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At the Rink: Avalanche at Islanders

by David Satriano

NEW YORK -- Forward Josh Bailey will play in his 500th NHL game when the New York Islanders host the Colorado Avalanche on Monday at Barclays Center (7 p.m. ET, ALT2, MSG+).

Bailey was selected by the Islanders in the first round (No. 9) of the 2008 NHL Draft. He has five goals and 12 points in 23 games this season, and 86 goals and 230 points in 499 games.

"I'm very proud to have been here my whole career," Bailey said after the morning skate. "I think you don't see that too often nowadays to play as many years as I've been with one organization, so it's something I'm definitely proud of."

Islanders coach Jack Capuano offered his assessment of Bailey.

"He started young as an 18-19-year-old here and probably struggled at the start but he's improving. I'm starting to see him shoot the puck a little bit more," Capuano said. "He knows what he has to do and how he has to play ... and when he does that, good things happen for him."

The Islanders (12-8-4) begin a three-game homestand against the Avalanche. They play the New York Rangers on Wednesday and St. Louis Blues on Friday.

"It's no secret we want to be able to put together a streak of games here," Islanders captain John Tavares said. "Together it seems we've played well and then we're not as consistent as we'd like to be and you can't take anything for granted in this League. Coming back from the road, you want to get a good start at home. You don't want to be sluggish so it's important we get off on the right foot."

The Avalanche (9-13-1) are coming off a 5-3 win against the Winnipeg Jets at home Saturday and begin a four-game, six-day road trip. They are in a stretch of 11 of 13 games on the road and have won more than one game in a row once this season.

"It is a tough stretch," Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon said. "We played seven games in 15 days on the road, and have another four here. But it's good to get them out of the way now. When you have nine wins in 23 games, you're not going to win a few in a row. But we've played some good hockey and hopefully we can get on a roll here."

MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene have combined for 29 goals and 66 points and have flourished playing on a line with each other.

"We have a really good Colorado team coming in here with guys that have double-digit goals especially with Duchene, MacKinnon and Landeskog, and they have some offense with [Tyson] Barrie and those guys on the back end so this is a good team," Capuano said. "A lot of speed and deception. ...They are good hockey players and were high [draft] picks for a reason. Their record probably should be a little bit better. They haven't gotten the puck luck that they deserve."

Colorado enters the game in last place in the Central Division.

"Obviously we aren't in the position that we'd like to be in the standings; some nights we have good games and some nights we're not solid so we'd like to have more consistency in our game, but I liked the way we've played the past four-five games," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said.

Here are the projected lineups:


Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Matt Duchene

Andreas Martinsen - Mikhail Grigorenko - Jarome Iginla

Cody McLeod - Carl Soderberg - Blake Comeau

Andrew Agozzino - Chris Wagner - Jack Skille

Francois Beauchemin - Erik Johnson

Nick Holden - Tyson Barrie

Brandon Gormley - Zach Redmond

Semyon Varlamov

Reto Berra

Injured: John Mitchell (oblique), Ben Street (chest), Brad Stuart (back), Alex Tanguay (knee), Jesse Winchester (head)

Scratched: Nate Guenin


Brock Nelson - John Tavares - Kyle Okposo

Anders Lee - Frans Nielsen - Josh Bailey

Nikolay Kulemin - Mikhail Grabovski - Ryan Strome

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy - Travis Hamonic

Calvin de Haan - Johnny Boychuk

Thomas Hickey - Marek Zidlicky

Thomas Greiss

Jaroslav Halak

Injured: Eric Boulton (lower body), Jean-Francois Berube (lower body)

Scratched: Steve Bernier, Brian Strait

Status report: Roy said the lineup would be identical to Saturday. He also said he was confident Mitchell would play Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils. ... The Islanders will use the same lineup from a 3-2 win Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Who's hot: Duchene leads all skaters with 11 goals in 13 games in November and also set an Avalanche record for goals in a month. ... MacKinnon has six goals and 14 points in his past 13 games. Wagner has a goal in each of his past two games. ... Tavares has six goals in nine games.


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