greiss technically earned a shutout in the Isles 1-0 shootout loss to the Bolts last February. 

Video: Morning Skate: NYI vs TBL


-   Anthony Beauvillier missed Thursday's practice with an illness. His status for Friday's game has yet to be determined. Noah Dobson and Leo Komarov also missed Thursday's practice with illnesses. 

-   Derick Brassard has scored in three-straight games for the Islanders. Brassard has four points (1G, 3A) in 11 games for the Isles. 

-   Mathew Barzal, Anders Lee, Ross Johnston and Ryan Pulock also scored against the Flyers. 

-   Barzal leads the Isles with five goals in 11 games. The 22-year-old center has one power-play goal and one game-winning goal. Barzal is tied with Josh Bailey for second on the Islanders in points with nine. 

-   Semyon Varlamov made 28 saves against the Flyers. The Russian netminder has made six starts and has posted a record of 4-2-0. Varlamov has a save percentage of .918 and a goals against average of 2.53. 

-   Thomas Greiss has equally split the pipes with Varlamov through this season. Greiss has a record of 4-1-0, a save percentage of .931 and a goals against average of 2.18. Greiss is due up if the Islanders stick to their goalie rotation.

-   The Isles power play went 0-for-2 against Philadelphia. Across the league, the Isles power play is ranked fourth at 27.8%. The Islanders have drawn the fewest amount of penalties across the league with 18. 

-   The Islanders are currently battling a series injuries. Jordan Eberle (undisclosed), Leo Komarov (illness), Matt Martin (lower body) and Tom Kuhnhackl (lower body) have all been placed on IR.

-   In wake of the mounting injuries, Otto Koivula was the Isles most recent call up from their AHL affiliate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, joining the team on Wednesday. If Koivula in the lineup against Tampa, the 21-year-old Finn will be making his NHL debut. 

Video: Defensive Consistency, Koivula Joins Practice


-   Tyler Johnson scored Tampa's OT winner 1:16 into the extra frame on Wednesday. Johnson posted a three-point night (1G, 2A) and has nine points (4G, 5A) through 12 games. 

-   Ondrej Palat scored twice, Alex Killhorn scored on the power play and Brayden Point, Anthony Cirelli and Mathieu Joseph also scored. 

-   Curtis McElhinney made 36 saves in his fourth game for the Lightning. The 36-year-old netminder has made four starts and posted a 1-1-2 record for Tampa, while registering a .899 save percentage and 3.93 goals against average. 

-   Andrei Vasilveskiy has played the bulk of the season in net for Tampa. Vasilevskiy has a 5-3-0 record and has compiled a 3.00 goals against average and a save percentage of .910.  

-   The Lightning's power play went 1-for-1 against New Jersey and is ranked sixth in the league with a conversion percentage of 25%. Tampa's power play opportunities of 32 are tied for the second-least amount in the NHL. 

-   Steven Stamkos leads the Lightning in scoring with five goals and 12 points through 12 games. Stamkos has scored three power-play goals and has two game-winning goals.

-   Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (lower body) and forward Pat Maroon (upper body), Erik Cernak (lower body) were injured in the game against New York on Tuesday and did not play against the Devils. Hedman and Maroon were placed on injured reserve. Hedman, Maroon and Cernak are day-to-day. 

-   The Lightning recalled Alexander Volkov, Cory Conacher and Luke Schenn from AHL Syracuse Wednesday afternoon to play against New Jersey. Volkov made his NHL debut against the Devils and log 12:49 time on ice. Schenn made his Lightning debut. Jan Rutta made his season debut.

-   The Lightning reassigned Conacher to Syracuse on Thursday.  

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