Islanders Look To Strike Oil At Coliseum

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Edmonton Oilers at New York Islanders: Pregame Report

When: Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Where: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
TV: MSG + (Howie Rose, Butch Goring)
Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM (Chris King), LI News Radio 103.9 FM

 

There can be no excuses tonight for the New York Islanders (34-18-1) as they return home to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum – where they will play 9 of their next 11 games – for a meeting with the last place Edmonton Oilers (15-30-9).

New York, losers of their last two at home (5-2 to Boston and 4-2 to Florida) are still 17-6-0 in the final year at the old barn on Hempstead and will be facing a team that played last night (2-1 win in New Jersey) and starting their backup goaltender.

Even without injured regulars Kyle Okposo, Michael Grabner, Cal Clutterbuck and Calvin de Haan, the Islanders still have the horses to take care of business tonight provided they don’t take Edmonton for granted and come out skating. A repeat of these two teams prior meeting – a 5-2 Oilers win in Edmonton – will not be acceptable to head coach Jack Capuano and his staff. And it shouldn’t be acceptable to any player on the current 20 man for tonight.

On the home team’s side is the fact they have won the previous seven meetings between these two teams at the Coliseum and they still possess one of the league’s best players in captain John Tavares (24-27-51) who will not let his club spiral out of control. “I don’t think there was any panic,” the captain said. “When you’re faced with a little adversity, you’ve just got to find a way to overcome it.”

Colin McDonald, recalled from Bridgeport over the weekend, played a solid game on the fourth line with Casey Cizikas and Matt Martin, and scored his first goal of the season on Sunday night in Buffalo. “I was waiting for my opportunity, and you just never really know when you’re going to get it,” said McDonald, a second-round pick by the Oilers in 2003. “I understand my role and the role I am in this year and you just have to be ready whenever they put you in,” he told the team’s official website.

The Oilers won for the first time in regulation away from Rexall Place since November 9 with their victory over the Devils last night. They are led offensively by Jordan Eberle, a dynamic offensive force, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall. The trio has combined for 30% of the Oilers total offensive production with 35,31 and 30 points respectively.

With Ben Scrivens picking up the win last night, Viktor Fasth will get the start in the Edmonton crease. He comes in 5-13-2 in 22 appearances with a 3.34 goals against average and .889 save percentage, both way below league averages.

Jaroslav Halak is right back in the Islanders net after facing only 10 shots on goal Sunday against the Sabres. He has set a new career mark for wins in a season at 28-11-0 with a 2.41 goals against average and .910 save percentage.

The key for New York will be scoring early and maintaining the lead. Edmonton is 7-22-5 when allowing the first goal, 1-15-3 trailing after 20 minutes and 2-23-2 trailing after 40.

Final Score Prediction:

Islanders  5
Oilers        1

Islanders

(Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Game Notes

  • Record Start: The Islanders’ 34 wins this season ties a franchise record for most wins in a season’s first 53 games (34-9-10 in 1978-79; 34-13-6 in 1981-82)
  • 500: Frans Nielsen played his 500th NHL game Sunday in Buffalo. The Islanders’ 2002 draft pick became the 25th player in club history to play 500 games for the Islanders.
  • Shots For: The Islanders have out-shot 22 of their last 24 opponents, posting at least 10 more shots than 15 of those 24 opponents.
  • Home Cooking: The Islanders play nine of their next 11 games at home. They’ve won 14 of their last 18 at the Coliseum and are 17-6-0 at home this season, two wins shy of the club record for most wins through 23 home games (19-0-4 in 1978-79).
  • One-Goal Games: The Islanders are 20-4-1 in games decided by a single goal, including 8-4 in regulation. The Islanders are 12-1 in games that have gone beyond regulation and 7-1 in the shootout.
  • Division Wins: The Islanders are 17-2-0 this season against the Metropolitan Division and have won 10-straight against the Met.
  • Rookie Scorer: Anders Lee‘s 16 goals rank third among NHL rookies. His five game-winning goals lead all first-year players and are two shy of the NHL
    lead.

Lineups

New York Islanders

Forwards

Lee– Tavares – Bailey
Grabovski– Nielsen – Strome
Zolnierczyk – Nelson 
– Kulemin
Martin – Cizikas – McDonald

Defensemen

Leddy  Boychuk
de Haan 
– 
Hamonic
Hickey 
– Visnovsky

Goaltenders

Halak
(Johnson)

Edmonton Oilers

Forwards

Purcell – Nugent-Hopkins – Eberle
Fraser – Roy – Yakupov
Gazdic – Lander – Pakarinen
Hendricks – Gordon – Klinkhammer

Defensemen:

Ference – Petry
Klefbom – Schultz
Marincin – Fayne

Goaltenders:

Fasth
(Scrivens)

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