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Preview: Islanders at Blackhawks

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (0-0-1) VS. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (1-1-0)

8:30 P.M. UNITED CENTER, MSG+2, CHANNEL FINDER, WNYE 91.5 FM, WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9 FM

FIVE THINGS:

1. Rematch: The Islanders get a second crack at the Blackhawks, one night after a close 3-2 overtime loss at Barclays Center. The Islanders rallied from a pair of one-goal deficits to force OT, earning a point, but a bad bounce prevented them from getting a second. They won’t be flying into friendly skies at United Center – also known as the Madhouse on Madison – as the Blackhawks have won 51 of their last 82 regular-season games at home 

2. Goalies: Thomas Greiss looked solid in his Islanders debut, stopping 32-of-35 shots in the overtime loss. Jack Capuano said his goaltender gave the Islanders a chance to win, but did not commit to a starter for Saturday’s game. Fatigue shouldn’t be an issue this early into the season, so Greiss seems like the likely candidate over J.F. Berube, who would be making his NHL debut. Jaroslav Halak is still considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury and would be a surprise starter if he takes the ice tonight. 

UPDATE: J.F. BERUBE IN GOAL - MAKING NHL DEBUT

3. Special Teams: The Islanders gave up both a power play and shorthanded goal Friday. Capuano said he was pleased with his team's effort and execution five-on-five, but said giving up goals in both special teams situations is not a recipe for success. 

4. Zidlicky: Marek Zidlicky found the back of the net in his Islanders debut and also played 1:44 on the power play. Capuano said his new defenseman was "as advertised;" a crafty vet, who jumps into the offense. 



5. Kane and Toews: The superstars were Chicago’s best players Friday night. Kane scored a pair of goals, including the OT winner, while Toews, the Blackhawks captain set Kane up for his first. The Blackhawks boast a deep arsenal, but containing two of the league’s top threats should be the top defensive priority Saturday. 

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