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Avalanche at Islanders preview

Colorado plays second of three-game road trip; New York goalie Varlamov starts against former team for first time

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

AVALANCHE (25-13-4) at ISLANDERS (25-12-3)

7 p.m. ET; SN, MSG+, ALT, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Semyon Varlamov will start for the New York Islanders against the Colorado Avalanche at Nassau Coliseum on Monday for the first time since leaving the Avalanche as a free agent July 1, 2019.

The goalie signed a four-year contract with New York after playing eight seasons in Colorado. 

The Islanders are 0-3-1 in their past four home games, all at Nassau Coliseum. They've scored one goal in their past two following a 3-0 loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

It's the second of a three-game road trip for Colorado, which won 5-2 at the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.

 

Players to watch

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon has eight points (three goals, five assists) during a three-game point streak. He leads Colorado and is second in the NHL with 64 points (25 goals, 39 assists).

Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock leads them at the position with 20 points (six goals, 14 assists).

 

They said it

"I played with him for six years. I saw he's having a great season so far here, so it's awesome to see. He's definitely a great teammate and it's awesome that he's having such a good year this year." -- Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon on Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov

"He's a threat every time he steps on the ice. As a group, I think everyone knows that you watch the highlights, you see him all the time. He's kind of the bull on this team that drives them, so we've just got to do a good job of keeping him from getting his speed and trying to make hard on him whenever we can. But he's going to make plays out there. We've just got to make sure we're on the right side of the puck and we're taking away his options." -- Islanders center Casey Cizikas on Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon

 

Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Joonas Donskoi

Matt Calvert -- Nazem Kadri -- Valeri Nichushkin

Matt Nieto -- J.T. Compher -- Mikko Rantanen

Tyson Jost -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Andre Burakovsky

Ryan Graves -- Cale Makar

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Ian Cole -- Nikita Zadorov

Pavel Francouz

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Mark Barberio, Vladislav Kamenev

Injured: Colin Wilson (lower body)

 

Islanders projected lineup

Anthony Beauvillier -- Mathew Barzal -- Josh Bailey

Anders Lee -- Brock Nelson -- Jordan Eberle

Michael Dal Colle -- Derick Brassard -- Tom Kuhnhackl

Matt Martin -- Casey Cizikas -- Leo Komarov

Nick Leddy -- Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews -- Scott Mayfield

Noah Dobson -- Johnny Boychuk

Semyon Varlamov

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: Sebastian Aho, Ross Johnston

Injured: Adam Pelech (Achilles), Cal Clutterbuck (wrist)

 

Status report

Francouz will start for the first time since Dec. 27. … Nichushkin, a healthy scratch Saturday, will play. Kamenev, who had an assist in the win against the Devils, will be scratched. … Varlamov will make his fifth straight start.

 

Stat pack

The Islanders have won four of their past five games against the Avalanche and the past five in New York. … Girard has eight assists during a three-game multipoint streak. … Rantanen has five points (four goals, one assist) in a three-game point streak.

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