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Preview: Islanders vs. Avalanche

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (12-8-4) VS. COLORADO AVALANCHE (9-13-1)

7 P.M. BARCLAYS CENTER, MSG+, CHANNEL FINDERWNYE 91.5 FM, WRHU 88.7 FM, LI NEWS 103.9 FM, BUY TICKETS

FOUR THINGS:


1. 
Bailey Breaks Out/500th Game: Josh Bailey has goals in back-to-back games for the Islanders, a positive streak after a lengthy goal drought in the early part of the month. Bailey now has points in four of his last five and five of his last seven games. Monday will also be Bailey’s 500th career game – all with the Islanders. 

“Nowadays you don’t always see that happen, so I’m pretty proud to have been here as long as I have been and be with one organization as special as the Islanders from day one,” Bailey said. “It’s like home to me now.”

READ: BAILEY REFLECTS ON 500 GAMES WITH ISLANDERS


2. Power Play: Power Play: The Islanders’ power play went 2-for-3 on Saturday, including John Tavares’ game-winner with 3:36 to play in the third period. The two-goal effort ended a four-game drought for the power play. The Islanders’ power play is 19th in the NHL, converting at 17.9 percent. 

“It gives them confidence,” said head coach Jack Capuano. “Overall it’s good to get off the schneid as far as our power play goes. We talk about it all the time, it wins hockey games.”

3. Hickey In, Pelech Down: Thomas Hickey returned to the Islanders’ lineup Saturday. Hickey skated 16:40 with two shots, two hits and two blocks on a pairing with Marek Zidlicky, replacing Brian Strait. Hickey’s return also caused the Islanders to loan Adam Pelech back to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. 

4. Avalanche: Avalanche: The Avalanche are led by three young stars – Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog – who are all under the age of 25. MacKinnon, the first-overall pick in the 2013 draft, leads the Avs with 24 points (10G, 14A), while Duchene leads the team with 12 goals. Duchene, who was picked two spots behind John Tavares in 2009, has been especially hot of late, with 16 points (8G, 8A) in nine games. Landeskog, the Avs captain, is third on the team in scoring and is riding a five-game point streak (2G, 6A).

Coming off a 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets, the Avalanche are looking to make up ground in the unforgiving Central Division. The seventh-place Avs are five points behind the Jets and are seven points behind the Minnesota Wild, who currently hold the final playoff spot. 

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