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Islanders look to bounce back vs. Flames

by John Kreiser

ISLANDERS (24-32-9) at FLAMES (24-31-7)


Last 10: New York 3-6-1; Calgary 6-4-0

Season series: The New York Islanders and Calgary Flames will play for the second and final time. Calgary won 4-2 at Nassau Coliseum on Feb. 6.

Big story: The Islanders are probably glad to be playing on back-to-back nights after watching a 2-0 lead in the third period turn into a 3-2 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. Calgary has won two of its past three games, including a 4-1 victory against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.

Team Scope:

Islanders: Getting leads is not the Islanders' problem. Keeping them is. New York led 2-0 after two periods in Edmonton, but couldn't close the deal and lost for the 11th time this season after leading by two goals. The Islanders are 9-5-5 when leading after two periods, meaning they've turned less than half of their third-period leads into two points.

New York dominated most of the night until Ryan Smyth scored a power-play goal 8:28 into the third period. The Islanders appeared to be back on their heels after that, allowing Philip Larsen's tying goal with 3:07 left in regulation before Taylor Hall scored midway through OT.

"We gave them momentum," coach Jack Capuano said of Smyth's goal, "and in overtime we mismanaged the puck."

The Islanders will miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and Capuano said the rest of the season has to be a learning process for his young players.

"Every time, we have to get better," he said. "We have to limit our mistakes."

Flames: Like the Islanders, the Flames are all but assured of missing the playoffs. But before the game, they'll honor one of the keys to the lone championship in franchise history when they raise Joe Nieuwendyk's No. 25 to the rafters of Scotiabank Saddledome.

"The guy was phenomenal. Anytime you put up the type of numbers he did, play as long as he did, win three Stanley Cups with three different teams ... I mean, his record speaks for itself," Hall of Fame member Lanny McDonald, who, like Nieuwendyk, was part of the Flames' 1989 championship team, said in the Calgary Sun.

Who's hot: Islanders rookie Anders Lee scored in Edmonton and has four goals in five games since being called up last week. … Flames defenseman Mark Giordano has four points in Calgary's past three games.

Injury report: Islanders captain John Tavares is gone for the season with a knee injury sustained at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. … Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman (upper body) is questionable; Calgary called up Tyler Wotherspoon in case he can't go. Calgary is already without goaltender Karri Ramo (knee) and forwards David Jones (shoulder), Jiri Hudler (lower body), Kevin Westgarth (head) and Curtis Glencross (ankle). Forward TJ Galiardi (upper body) is day-to-day and Matt Stajan is out for personal reasons.

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