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Islanders @ Senators - game preview

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders
Team Record: 26-27-8

Last Game: 4-3 SOW vs NYR
Season Series: 1-1-0 of 4
Team Record: 32-23-8
Last Game: 5-3 L vs BOS
Season Series: 1-0-1 of 4
Travis Hamonic
Hamonic returned to the lineup Friday after missing nine games with a broken nose. Doning a cage, Hamonic showed no hesitation blocking three shots and notching an assist in 22:38 of play. Paired with Andrew MacDonald, the Islanders best shutdown duo was back together in Friday’s 4-3 shootout win over the Rangers.

With Hamonic in the lineup, the Islanders beat the Senators 2-1 on Feb. 3. The Isles are happy to have their Hammer back in the toolbox.
Erik Karlsson
The 2012 all-star an currently leads all NHL defensemen in points with 63 (14g/49a). Karlsson followed up a four-point night on Long Island on Feb. 20th with a three-point night against the Washington Capitals. With a goal and two assists on Saturday night, Karlsson extended his point streak to six-games with a goal and two assists. He trails only Jason Spezza (68 points) for the team lead in points.

If the Islanders are going to win, neutralizing Karlsson is an essential part of the game plan.
Key returns: Travis Hamonic and Evgeni Nabokov returned to the Islanders lineup on Friday night. Hamonic missed nine games with a broken nose and played 22:38, notched an assist, had two shots and blocked three in his first game back. Nabokov turned aside 33 shots, including three of four in the shootout after missing three games with the flu. The result was a 4-3 win over the top-seeded New York Rangers. 

Carry the Won:  The Islanders haven’t won back-to-back games in February, alternating wins and losses for most of the month. After losing two in a row earlier this week, putting together a string of wins is crucial. A win over the New York Rangers, the Eastern Conference's first place team is a good place to start. Also, after playing Boston on Saturday night, the Senators won’t have the benefit of five days rest like they did before their previous meeting. Ending February on a winning streak keeps the Isles in the hunt, anything less could take them out.

Top-Line Talent: The Islanders top-line of John Tavares, Matt Moulson and PA Parenteau had a strong outing on Friday, scoring all three goals and combining for six points. All three went one-on-one with Martin Biron in the shootout and Moulson scored the game-decider.  As of Saturday, Tavares (60), Parenteau (56) and Moulson (52) are among the NHL’s top 30 in points.
Erik Karlsson scored two goals and two assists as the Ottawa Senators routed the Islanders 6-0 on Feb. 20 at Nassau Coliseum. The Sens jumped out to an early start, scoring two goals in the first 1:35, cruising to the dominant victory. Jason Spezza scored two goals while Brian Lee and Chris Phillips rounded out the scoring for Ottawa. Craig Anderson made 28 saves for his third shutout of the season.

Click the photo for gallery from the last time the Islanders played Senators.
Date of
DiPietro 1/3 Sports hernia/knee swelling 25 10 weeks
Katic 9/24 Shoulder 61 out indef. (IR)
Mottau 12/30 Concussion 26 No timetbl. (IR)
Reese 2/7 MCL Sprain 9 4-6 weeks
Power play: 19.13%
Penalty kill: 82.58%
Home record: 14-14-5
Road record: 12-13-3
Goals For: 144
Goals Against: 179
Power play: 18.87%
Penalty kill: 81.48%
Home record: 16-12-3
Road record: 16-11-5
Goals For: 193
Goals Against: 190

Answer from Friday's question: The Islanders have scored 10 goals in a game nine times as a franchise. How many 10-spots have they put up on the Rangers? The answer is: 3. The Islanders have scored 10 goals on the Rangers three times: Apr. 3, 1976, Nov. 13, 1979 and Nov. 17, 1984.

Check back after morning media availabilty for the lineups. Here are the last game's lines - Click here.

Senators Expected Lineups
Forwards: Michalek-Spezza-Butler; Greening-Turris-Alfredsson; Daugavins-Smith-Condra; Foligno-O'Brien-Neil.

Kuba-Karlsson; Phillips-Gonchar; Cowen-Lee.

Auld, Lehner

Jack Capuano on the road trip: "We had a good meeting this morning and we are well aware of exactly where we are and what ground we have to make up. What we have to do is just go about our business and focus on one game at a time. We can’t look at the trip and the opponents, we’re just focusing on Ottawa right now. Every game, every shift."

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