Skip to main content


game preview

Prince to make Islanders debut on top line

Forward acquired from Ottawa Monday; Markstrom in goal for Vancouver

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

ISLANDERS (33-20-7) at CANUCKS (24-25-12)

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

VANCOUVER -- Shane Prince wasn't sure what to expect when his phone rang shortly after the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline passed Monday. But less than 24 hours later it's hard to imagine the results could have been much better.

Traded by the Ottawa Senators to the New York Islanders on Monday with a seventh-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft for a third-round pick in the 2016 draft, Prince will make his Islanders debut at left wing on the top line alongside John Tavares against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

It's a big promotion for a player that was a healthy scratch his final six games with Ottawa.

"He's obviously one of the best players in the League," said Prince. Ryan Strome will play right wing on the line. "It's a great opportunity. They both play offensive games and I think I will complement it well."

Prince, 23, was picked by the Senators in the second round (No. 61) of the 2011 draft and played 42 of his 44 career NHL games with Ottawa this season. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound forward had three goals and nine assists in 42 games but felt with the Senators he never got a chance to play the offensive role that suits his style. He'll have that opportunity playing with Tavares.

"The great thing is here the Islanders know what type of player I am," said Prince, who had 43 goals in 57 games in his final season of junior hockey in 2011-12, and 67 goals in 206 games with Binghamton in the American Hockey League. "I'm excited to get that opportunity. It's been a long time coming to try and develop as an NHL player, and in my role, not trying to force it another way."

Tavares, who leads New York with 23 goals and 50 points, said he is eager to play with Prince.

"He's going to come out with a lot of energy, excited about a new opportunity. And for me a guy that can skate like he can and create open ice and make plays," Tavares said.

The Islanders will also get top-four defenseman Calvin de Haan back after he missed five games because of a lower-body injury. He rejoined the Islanders in Edmonton but did not play in a 3-1 loss against the Oilers on Sunday.

"It's not like I have been out for five months or something, but just shaking the rust off a little," de Haan said. "You are always a little nervous when you come back from injuries. But I feel good."

Canucks forward Radim Vrbata will be a game-time decision. He has missed the past two games because of a lower-body injury. Even if he plays there will be a   different look to the second and third lines.

Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi have been split up after being second-line staples for more than two months. Markus Granlund, who was acquired in a trade with Calgary Flames on Feb. 22, will take Horvat's spot, re-uniting him with Baertschi, a combination that had success together with the Flames' American Hockey League affiliates.

"I love his game so having a chance to go out there with him is exciting," Baertschi said.

Horvat said expects the line juggling to continue the rest of the year.

"Things are going to be shaken up," he said. "Seeing different lineup changes and different combinations that can work in the future."

Here are the projected lineups:


Shane Prince - John Tavares - Ryan Strome

Josh Bailey - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo

Anders Lee - Brock Nelson - Nikolay Kulemin

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Calvin de Haan - Travis Hamonic

Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk

Thomas Hickey - Ryan Pulock

Thomas Greiss

Jaroslav Halak

Injured: Mikhail Grabovski (upper body), Adam Pelech (upper body)

Scratched: Marek Zidlicky, Jean-Francois Berube, Eric Boulton, Steve Bernier, Brian Strait


Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Jannik Hansen

Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Jake Virtanen

Emerson Etem - Markus Granlund - Linden Vey

Alexandre Burrows - Jared McCann - Derek Dorsett

Ben Hutton - Christopher Tanev

Dan Hamhuis - Matt Bartkowski

Luca Sbisa - Alex Biega

Jacob Markstrom

Ryan Miller

Injured: Radim Vrbata (lower body), Brandon Sutter (broken jaw), Alexander Edler (fractured tibia)

Scratched: Yannick Weber

Status report: Bartkowski returns after not playing Sunday against the San Jose Sharks because of the flu. … Markstrom starts despite Miller making 47 saves in a 2-1 shootout win against the Islanders on Jan. 17. Coach Willie Desjardins said Markstrom will play more the rest of the season. … Greiss gets his first start in four games, and his first road start since Jan. 2.

Who's hot: Cizikas has three goals and five assists in his past eight games.

View More