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Illness sidelines Islanders' Tavares again vs. Sabres

by Brian Compton /

SABRES (4-7-0) at ISLANDERS (6-2-3)


NEW YORK -- The New York Islanders will be without captain John Tavares for a second straight game when they host the Buffalo Sabres at Barclays Center on Sunday because of flu-like symptoms.

Tavares, who leads the Islanders with 11 points (five goals, six assists) in 10 games, missed New York's 3-2 shootout loss at the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.

"He's not feeling too well," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said of Tavares. "It's gonna be a day-by-day thing with him. I told him we'll converse again [Monday] morning."

The Islanders played without goaltender Jaroslav Halak and forward Ryan Strome on Thursday (a 3-2 overtime loss against the Carolina Hurricanes) because of illnesses. Capuano is hopeful it won't make its way around the dressing room.

"You never know how it goes," Capuano said. "But other guys are feeling pretty well right now and hopefully that will continue for us. But obviously not having your captain … I think guys will rally and play hard."

The Sabres are trying to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. This is their first trip to Barclays Center.

"We've put ourselves in situations a lot to have wins and not closed out games, shot ourselves in the foot a little bit in some aspects," Buffalo coach Dan Bylsma said. "I think we've done a pretty good job of trying to clean those things up. I think that's more important than trying to [win] back-to-back. Some of those small, key areas of the game, the [start] of periods, the end of periods, faceoff scenarios, we have to be better at to win hockey games, to keep our leads, to close out hockey games. That's where our focus needs to be."

Here are the projected lineups:


Nicolas Deslauriers - Ryan O'Reilly - Marcus Foligno

Johan Larsson - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Matt Moulson - Zemgus Girgensons - Brian Gionta

Jamie McGinn - Tim Schaller - David Legwand

Josh Gorges - Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe - Cody Franson

Carlo Colaiacovo - Mark Pysyk

Linus Ullmark

Chad Johnson

Injured: Robin Lehner (ankle), Evander Kane (knee), Cody McCormick (blood clots), Tyler Ennis (lower body)

Scratched: Mike Weber


Josh Bailey - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo

Nikolay Kulemin - Mikhail Grabovski - Steve Bernier

Anders Lee - Brock Nelson - Ryan Strome

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk

Calvin de Haan - Travis Hamonic

Brian Strait - Marek Zidlicky

Thomas Greiss

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: John Tavares (ill), Jean-Francois Berube

Injured: Eric Boulton (lower body), Thomas Hickey (lower body)

Status report: Bylsma said Ennis will participate in warm-ups and a decision will follow as to whether he'll be able to play. He did not practice Saturday and has missed the past two games. Ullmark gets another start after earning his first NHL win Friday, a 3-1 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers. … Greiss will start for New York; Halak made 15 saves in New Jersey on Saturday.

Who's hot: O'Reilly has three goals and seven assists during his five-game point streak. Deslauriers has scored in back-to-back games. … Nielsen has a four-game point streak (four goals, two assists).


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