Islanders Look To Double Up Sabres In Brooklyn: Pregame Report

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UNIONDALE, NY - APRIL 04: Brock Nelson #29 of the New York Islanders in action against the Buffalo Sabres on April 4, 2015 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Sabres 3-0. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/NHLI via Getty Images)


Buffalo Sabres (4-7-0) @ New York Islanders (6-2-3) : Game 12 of 82

When: Sunday, November 1, 2015
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
Time: 7:30 PM ET
TV: MSG+ (Jiggs McDonald, Butch Goring)
Radio: WNYE 91.5 FM, WRHU 88.7 FM and WRCN 103.9 FM (Chris King, Greg Picker)

The New York Islanders take to the ice in Brooklyn this evening as they take on the upstart Buffalo Sabres and their stable of young forwards, looking to capture two points in the standings for the first time in two games.

Coming off an overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday in Brooklyn followed by a 3-2 shootout loss on Halloween in Newark, New Jersey, the Islanders know their are still things to clean up, especially in their defensive zone but are more than willing to continue capturing points in each game they play. The last time the Islanders failed to capture even a single point was October 23 against the Boston Bruins in a 5-3 loss.

Yesterday, it could have possibly been the Islanders best complete defensive effort once they got through the first ten minutes as they dominated the Devils, allowing only 33 ATTEMPTS on goaltender Jaroslav Halak. But they could not solve Cory Schneider, who was outstanding in goal for New Jersey, especially over the final period, overtime and shootout. Frans Nielsen came close to winning the game in the 3 on 3 extra session but his tricky, deceptive shot was stopped on the goal line by Damon Severson.

The big question heading into pregame is will the Islanders have captain John Tavares available? After causing a three hour panic yesterday when the team would not announce what was keeping the superstar out of the lineup, only to announce postgame that is was indeed illness related, there is much doubt the captain will be able to return this evening, with games coming up Tuesday (New Jersey) and Thursday (Montreal) this week. His roommate Ryan Strome just recovered from an illness of his own, so the assumption is that is where Tavares contracted his malady.

Either way, the  Islanders will need another strong defensive effort against star in the making Jack Eichel and birthday boy Matt Moulson, ex-Islander, who comes to Brooklyn for the first time. One ex-New York player the Islanders will not see is defenseman Matt Donovan, who was sent to Rochester of the American Hockey League and has not yet returned to the team.

The Sabres may be without a key player again as center Tyler Ennis has missed the past two games with a lower-body injury. He sat out practice Saturday and will be evaluated after pregame warmups. Ennis has three goals and two assists in nine games. (C/O


Players To Watch

IslandersJohnny Boychuk: The most consistent defenseman on the club in the early going, Boychuk took a hard shot to what looked to be the hand/wrist area yesterday and briefly went to the locker room. He did return, but it will be interesting to see if there are any lingering after-effects.

Sabres- Jack Eichel: Who else? Keep your eyes focused on the Sabres # 15, expected to challenge Conor McDavid for the Calder Trophy this year as the league’s top rookie. He is off to a fine NHL start as an 19 year old, with 4 goals in 11 games, playing 19 minutes a night.


Game Notes

SPECIAL Teams: The Islanders are the only team in the NHL that currently rank in the stop two in both special team categories. New York boasts the top penalty kill in the NHL (92.3%) having killed off 26 straight penalties over their last eight games. The Islanders also rank second in the power play percentage (28.6%) and have scored a power play goal in five straight games.

Why Can’t We Be Frans: Islanders alternate captain, Frans Nielsen, continued his hot streak by extended his goal streak to three games and his point streak to four games on Saturday night (10/31 at NJD).

Metro Dominance: Last season, the Isles went 21-6-2 against the Metropolitan Division. They are 1-0-2 so far this season, sitting just one point shy of sharing the lead for first in the division.

Under Capuano: Jack Capuano began the season as the NHL’s fourth-longest tenured coach with his current team. The Islanders are 171-150-49 under Capuano. He ranks second on the Islanders all-time list in both games coached (369) and wins (171), behind Al Arbour (1,500 coached, 740 wins).



Islanders (Projected)








de Haan-Hamonic





Injured: Eric Boulton (lower body), Thomas Hickey (lower body)

Scratched: Jean-Francois Berube, John Tavares, Taylor Beck

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