ISLANDERS (15-15-6) at AVALANCHE (12-25-1)
9 p.m. ET; ALT, MSG+2, NHL.TV
Islanders team scope
Goalie Thomas Greiss will start for the New York Islanders, who open a two-game road trip following their bye week. The Islanders were 4-1-0 before the break, which began after their 6-2 win at the Winnipeg Jets on Dec. 31. Greiss has won three in a row, allowing five goals in that span, and is 5-2-0 with a 2.02 goals-against average and .938 save percentage in his career against the Colorado Avalanche. Captain John Tavares needs two points for 500 in his NHL career. The Islanders practiced in Denver on Thursday and had a morning skate Friday. "I like where our confidence is and I'm happy we're getting back to work," coach Jack Capuano said. The Islanders went 0-4-1 before starting their current streak and aren't taking the struggling Avalanche for granted. "I think we kind of know how it feels to be in their position," center Casey Cizikas said. "We've done a lot of good things the past month and we just have to continue building off of that."
Avalanche team scope
Left wing Matt Nieto will make his debut with the Avalanche after being claimed on waivers Thursday from the San Jose Sharks. He'll play on a line with center Carl Soderberg and right wing Jarome Iginla, and will also kill penalties. "I'm really happy that Colorado picked me up," Nieto said after the morning skate. "It's a good opportunity and I couldn't be more excited." Nieto had two assists in 16 games with the Sharks. "I wasn't given much opportunity there, wasn't playing many games," he said. "I'm very excited to be here and to start a new chapter." Goalie Calvin Pickard will make his seventh consecutive start while Semyon Varlamov recovers from a groin injury. The Avalanche have lost five games in a row, 10 of 11, and are 0-9-1 in their past 10 at home since a 4-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 15. "I'd say we're borderline fragile right now, a little discouraged as a group," coach Jared Bednar said. "We're doing some good things in games and in other games we don't seem to be as sharp."
Islanders projected lineup
Anders Lee -- John Tavares -- Josh Bailey
Shane Prince -- Ryan Strome -- Brock Nelson
Andrew Ladd -- Alan Quine -- Jason Chimera
Nikolay Kulemin -- Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck
Nick Leddy -- Travis Hamonic
Thomas Hickey -- Johnny Boychuk
Calvin de Haan -- Dennis Seidenberg
Scratched: Anthony Beauvillier , Stephen Gionta, Adam Pelech
Avalanche projected lineup
Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen
Blake Comeau -- Matt Duchene -- Rene Bourque
Matt Nieto -- Carl Soderberg -- Jarome Iginla
Joe Colborne -- John Mitchell -- Cody McLeod
Fedor Tyutin -- Tyson Barrie
Eric Gelinas -- Nikita Zadorov
Patrick Wiercioch -- Cody Goloubef
Scratched: Mikhail Grigorenko, Andreas Martinsen
Injured: Francois Beauchemin (illness), Erik Johnson (broken fibula)
Gelinas will replace Beauchemin after missing two games with a lower-body injury. Varlamov took part in the morning skate and will dress for the first time since injuring his groin against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Dec. 22.
Ladd has four goals and an assist during a four-game point streak. Nelson has two goals and two assists in his past two games. Lee has five goals and an assist in the past six games ... Barrie has a goal and six assists in the past six games.