UNIONDALE, NY - The Edmonton Oilers face off against the New York Islanders tonight in what will be the Oilers final game at the Nassau Coliseum. Next season, the Islanders will be moving to Brooklyn to play out of the Barclays Center.
The Oilers are coming off a big 2-1 win in New Jersey last night where they played very well. Interim head coach Todd Nelson spoke this morning about trying to recapture their strong play tonight.
“One of the things I liked about last game was we played the same way, it didn’t matter what the score was,” said Nelson. “Even in a one-goal game, where we maybe we would have panicked or collapsed, we just kept on playing the same way. That’s what I liked about it and that’s what we have to bring tonight against the Islanders.”
CALL-UPS FROM OKC
The Oilers announced this morning that two players have been called up from Oklahoma City: goaltender Richard Bachman and winger Ryan Hamilton.
Nelson said that late in last night's game, Scrivens tweaked his hamstring which necessitated the recall of Bachman.
As for Hamilton, Nelson said he was looking for someone to add to the lineup.
“We’re looking at that option," Nelson said of inserting Hamilton into the lineup tonight. "He’s very probable. He’s a guy that’s a hard-working guy who plays well in his own end. He does a bit of everything. Big body. Down in OKC he did an excellent job on the power play. He’s going to get an opportunity.”
POULIOT AND HALL INJURY UPDATES
Nelson said that he is hopeful that Pouliot will return to the lineup on Thursday against Montreal.
“He’s day-to-day. We’re hopeful that when we get to Montreal, he’s further along and possibly could play.”
Pouliot feels he is getting better.
"Another day or two hopefully and I should be good to go," he said. "I just got back to getting a shot exactly where it broke and couldn't really skate out there. My foot got a little bigger after a couple of days and I couldn't do much. Yesterday was much better when I skated. There's still a few things out there that I can't really do but it's getting positive right now."
Taylor Hall's injury, unfortunately, is much more serious.
“As for Taylor, he suffered a new injury. A bone injury. He’s out for six weeks,” said Nelson.
“We all know he came back in San Jose. During that game he took a slash and it was in the same area. It didn’t respond for the next couple of days the way we wanted it to. That’s why we got the MRI. Then we discovered that it was a new injury.
“Same as Benoit Pouliot. He came back, he had the foot injury and during the play where the heel of his skate hit him in the same area, that set him back.”
Nelson said that he has been impressed with how his lineup has stepped up their play in the absence of two key players.
“Based on last night’s performance, I think they’re handling it really well. Our guys were very business-like last night during the game. Very business-like the whole day. We have to have the same approach. It’s an opportunity for other guys to step up. We’re going to have to have all 20 guys going like last night. We have to start with our goalie all through our lineup.”
-- Marc Ciampa, edmontonoilers.com
OILERS (15-30-9) at ISLANDERS (34-18-1)
TV: SNW, MSG+
Season series: Matt Hendricks scored two goals and Ben Scrivens made 31 saves in the Edmonton Oilers' 5-2 win against the New York Islanders at Rexall Place on Jan. 4.
Oilers team scope: Edmonton heads to New York after a 2-1 win against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Monday. Tuesday marks the third of a six-game road trip that began with a 5-1 loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. "It was a nice win for us," interim coach Todd Nelson said after the game Monday, according to the Oilers website. "Jersey started to press pretty hard there in the third but we did a good job keeping pucks to the outside. Tonight was a good road win for us. We generated enough goals to win tonight. It would be nice to see us capitalize on some other opportunities because we had some opportunities that could have given us a bigger lead." Right wing Jordan Eberle had two assists Monday and has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past five games. The Oilers have played the past three games without forwards Taylor Hall (ankle) and Benoit Pouliot (foot).
Islanders team scope: New York begins a four-game homestand on Tuesday. The first three games are against teams on the outside of the Stanley Cup Playoff picture (Edmonton, Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets), but the Islanders, who have won 17 of 23 at Nassau Coliseum, know they will need 60-minute efforts if they hope to stay atop the Metropolitan Division. "You hear me say it a lot: There are no easy games," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said, according to Newsday. "Every night is a battle and we have to be ready." New York, which did not practice Monday, will be without forward Michael Grabner (undisclosed), who was placed on injured reserve Sunday. It is unknown if right wing Cal Clutterbuck (upper body) will be able to play. Defenseman Calvin de Haan did not play Sunday at the Buffalo Sabres after he was cut by a skate blade during a game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday.