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Islanders at Flames preview

New York seeks sixth win in seven games; Flames shuffle top line

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Correspondent

ISLANDERS (35-17-6) at FLAMES (36-16-7)

9:30 p.m. ET; SN1, MSG+, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Matthew Tkachuk will join Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan on the top line when the Calgary Flames play the New York Islanders at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.

Tkachuk, who will take the place of Elias Lindholm, hasn't scored a goal in 11 games. Gaudreau has no goals and five assists in his past nine games after putting up 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in his previous 11 games, and Monahan has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past nine games.

The Flames, who lead the San Jose Sharks by one point for first place in the Pacific Division and the Western Conference, have won back-to-back games after a four-game losing streak.

The Islanders, who are 5-1-0 in their past six games and 11-2-2 in their past 15, are three points up on the Washington Capitals for first in the Metropolitan Division entering the opener of a three-game trip through Western Canada.

 

Players to watch

New York forward Josh Bailey has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past two games. He is second on the Islanders with 44 points (13 goals, 31 assists).

Lindholm has eight points (two goals, six assists) during a five-game point streak, and 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists) in his past 20 games.

 

They said it

"We play to win. We've found a recipe to do that. When we stick to how we know we can play best, the strength is in our group here. We have a chance to take away points every night." -- Islanders forward Jordan Eberle

"We're all wanting to get back to the way we were maybe before the [All-Star] break here as a team and as players. I think it's a good way to get that started tonight against a team that is probably playing the best defense in the NHL this year." -- Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk

 

Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- Brock Nelson -- Jordan Eberle

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Mathew Barzal -- Josh Bailey

Anthony Beauvillier -- Valtteri Filppula -- Leo Komarov

Matt Martin -- Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy -- Johnny Boychuk

Adam Pelech -- Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews -- Scott Mayfield

Thomas Greiss

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Ross Johnston, Luca Sbisa

Injured: Thomas Hickey (upper body), Andrew Ladd (lower body)

 

Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Matthew Tkachuk

Michael Frolik -- Mikael Backlund -- Elias Lindholm

Sam Bennett -- Mark Jankowski -- Austin Czarnik

Andrew Mangiapane -- Derek Ryan -- Garnet Hathaway

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin -- Travis Hamonic

Oliver Kylington -- Rasmus Andersson

Mike Smith

David Rittich

Scratched: Curtis Lazar, Dalton Prout

Injured: James Neal (lower body) Michael Stone (blood clot)

 

Status report

Greiss was the first goalie off the ice at the morning skate and is likely to start in the first of back-to-back games, but coach Barry Trotz wouldn't name his starter. Ladd and Hickey are day-to-day after a weekend conditioning assignment with Bridgeport of the American Hockey League, but Trotz said they won't play in Calgary. … Neal is week-to-week and will be re-evaluated in a week. … Brodie (undisclosed) will be a game-time decision.

 

Stat pack

Greiss is 5-0-1 with a goals-against average of 0.49, a .984 save percentage and three shutouts in his past six starts. … Giordano is three points from becoming the fourth defenseman in NHL history to have a 60-point season at age 35 or older; the others are Nicklas Lidstrom (2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2010-11), Al MacInnis (1998-99, 2002-03) and Sergei Zubov (2005-06).

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