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Preview: Islanders at Predators

New York tries to keep playoff hopes alive; Nashville one point out of first wild card in West

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

ISLANDERS (37-29-12) at PREDATORS (40-28-11)

8 p.m. ET; MSG+2, FS-TN, NHL.TV


Islanders team scope

The New York Islanders trail the Boston Bruins by six points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Islanders can be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss to the Nashville Predators if the Bruins and Ottawa Senators each get at least one point. "It's 'Saturday Night Fever' -- staying alive," coach Doug Weight said. "We've got to win a game so we've got to compete. We've got to be prepared. In a tough building, we've got to start off smart and hard, roll our shifts over and win a road game and move on to Thursday [against the Carolina Hurricanes]. We talk about not being able to control everybody else. We've just got to win and get to 88 [points] and then try to get to 90 on Thursday." Forward Shane Prince will miss the game with a lower-body injury. Weight said the Islanders will go with seven defensemen and that goaltender Jaroslav Halak will make his third consecutive start.


Predators team scope

The Predators have clinched a playoff berth and hold the second wild card in the Western Conference. They are two points behind the St. Louis Blues for third place in the Central Division and trail the Calgary Flames by one point for the first wild card. The Blues have played one fewer game than the Predators and have four more regulation/overtime wins. The Predators want to make sure they have an opportunity to move up in the standings and continue to build momentum heading into the playoffs. "We want to stay sharp," forward Craig Smith said. "There's a mindset and a way that we have to play going into the postseason. I think we've kind of captured a little bit of that in the last couple weeks. It definitely feels good in the locker room. Just keep playing the same way, work on having a little bit better starts and it'll be a good tune-up for our special teams. I think that's going to be a huge factor going into the playoffs." The Predators are 8-4-0 in their past 12 games and have gone 8-2-0 in their past 10 games at home.


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- Anthony Beauvillier -- Joshua Ho-Sang

Andrew Ladd -- Alan Quine -- Jason Chimera

Stephen Gionta -- Brock Nelson -- Josh Bailey

Connor Jones -- Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy -- Johnny Boychuk

Calvin de Haan -- Dennis Seidenberg

Thomas Hickey -- Adam Pelech

Scott Mayfield

Jaroslav Halak

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: Jean-Francois Berube

Injured: Casey Cizikas (upper body), Travis Hamonic (upper body), Nikolay Kulemin (upper body), Shane Prince (lower body), Ryan Strome (upper body), John Tavares (lower body)


Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Kevin Fiala -- Mike Fisher -- Calle Jarnkrok

Colin Wilson -- Colton Sissons -- Craig Smith

Cody McLeod -- Vernon Fiddler -- Austin Watson

Roman Josi -- Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm -- P.K. Subban

Anthony Bitetto -- Matt Irwin

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Brad Hunt, PA Parenteau, Harry Zolnierczyk

Injured: James Neal (upper body), Miikka Salomaki (lower body), Yannick Weber (upper body)


Status report

Neal and Weber took part in Nashville's optional morning skate.


Who's hot

Lee has three goals in his past two games. … Johansen has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past six games.

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