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Game Preview: Islanders vs. Flames

The Islanders return home to face the Calgary Flames (7 p.m., MSG+)

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders
New York Islanders (6-10-4) vs. Calgary Flames (10-12-1)
7 p.m., Barclays Center - Buy Tickets
Stanley Cup Banner Rally Towel Giveaway
Radio: AM970 The Answer, 88.7FM WRHU, 103.9FM LI News

There were mixed emotions after the New York Islanders' three-game trip to California. 

The Islanders were obviously frustrated about the points that got away, as they let up late goals in losses to LA and San Jose, but felt that they played some of their better games of the season out west. 

"When you play your three best games of the year and come away with two points it's tough," head coach Jack Capuano said. "But as resilient as you have to be with your work ethic, you have to have that with your attitude. Not everything in life happens the way you want it to happen, but if they keep playing that way, they'll get some results."

All three games were close. In each loss, the Islanders were tied in the final three minutes, but gave up late goals. It's an area of concern, but the Islanders were in both games late and feel they can break through by bearing down in the final minutes. 

"Just focus," Johnny Boychuk said. "I thought we played well enough to get points out of each game. Obviously we didn't, but you just have to be mentally focused in the whole game, not for just 55 or 56 minutes."

"It's tough to be in here knowing we have played well, but we have to close games out," Anders Lee said. "It eats at us as we leave the rink here and we have to find a way to close those games."

Stanley Cup Banner Rally Towel: 

The first 10,000 fans to Monday's game will receive a Stanley Cup Banner Rally Towel commemorating the 1981 Stanley Cup champions. Buy Tickets.

Video: NYI@SJS: Lee redirects Bailey's point shot in for PPG

Anders Lee Finding His Touch: 

Anders Lee has three goals over his past two games for the Islanders, lighting the lamp twice in LA and once in San Jose. His two-goal effort in LA snapped a 14-game goalless drought, which was a load off his mind. 

"It was nice obviously," Lee said. "I definitely got some bounces, but letting go of the mental side of it and going out there and playing. It's not going to get much worse. Somehow you have to let it not affect you and it's really hard to do. You just have to let it go."

Lee credited his new linemates - Alan Quine and Jason Chimera - for the uptick in offense. 

"I think our road trip was pretty good, we had a lot of zone time, a lot of cycles and made some plays," Lee said. "We just went out there and worked. We stopped thinking."

Flames Facts: 

The Calgary Flames are playing the second half of a back-to-back set, losing 5-3 in Philadelphia on Sunday night. Monday's game is also the final game on the Flames current six-game road trip, which they've gone 3-2 on so far. 

Michael Frolik leads the Flames with 14 points (6G, 8A) and is tied with rookie Matthew Tkachuk for the team lead in goals. Chad Johnson leads the Flames with a 7-4-1 record, a 2.23 GAA and a .922 SV%, but after playing Sunday night, the Islanders will likely see Brian Elliott on Monday. 

The Flames will be without Johnny Gaudreau on Monday, as he's recovering from surgery on a fractured finger. So far the Flames have been just fine without Gaudreau, who scored 78 points in 79 games last season, but the Islanders will benefit from Johnny Hockey's absence. 

The Islanders have swept the past two season series from the Flames, going 4-0-0 over that span.

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