As the New York Islanders try to right the ship and get their season back on track, they welcome the defending Stanley Cup Champions tonight. The struggling Islanders sit dead last in the Eastern Conference and have been unable to find an answer to their offensive woes.
Tonight, the team will start Jaroslav Halak for his seventh straight game after starting the year with a three-goalie rotation. Halak has done his best with what’s in front of him this year, as even with a .904 save percentage he’s still carrying a 3.09 GAA. Surely he’d like to improve both numbers, but it’ll be tough against Sidney Crosby and Co.
- The team will look to shake things up tonight, as Shane Prince will get back into the lineup, putting them back to 12 forwards (they’d been playing with 7 defensemen recently). Scott Mayfield will return to the press box after playing just under seven minutes in their last game. Anthony Beauvillier will move back to the middle, while Ryan Strome moves up to the first line on John Tavares’ wing. The team will also reunite the fourth line of Casey Cizikas, Nikolay Kulemin and Cal Clutterbuck, after a failed attempt of Clutterbuck on the top line.
- Dennis Seidenberg, one of the Islanders’ effective blueliners is skating with the team, but can still barely eat through his broken jaw. He’s still a while off from getting back into game action according to head coach Jack Capuano, who doesn’t expect it “to be any time soon”. The other injured Islander, Ryan Pulock, is getting closer, but isn’t expected to play on the upcoming west coast road trip, when the Islanders will face the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings in four nights.