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Islanders at Predators preview

New York can tighten Metropolitan race; Nashville 1-5-0 in past six games on home ice

by Robby Stanley / Independent Correspondent

ISLANDERS (33-16-6) at PREDATORS (26-22-7)

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


The Game

The New York Islanders can tighten the race in the Metropolitan Division with a win against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.

The Islanders trail the Pittsburgh Penguins by two points for second in the division and are five points behind the first-place Washington Capitals. New York is 5-1-1 in its past seven games after going 1-3-2 in its previous six.

The Predators have lost two in a row after a 4-1-0 stretch and are 1-5-0 in their past six games on home ice. They're five points behind the Arizona Coyotes for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference.


Players to watch

Islanders forward Josh Bailey has six points (one goal, five assists) in a three-game point streak.

Predators forward Mikael Granlund has scored six goals in his past 10 games.


They said it

"It's really tough. Obviously, we're going to have to have guys step up like other times when we've had guys go down. Guys have done a great job of trying to fill the void as best as possible. It's tough to replace him on the ice. In our locker room, he's a big presence too." -- Islanders forward Josh Bailey on playing without injured center Casey Cizikas

"It's been a while now since we've treated every game like a playoff game pretty much. We've had some good games on the road. Obviously not the last two but the games before that, and that's kind of the game we've got to get back to. Really solid defensively and making sure we keep the [shot] number low in our end and try to get the offense going a little bit more." -- Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm on playing better at home


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- Mathew Barzal -- Jordan Eberle

Anthony Beauvillier -- Brock Nelson -- Josh Bailey

Kieffer Bellows -- Derick Brassard -- Michael Dal Colle

Matt Martin -- Cole Bardreau -- Leo Komarov

Devon Toews -- Ryan Pulock

Nick Leddy -- Johnny Boychuk

Noah Dobson -- Scott Mayfield

Thomas Greiss

Semyon Varlamov

Scratched: Ross Johnston, Tom Kuhnhackl, Sebastian Aho

Injured: Cal Clutterbuck (wrist), Adam Pelech (Achilles), Casey Cizikas (leg laceration)


Predators projected lineup

Mikael Granlund -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Filip Forsberg -- Matt Duchene -- Kyle Turris

Rocco Grimaldi -- Nick Bonino -- Craig Smith

Calle Jarnkrok -- Colton Sissons -- Austin Watson

Roman Josi -- Dante Fabbro

Jarred Tinordi -- Mattias Ekholm

Dan Hamhuis -- Yannick Weber

Juuse Saros

Pekka Rinne

Scratched: Matt Irwin, Colin Blackwell

Injured: Ryan Ellis (upper body)


Status report

Cizikas will be out 3-4 weeks. … Bardreau was recalled from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.  … The Predators reassigned forward Yakov Trenin to the Milwaukee of the AHL on Thursday.


Stat pack

Greiss is 3-6-0 with a 3.41 goals-against average and .885 save percentage in 10 games against the Predators. … Granlund has seven points (three goals, four assists) in 11 games against the Islanders.

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