Islanders at Senators preview
Pageau plays Ottawa for first time since trade with New York seeking to end skidby Callum Fraser / NHL.com Independent Correspondent
ISLANDERS (35-22-8) at SENATORS (23-32-12)
7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS2, MSG+, NHL.TV
Jean-Gabriel Pageau will play his former team for the first time when the New York Islanders visit the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday.
Pageau played 428 games in parts of eight seasons with the Senators before he was traded to the Islanders on Feb. 24 for three draft picks. He has two goals and a minus-five rating in four games with New York.
Goaltender Semyon Varlamov will start for the Islanders, who are 0-2-2 in their past four games. New York holds the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Goaltender Craig Anderson will start for the Senators, who are 2-4-1 in their past seven games after going 3-1-0 in their previous four.
Players to watch
Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov is 19-13-5 with a 2.56 goals-against average and .916 save percentage and this season.
Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot has four points (one goal, three assists) in a four-game point streak.
They said it
"You can see why he's so endearing to the coaches. He's so endearing to the players that he plays with just because of the person that he is. … He has just one of those personalities that fits in well with the team, and he plays the right way. He plays a 200-foot game. … I think he's going to be a real good fit for us for a long time." -- Islanders coach Barry Trotz on Jean-Gabriel Pageau
"They're fighting for every point to get into the playoffs, so they don't take anyone lightly. … It's a good game for us because they're going to make you play hard, and it's going to be emotional because they're going to bang bodies and we're going to have to hit them back." -- Senators coach D.J. Smith
Islanders projected lineup
Anders Lee -- Mathew Barzal -- Jordan Eberle
Michael Dal Colle -- Brock Nelson -- Derick Brassard
Anthony Beauvillier -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Josh Bailey
Matt Martin -- Otto Koivula -- Cal Clutterbuck
Andy Greene -- Ryan Pulock
Devon Toews -- Scott Mayfield
Nick Leddy -- Noah Dobson
Scratched: Ross Johnston, Tom Kuhnhackl, Andrew Ladd, Thomas Hickey, Leo Komarov
Injured: Casey Cizikas (lacerated leg), Adam Pelech (Achilles), Johnny Boychuk (facial laceration)
Senators projected lineup
Brady Tkachuk -- Chris Tierney -- Connor Brown
Rudolfs Balcers -- Colin White -- Bobby Ryan
Anthony Duclair -- Nick Paul -- Jayce Hawryluk
Mikkel Boedker -- Matthew Peca -- Scott Sabourin
Thomas Chabot -- Ron Hainsey
Mike Reilly -- Nikita Zaitsev
Andreas Englund -- Christian Jaros
Scratched: Marcus Hogberg
Injured: Anders Nilsson (concussion), Mark Borowiecki (high ankle sprain), Artem Anisimov (lower body)
Boychuk required 90 stitches for a cut on his eyelid from a skate during a 6-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. There is no timetable for the defenseman's return to the lineup. … Hickey, a defenseman, was recalled from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League. … Hogberg, who is in Sweden for personal reasons, could rejoin the team on the upcoming road trip, Smith said of the goalie. … There is still no timetable for goalie Nilsson's return.
The Islanders are 2-6-2 in their past 10 games after going 5-1-1 in their previous seven. … Tkachuk needs one goal for his second straight season of at least 20 goals.