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Game Preview: Islanders vs. Maple Leafs

The Islanders host first-overall pick Auston Matthews and the Maple Leafs at Barclays Center

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders
New York Islanders (3-5-0) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (2-3-3)
6 p.m., Barclays Center - Hockey Fights Cancer Night - Buy Tickets
Radio: AM970 The Answer, 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9FM WRCN

The New York Islanders are looking to snap a two-game losing streak against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday, the first of three meetings between the teams. The Leafs enter the game on the heels of a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night. 

Islanders Looking For Right Forward Combinations: 

With two goals from the Islanders' forward corps in the past two games, Jack Capuano shuffled his line combinations at Saturday's practice in hopes of sparking the offense. The coach said he just wanted to see some new combinations, so it's not necessarily indicative of the Islanders lineup, but he reasserted the need for more offense from his forwards. 

 "We have to try and get some offense from our lines and make sure they are a little more balanced," Capuano said. 

#Isles lines today at practice:

Defense Continuing To Contribute: 

The Islanders blueline chipped in a goal for the fourth straight game on Thursday and now have seven in the past four contests. Travis Hamonic scored his first of the season against the Penguins, meaning that all six Islanders defensemen have at least one goal on the season. Johnny Boychuk leads the Islanders with two. 

Video: NYI@PIT: Hamonic ties the game on two-on-one break

Hockey Fights Cancer Night:

Sunday is Hockey Fights Cancer night at Barclays Center. The Islanders will wear a special lavender jersey during warmups that fans will have the chance to bid on in an auction prior to the game. The auction is currently open online (click here) and runs through November 3rd with all of the proceeds benefitting cancer research.

Matt Martin Returns: 

Matt Martin faces the Islanders for the first time since signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs over the summer. Martin spent seven seasons with the Islanders, scoring 88 points (42G, 46A) in 438 games with the Islanders. Known for his hitting and physicality, Martin led the NHL in hits for five straight seasons (2011-16). 

The Auston Matthews Show:

First-overall pick Auston Matthews started his NHL career with a bang, scoring a record four goals in his debut. Since then the rookie has hovered at the top of the NHL's scoring leaders, with six goals and four assists. 

Matthews leads the Leafs youth movement, as 20-year-old William Nylander and 19-year-old Mitch Marner are also having strong starts to the 2016-17 season. Nylander, the eighth-overall pick in 2014, has 10 points in eight games this season, while Marner, the fourth pick in 2015, has six points. Matthews, Nylander and Marner are the Leafs three-leading scorers. 

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