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Preview: Islanders vs. Kings

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (28-18-6) VS. LA KINGS  (32-17-3)

7 P.M. BARCLAYS CENTER, MSG+WNYE 91.5 FM, WRHU 88.7 FM, LI NEWS 103.9 FM

MORNING SKATE UPDATES:

SIX THINGS:

1. ISLES VS. KINGS:

The New York Islanders take on the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night at Barclays Center. The Islanders staged a late comeback, but couldn’t break through, falling to the Kings 2-1 on Nov. 12 at Staples Center. How close was it? Johnny Boychuk and Brock Nelson each hit the post in the third period. Jhonas Enroth finished the game with 31 saves. 

The Kings are the last Western Conference opponent to visit Barclays Center this season. The Islanders are 11-0-2 at home against the West this season. 

ISLES DTD: GREISS IN GOAL VS. KINGS

2. METROPOLITAN GRIDLOCK

The New York Islanders are going for their third straight win on Thursday and the budding streak couldn’t be coming at a better time. The Metropolitan Division standings are tightening, with the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils both one point back of the third-place Islanders. The Islanders have three games in hand on New Jersey and one game in hand on Pittsburgh. 

The Islanders are 6-3-1 over their last 10 games. 

3. JOHN TAVARES STREAKING:

With an assist on Ryan Strome’s goal Tuesday, John Tavares now has 10 points in his last seven games. Tavares went through a tough stretch from Dec. 4-19, recording one assist in eight games, but has since returned to his normal self, averaging a point-per-game. In the 18 games since, Tavares has 18 points (6G, 12A). In his last 10 games, the Islanders’ captain has only been held off the scoresheet twice and is currently on a three-game point streak (2G, 3A). 

4. KINGS COMING IN HOT:

The LA Kings put up a nine-spot on the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night, routing the Bruins 9-2 at TD Garden. The occasion? Milan Lucic’s return to Boston. Lucic had a solid hand in the big win – which featured 57 shots – scoring a team-high three points (1G, 2A). In total, nine Kings found the back of the net and seven Kings had multi-point nights. LA is 2-1 since the NHL All-Star break. 

5. DREW DOUGHTY HITS 300:

Drew Doughty is riding a five-game point streak (3G, 3A), scoring his 11th goal and 33rd point of the season in Tuesday’s 9-2 rout of the Bruins. In the process, Doughty hit a milestone, recording his 300th career point (77G, 223A) in his 576th game. Doughty, a two-time Stanley Cup and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, is fourth all-time in scoring for Kings’ defensemen, three points back of Mark Hardy. 

6. LECAVALIER REVIVED WITH KINGS:

Vincent Lecavalier has revived himself in Los Angeles, scoring eight points (5G, 3A) in 13 games since being traded to the Kings on Jan. 6. Lecavalier, the former captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning, has points in four of his last five games. The veteran center is also a boost in the faceoff dot, winning 51.5% of draws this season (87-of-169).

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