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Islanders at Flames preview

New York tries to end eight-game losing streak; Smith may return for Calgary

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Correspondent

ISLANDERS (29-29-10) at FLAMES (34-25-10)

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

 

The Game

Goaltender Mike Smith could return for the Calgary Flames when they play against the New York Islanders at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday. 

Smith was activated off injured reserve. He missed 13 games because of a lower-body injury sustained against the Islanders on Feb. 11.

The Flames, winners of two straight games following a four-game losing streak (0-3-1), trail the Colorado Avalanche by two points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Calgary is also two points behind the third-place Anaheim Ducks and three behind the second-place San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division.

The Islanders, who are nine points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card into the playoffs from the East, will try to end a season-long eight-game losing streak. New York is 0-4-4 since a 3-0 win at the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 17.

 

Players to watch

Islanders forward Mathew Barzal has 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in his past 13 games. He is the third-highest scoring rookie in Islanders history behind Bryan Trottier (95 points; 1975-76) and Mike Bossy (91 points; 1977-78).

Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has four assists in a three-game point streak and 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in his past 19 games. 

 

They said it

"Right now we just have to get a win and produce a win. That's our game plan. It's not an easy one, but we've been in the last [few] games and we felt like we're right there." -- Islanders coach Doug Weight

"We just don't have the luxury of not competing. We know that. We've been good at that all year, but there's certainly a definite hum of intensity around our room that's evident day in and day out now." -- Flames coach Glen Gulutzan

 

Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- John Tavares -- Josh Bailey

Andrew Ladd -- Mathew Barzal -- Jordan Eberle

Anthony Beauvillier -- Brock Nelson -- Tanner Fritz

Ross Johnston -- Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy -- Johnny Boychuk

Thomas Hickey -- Ryan Pulock

Adam Pelech -- Brandon Davidson

Christopher Gibson

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Dennis Seidenberg, Sebastian Aho, Chris Wagner

Injured: Nikolay Kulemin (upper body), Shane Prince (upper body), Calvin de Haan (upper body), Thomas Greiss (lower body)

 

Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Micheal Ferland

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Sam Bennett -- Mark Jankowski -- Garnet Hathaway

Troy Brouwer -- Matt Stajan -- Curtis Lazar

Dougie Hamilton -- Mark Giordano

TJ Brodie -- Travis Hamonic

Brett Kulak -- Michael Stone

Mike Smith

David Rittich

Scratched: Chris Stewart, Nick Shore, Matt Bartkowski

Injured: Marek Hrivik (upper body), Kris Versteeg (lower body)

 

Status report

Neither team held a morning skate Sunday. ... The Flames assigned goalie Jon Gillies to Stockton of the American Hockey League.

 

Stat pack

Tavares has three points (goal, two assists) in his past three games. …Backlund has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past seven games. 

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