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Game Preview: Islanders vs Oilers

The Islanders wrap up a three-game homestand against Connor McDavid and the Oilers (7 p.m., MSG+)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha /




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The New York Islanders knew they needed to bounce back against Winnipeg on Sunday night at NYCB Live after dropping 2-1 to Washington in their home opener on Friday. They did just as they grabbed their first win of the season, beating the Jets 4-1. 

The Isles wrap-up their three-game homestand on Tuesday night against the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton is off to a 2-0 start this season. The Oilers edged out both Vancouver 3-2 on Oct. 2 and Los Angeles 6-5 on Saturday.  


- Semyon Varlamov was the first goalie off the ice, suggesting that he'll make his second start of the season. Varlamov stopped 26-of-28 shots on Friday vs Washington. 

- Johnny Boychuk stayed on for extra work at morning skate, suggesting Noah Dobson could make his NHL debut tonight. 

- Casey Cizikas participated in morning skate and is expected to play tonight. 

- Mikko Koskinen is expected to start in goal for the Oilers. Koskinen played four games for the Islanders in the 2010-11 season, going 2-1-0. Koskinen is making his season debut for the Oilers. 

- Forward Riley Sheahan is expected to make his Oilers debut tonight after missing the first two games of the season. 


- The Isles offense got rolling on Sunday night with goals from Josh Bailey, Brock Nelson, Anders Lee and Anthony Beauvillier. Ten Islanders in total recorded points in the win. 

- Beauvillier and Bailey registered two-point nights against Winnipeg. Beauvillier, who inked a two-year contract with the Islanders on Aug. 28, has a team-high three points (1G, 2A) through the first two games of the season. To kick off the night, Bailey scored the Islanders first power-play goal of the season. 

- Thomas Greiss got his first start of the season and made 35 saves after seeing 15 shots in the first period. The sole goal Greiss surrendered was a snipe from Patrick Laine with three minutes remaining in the second period. 

- Josh Bailey will play in his 800th career NHL game on Tuesday, all with the Islanders. Bailey becomes just the sixth Islander in team history to play 800 games with the franchise. Bryan Trottier (1123), Denis Potvin (1060), Bob Nystrom (900), Clark Gillies (872), and Bob Bourne (814) have also played 800 games for the Isles.  

- Casey Cizikas missed Monday's practice to take a maintenance day. Cizikas has played in both of the Islanders preseason games alongside linemates Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck. 

- Barry Trotz coached his 1,608th NHL game on Sunday and moved into third place on the league's all-time games coached list. In the process, Trotz passed legendary Islanders coach Al Arbour. Trotz also passed Arbour on the NHL's all-time coaching wins list last season. 

- Noah Dobson has still yet to make his NHL debut. The 19-year-old defenseman has been a healthy scratch through the first two games. 

- Andrew Ladd has continued to skate with the Islanders in a non-contact jersey. Ladd joined the squad for the first time on Saturday since suffering his torn ACL on March 24. Ladd isn't expected to return until late November.

- The Islanders are 10-0-2 in their last 12 home games against the Oilers, including eight straight wins at the Coliseum. The Islanders welcome the Oilers to the Coliseum for the first time since Feb. 10, 2015

- The Islanders will look to contain Connor McDavid on Tuesday night, which is no easy task. McDavid has an MVP, two Ted Lindsay Awards, two Art Ross Trophies and has won the Fastest Skater competition three times. While McDavid's mantle is unparalleled on the Isles, Trotz feels that Mathew Barzal's skating might be comparable. 

"[McDavid] is a pretty full package. [McDavid's] ability to skate. [McDavid's] 0-60 speed, but we've got one too," Trotz said. "We've got the guy [Barzal] right there with him. I told him yesterday that I've not seen, and I've been in the league 21 years, what [Barzal] did yesterday getting a double breakaway because of his great edges. And we see it day-in and day-out. There's not too many guys who can do that."

Video: Josh Bailey's 800th Career Game


- The Oilers enter Tuesday's contest coming off of a 6-5 win over the LA Kings on Saturday. The Oilers trailed four times throughout the evening but rallied to capture the comeback victory. 

- Connor McDavid, Zack Kassian, Joakim Nygard, and Darnell Nurse scored one goal apiece. James Neal scored twice on the power play. 

- Goaltender Mike Smith made 27 saves on 32 shots in his second game of the season. Smith signed a one-year deal with the Oilers in the offseason after spending the past two seasons with Calgary.

- McDavid, the Oilers captain, had four points (1G, 3A) against Los Angeles and is tied with Leon Draisaitl for the Oilers leaderboard with five points (2G, 3A) to start the season. Draisaitl has five points (1G, 4A) through his first two contests. 

- Both of Neal's goals were scored on the powerplay. The Oilers went two-for-five with the man advantage against the Kings. Neal was acquired from the Calgary Flames in exchange for Milan Lucic over the offseason. 

- The Oilers face the Islanders for the first of a four-game road trip, making following stops at New Jersey, New York and Chicago. 

- Dave Tippett is entering his first season as Edmonton's Head Coach. Tippett is the 16th head coach in franchise history and was hired on May 28. Tippett formerly coached in the NHL 2002-17 with Dallas and Phoenix/Arizona, posting a career record of 553-413-28-120 in 1,114 games. 

- Forward Riley Sheahan skated with the team on Sunday for the first time since having undergoing concussion protocol for a head injury suffered on Sept. 28. 

- Forwards Alex Chiasson and Josh Archibald missed Saturday night's game due to illness. 

- Defenseman Adam Larsson suffered a fractured fibula on Oct. 3 and is expected to miss four to six weeks. 

Oilers Projected Lines:

Draisaitl - McDavid - Kassian
Jurco - Nugent-Hopkins - Neal
Khaira - Sheahan - P. Russell
Nygard - Haas - Granlund

Nurse - Bear
Klefbom - Persson
Russell - Benning

Mikko Koskinen

*projected lines courtesy of Jack Michaels


Video: Morning Skate Update 10/8: Barry Trotz

Video: Isles Offense Finds Groove

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