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Game Preview: Islanders vs Predators

The Isles look to extend their winning streak to four games (7 p.m., MSG+)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha / NewYorkIslanders.com

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (22-7-2) VS NASHVILLE PREDATORS (15-12-5)

7 PM | NYCB LIVE | BUY TICKETS

WATCH: MSG+ | MSG GO

LISTEN: 88.7FM | 103.9FM | 1050AM


The New York Islanders look to extend their winning streak to four games - and their home point streak to 14 games - when they host the Nashville Predators at NYCB Live. 

The Isles enter the matchup after defeating the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 in overtime. Anthony Beauvillier scored the game-winner to cap off a three-point night (1G, 2A) while Michael Dal Colle and Jordan Eberle also scored. Semyon Varlamov made 33 saves. 

Nasville opened up a four-game road trip and first leg of a back-to-back set in New York as they defeated the Rangers 5-2 on Monday night. Roman Josi scored twice, while Rocco Grimaldi, Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis scored. Juuse Saros made 39 saves. 


Video: Morning Skate 12/17: Isles vs Preds


MORNING SKATE UPDATES:

- Thomas Greiss was the first goaltender off at morning skate and is projected to start against the Predators tonight. Greiss has a record of 11-4-0, a 2.16 goals against average and a .932 save percentage. 

- Michael Dal Colle is day-to-day with an upper-body injury and skated by himself this morning. Dal Colle will not play tonight. Leo Komarov is expected to take Dal Colle's place alongide Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier. 

"He's day-to-day," Head Coach Barry Trotz said of Dal Colle. "He skated this morning, he's not ready to join the main group yet. He has a couple days here and he'll be back in full [participation]."

- The Isles 73% faceoff wins against the Sabres on Saturday night was the largest percentage that the Isles have won a game since face-offs were officially tracked in 1997-98. The Isles will be tested at the faceoff circle tonight as their opponent in Nashville is ranked second in the NHL this season for their average faceoff win percentage of 52.5%. 

"Faceoffs can really dictate the flow of the game and possession," Mathew Barzal said. "We're going to have to bear down. They've got a pretty strong group over there and some good guys. It's going to be a tough night in the circle, but we've got some good guys too. It should be a good battle."


ISLES NOTES: 

-   Beauvillier rifled home is first overtime goal of his NHL career with 1:56 left in overtime and his 10th goal of the season. Through 31 games this season, the winger has 21 points (10G, 11A). Beauvillier didn't reach 21 points until Feb. 23 last season. 

-   Dal Colle opened up scoring for the Isles 5:11 into the first period following a tremendous forechecking effort by Beauvillier. The goal was Dal Colle's second of the season. Through 26 games, the winger has four points (2G, 2A). However Dal Colle sustained an upper-body injury at the end of the first period and did not return for the remainder of the game and did not practice with the team on Monday. 

-   Eberle scored 4:50 into the third period to score his third of the season. Through 21 games this season, the winger has nine points. Eberle is riding a three-game point streak with four points (1G, 3A) during that span. 

-   Brock Nelson posted two assists on the night. Nelson has points in three of his last five games with five points (3G, 2A) during that span. Through 31 games this season, the center has 25 points (11G, 14A). Nelson leads the Isles in game-winning goals with four and is tied for the team lead in assists. 

-   Semyon Varlamov made 33 saves to record his 11th win of the season. Varlamov has a record of 11-3-2, a 2.24 goals against average and a .928 save percentage. 

-   The Islanders extended their home point streak to 13 games 12-0-1. The win was also the first time in franchise history that the Islanders have won 22 of their first 31 games. 

-   Nick Leddy missed his third straight game on Saturday. Leddy has been day-to-day with a lower-body injury but practiced with the team on Wednesday in Florida and on Monday on Long Island. Head Coach Barry Trotz said he would discuss with the training staff before making a decision if Leddy would rejoin the lineup against Nashville. 

-   Noah Dobson played in his third-straight game for the Isles in Leddy's absence. The 19-year-old rookie logged 16:08 time on ice, including 2:56 on the power play and was sent over the boards for one shift during overtime. 

-   The Isles faceoff won 73.3% of draws against the Sabres and was the largest percentage that the Isles have won a game since face-offs were officially tracked in 1997-98. The Islanders 50.3 average faceoff win percentage is ranked 14th in the NHL. 

-   The Isles 2.32 goals against average is the second lowest in the NHL behind Dallas. 


Video: NYI Practice: Barry Trotz

PREDATORS NOTES:

-   Josi posted a three-point night with two goals and an assist. The goals were Josi's eighth and ninth tallies of the season and his 20th assist. The defenseman leads the Preds in points (29) and assists through 31 games this season. Josi's 29 points are third best among NHL blueliners behind John Carlson and Dougie Hamilton. Josi's nine goals are third best in the NHL among defensemen. 

-   Grimaldi scored his fourth goal of the season. Through 14 games this year, the winger has 15 points (4G, 11A). 

-   Ekholm scored his fifth goal of the season. Ekholm has 16 points (5G, 11A) this season through 30 games. 

-   Ellis netted his fifth goal of the season. Through 31 games, Ellis has 22 points (5G, 17A). 

-   Saros recorded his fifth win of the season to improve his record to 5-7-2. The 24-year-old Finnish netminder has a 3.04 GAA and a .894 SV% this season. 

-   Pekka Rinne has been the Preds No. 1 goaltender this season. Rinne has a record of 10-5-3, a 2.99 GAA and a .893 SV%. Rinne's three shutouts this season is tied with Pittsburgh's Tristian Jarry for the most in the NHL. 

-   Viktor Arvidsson returned to practice for the first time since Nov. 23 after sustaining a lower-body injury against St. Louis. Arvidsson did not suit up against the Rangers. 

-   Mikael Granlund has now missed two-straight games with a lower-body injury that the center sustained against Buffalo. 

-   Nashville's 3.31 average goals for per game is ranked the fifth-highest in the NHL. 

-   The Predators are ranked second-best in the NHL at the faceoff circle with a win percentage of 52.3%. 

-   The Predators are ranked sixth in the Central Division with 35 points and a record of 15-12-5. 


ISLES VS. PREDATORS:

Nashville claimed both meetings against the Islanders last season. The Predators grabbed a 4-3 win on Oct. 6 at Barclays Center where Mathew Barzal, former Islander Valtteri Filppula, and Anders Lee scored. A week later during the second meeting of the season, the Isles dropped a 5-2 decision against the Predators on Oct. 13 at Bridgestone Arena. Brock Nelson and Andrew Ladd scored for the Isles. 

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