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Game Preview: Islanders vs. Oilers

by Jacob Betzner / New York Islanders
The Metropolitan Division leading New York Islanders host the Edmonton Oilers tonight at Nassau Coliseum tonight with two goals in mind; maintain their spot and avenge a Jan. 4 loss to the Oilers.


The Islanders regained the top spot in the Metro with a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday, finishing a three-game trip with a 2-1-0 record. They Islanders tied a franchise record Sunday, allowing a mere 10 shots against in Buffalo, while gutting out a 3-2 comeback, shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. The lone blemish was a hard-fought 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday in which the Islanders peppered 40 shots on Tuukka Rask.

Mikhail Grabovski scored two goals on the road trip, including the eventual game winner against the Sabres. The Islanders depth shined against the Sabres as Colin McDonald and Harry Zolnierczyk seamlessly entered the lineup after being called up from Bridgeport earlier in the day. McDonald scored the first goal of the game, which was also his first of the season. Additionally, some special teams tweaks paid off as the Islanders killed six of seven penalties on the road trip.

The Islanders will look to carry the positive play from the trip into tonight’s contest and avenge January’s loss in Edmonton. Goaltender Ben Scrivens stopped 31 shots for the Oilers while Matt Hendricks scored two goals. The Islanders have history on their side, as they’ve won seven straight against the Oilers on Long Island, a streak dating back to 1999.

The Oilers avoided losing three consecutive games by defeating the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on Monday night. Leading scorer Jordan Eberle (15 goals, 20 assists) recorded two assists in the win while Scrivens stopped 13 shots. Scrivens is 10-17-7 this year - including a win over the Islanders - but the Oilers have not named a starter for tonight's game.

The Oilers will be without 2010 first-overall pick Taylor Hall, as the Oilers star is currently sidelined with an ankle injury. Hall returned to Edmonton for further examinations and hasn't played since Feb. 2 against the San Jose Sharks. Benoit Pouliot missed the Oilers win over the Devils.

Puck drop is at 7 p.m.

New York Islanders
34-18-1 (69 points – 1st in Metropolitan Division, 4th in Eastern Conference)
17-6-0 home
Edmonton Oilers
15-30-9 (39 points 7th in Pacific Division, 14 th in Western Conference)
6-14-7 road
7:00  p.m.
Nassau Coliseum

Uniondale, NY

Television:
MSG+
Play-by-play: Howie Rose
; Color: Butch Goring
Channel Finder

Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM, LI News Radio 103.9 FM
Play-by-play: Chris King
Islanders News:
- Doing it for the Dads (Feb. 9)

- Islanders Prospect Report (Feb. 9)
- Islanders 3, Sabres 2 (Feb. 8)
- MSG+: German Superfans (Feb. 8)

What's Happening at the Coliseum:
- Lower Lobby Opens at 5 p.m.

- Doors Open at 5:45 p.m.
Islanders player to watch
Travis Hamonic - Defense

Travis Hamonic was named as an alternate captain for Sunday’s game, in the absence of Kyle Okposo and Cal Clutterbuck. Hamonic recorded two assists in the 3-2 win over Buffalo and has eight points, all assists, in his last 11 games. He leads all Isles defensemen with 136 hits this season.

Oilers player to watch
Jordan Eberle - Forward

Jordan Eberle leads the Oilers in goals (15), assists (20) and points (35). Eberle vaulted to the top of the assists lead with a pair of helpers in Edmonton’s 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Monday. The 24-year-old has five points (three goals, two assists) in his last five games.
New York Islanders previous game lines
Forwards
27 Anders Lee
91 John Tavares 12 Josh Bailey
84 Mikhail Grabovski 51 Frans Nielsen 18 Ryan Strome
16 Harry Zolnierczyk
29 Brock Nelson
86 Nikolay Kulemin
17 Matt Martin
– 
53 Casey Cizikas 13 Colin McDonald

Defensemen

2 Nick Leddy 55 Johnny Boychuk
37 Brian Strait
3 Travis Hamonic
14 Thomas Hickey 11 Lubomir Visnovsky

Goaltenders
41 Jaroslav Halak
30 Chad Johnson
Edmonton Oilers previous game lines
Forwards
16 Teddy Purcell - 93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - 14 Jordan Eberle
28 Matt Fraser - 8 Derek Roy - 10 Nail Yakupov
20 Luke Gazdic - 51 Anton Lander - 62 Iiro Pakarinen
23 Matt Hendricks - 27 Boyd Gordon - 12 Rob Klinkhammer

Defensemen
21 Andrew Ference - 2 Jeff Petry
84 Oscar Klefbom - 19 Justin Schultz
85 Martin Marincin - 5 Mark Fayne

Goaltenders
30 Ben Scrivens
35 Viktor Fasth



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