New York Islanders vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Isles look for one more win before short holiday break

Friday, 12.23.2011 / 12:00 AM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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New York Islanders vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
(Answer from 12/22: 20 points. The Isles set team records for most goals (7) assists (13) and points (20) in a period en route to a 9-4 thumping of the Rangers. Bryan Trottier had a hat-trick and two assists in the second period of that game ultimately scoring five goals on the night.)
Check out the Islanders depth chart. Head Coach Jack Capuano said he'll roll with the same lineup as Thursday night.

Maple Leafs (Expected) Lineups
Forwards: Lupul-Bozak-Kessel, Kulemin-Grabovski-Frattin, Kadri-Connolly-MacArthur, Boyce-Steckel-Crabb

Gunnarsson-Phaneuf, Liles-Franson, Gardiner-Schenn, Aullie

Reimer, Gustavsson

Expected scratches:
Orr, Rosehill
Team Record: 11-15-6
Last Game: 4-2 L @ NYR
Season Series: 0-0-0 of 4
Team Record: 17-13-4
Last Game: 3-2 W vs. BUF
Season Series: 0-0-0 of 4
Andrew MacDonald
The 25-year-old defenseman may be one of the Islanders biggest assets on the blue line. He's used in all game situations - quarterbacks the power play, sends in hard shots from the blue line and blocks shots when times call for it on the PK.

His overall play, complimented by his young d-partner Travis Hamonic, makes MacDonald stronger in his own end. Playing a team-high 24:23 of ice time Thursday night, MacDonald may not have added too much to the stat sheet, but it was his defensive play that left him off the score sheet for all but the empty-net at the end, which occurred off a turnover in the neutral zone two seconds after he stepped on the ice from a line change.

MacDonald has also put up points in two-of-three games (scoring a goal and an assist) since returning from injury Dec. 17; he had just one goal in the 22 games prior.
Phil Kessel
With 19 goals and 20 assists for 39 points through 33 games, the Leafs All-Star forward is not just third in the league in points. He's also on pace to smash his previous career-highs in all categories, including last season's 64 points and a 36-goal season with the Boston Bruins in 2008-09.

Though the right wing has posted three goals and four assists in the month of December, his knack for finding the back of the net hasn't helped the struggling Leafs as they've posted a 2-4-2 record in that eight-game span.
The Islanders return to Nassau Coliseum having posted a 2-1-0 record in their three game road trip.Two wins came in the shootout. Set to play their final game before the short holiday break, the Islanders will play their first of four games against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night, to conclude a set of three games in four nights.

But one thing will be on their mind. Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said he’s still focused on trying to find scoring from more lines than that of John Tavares and Frans Nielsen.

"Let’s not kid ourselves; we’ve had some trouble scoring goals on our hockey team,” Capuano said. “We’ve had a couple lines in the last three games that have scored goals, but the power play tonight, we talked about getting pucks to the net and both goals came off shots and rebounds."

Both Islanders goals Thursday night were scored by Tavares’ linemates. And more of that was repeated in the Isles shootout wins. Michael Grabner and PA Parenteau scored in regulation against the Jets, while Andrew MacDonald scored the lone regulation goal in Minnesota.

Possibly even more important that the number of goals scored, is the order in which the Isles get on the scoreboard. The Isles hold a 9-3-3 record when scoring the first goal.
As the lowest-scoring team in the Eastern Conference, it's not hard to see where the New York Islanders need the most improvement.

Their overall play at home is also in need of a major upgrade.

The Islanders look to win at Nassau Coliseum for only the second time in eight games Friday night when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs for the first time this season.

Because last season's team fell one goal shy of having three 30-goal scorers and ranked 15th in the NHL in scoring, offense didn't figure to be a big problem for the Islanders this year. (Continue Reading)

The Toronto Maple Leafs fought hard for the extra point, tying the score three times before falling in the extra session with a tip-in goal from former Islanders forward Blake Comeau. The goal, scored with 58 seconds remaining in overtime, propelled the Isles to a 4-3 win March 8 at Nassau Coliseum. Zenon Konopka, Frans Nielsen and Michael Grabner traded goals with Keith Aulie, Tim Brent and Nikolai Kulemin. Al Montoya made 24 saves for the win.
Date of
DiPietro 12/03 Groin strain 8 out indef. (IR)
Katic 9/24 Shoulder 32 out indef. (IR)
Montoya 12/20 Concussion 1 No timetable
Pandolfo 11/26 Broken foot 11 4-6 weeks (IR)
Rolston 12/15 Concussion 3 No timetable (IR)
Staios 12/13 Upper Body 4 No timetable
Ullstrom 12/20 Concussion 1 No timetable
Power Play %: 15.9%
Penalty Kill %: 81.0%
Home Record: 6-8-3
Road Record: 5-7-3
Goals For: 74
Goals Against: 103
Maple Leafs
Power Play %: 21.4%
Penalty Kill %: 73.4%
Home Record: 8-5-4
Road Record: 9-8-0
Goals For: 105
Goals Against: 110

Islanders head coach Jack Capuano on the team’s loss to the Rangers on Thursday night: "I give our guys a lot of credit. We had a lot of guys that really stuck up for themselves and the team tonight in key situations. We had some odd-man rushes. We just can’t finish. Hopefully for those guys, the puck is going to find the back of the net for them because I think if we get some secondary scoring from this team, we’re going to be more successful."

Cory Wright contributed to this report




1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48


J. Tavares 75 34 40 -1 74
R. Strome 74 15 31 19 46
K. Okposo 53 15 31 -10 46
F. Nielsen 74 13 28 9 41
B. Nelson 75 18 22 9 40
A. Lee 69 23 16 14 39
J. Bailey 63 15 23 6 38
J. Boychuk 65 8 25 10 33
T. Hamonic 65 5 25 16 30
N. Leddy 71 10 19 16 29
J. Halak 35 16 2 .915 2.39
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08 is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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