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Islanders at Canucks preview

New York tries to end six-game skid, climb in East; Boeser returns for Vancouver, looking to move up in West

by Kevin Woodley / Independent Correspondent

ISLANDERS (35-23-9) at CANUCKS (35-27-6)

10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SNP, MSG+, NHL.TV


The Game 

Brock Boeser will return to the Vancouver Canucks lineup when they host the New York Islanders at Rogers Arena on Tuesday, with each team trying to gain ground in its respective conference wild-card race.

The forward, tied for fifth on the Canucks in scoring with 45 points (16 goals, 29 assists) missed 12 games with fractured rib cartilage sustained in a 6-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on Feb. 8.

Vancouver, 1-5-0 in its past six games after going 4-1-1 in its previous six games, is one point behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference and two points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the first wild card.

The Islanders, looking to end a season-long six-game winless streak (0-3-3), are 2-7-3 in their past 12 games, are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for the second wild card in the East and are two points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the first wild card.


Players to watch 

Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock has scored a goal in three straight games.

Canucks forward Elias Pettersson has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past four games.


They said it

"From now to the end of the season, every game will probably be a playoff game, or should be playoff mode, so we've got to have a playoff mindset. I know Vancouver will." -- Islanders coach Barry Trotz

"I've just got to bring my effort and make sure that shifts are short because I'm probably going to be sucking wind." -- Canucks forward Brock Boeser on his return to the lineup


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- Mathew Barzal -- Jordan Eberle

Andrew Ladd -- Brock Nelson -- Josh Bailey

Anthony Beauvillier -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Leo Komarov

Matt Martin -- Derick Brassard -- Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy -- Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews -- Scott Mayfield

Andy Greene -- Noah Dobson

Semyon Varlamov

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: Ross Johnston, Tom Kuhnhackl, Thomas Hickey, Otto Koivula, Michael Dal Colle

Injured: Casey Cizikas (leg), Johnny Boychuk (eye), Adam Pelech (Achilles)


Canucks projected lineup

J.T. Miller -- Elias Pettersson -- Tyler Toffoli

Tanner Pearson -- Bo Horvat -- Brock Boeser

Antoine Roussel -- Adam Gaudette -- Zack MacEwen

Loui Eriksson -- Brandon Sutter -- Jake Virtanen

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Quinn Hughes -- Christopher Tanev

Oscar Fantenberg -- Tyler Myers

Thatcher Demko

Louis Domingue

Scratched: Guillaume Brisebois, Jordie Benn

Injured: Tyler Motte (undisclosed), Jay Beagle (lower body), Micheal Ferland (concussion), Josh Leivo (knee), Tyler Graovac (lower body), Jacob Markstrom (lower body)


Status report

Boychuk, a defenseman, is day to day. … Hickey, a defenseman called up from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League after Boychuk's injury, left the team Tuesday for personal reasons. … Motte, a forward, missed the morning skate for undisclosed reasons but likely will take Eriksson's spot if he plays. … Markstrom, a goalie, skated on his own Tuesday for the first time since having a "minor lower-body procedure" on Feb. 26.


Stat pack

Barzal has seven assists in five games against the Canucks. … Miller has 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in his past nine games.

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