New York Islanders @ Ottawa Senators - game preview
The Islanders look to keep winning ways against Sens who have lost four straight
Friday, 02.03.2012 / 12:00 AM / News
By Cory Wright
Check back after morning media availabilty for lineups. Click here for the expected lines.
Senators (Expected) LineupsForwards: Condra-Spezza-Michalek; Foligno-Turris-Alfredsson; Greening-Smith-Neil; Daugavins-Konopka-Butler
Defensemen: Kuba-Karlsson; Cowen-Gonchar; Phillips-Carkner
Goaltenders: Anderson, Auld
|Team Record: 20-22-7
Last Game: 5-2 W @ CAR
Season Series: 0-0-0 of 4
|Team Record: 27-20-6
Last Game: 4-3 L @ BOS
Season Series: 0-0-0 of 4
The Islanders defenseman is playing in his 600th career NHL game, a career milestone. Eaton enters the contest with 23 goals and 60 assists in a career that has seen him suit up for the Flyers, Predators, Penguins and Islanders.
At 34, the veteran defenseman has played 60 playoff games, including 24 in 2008-09 en route to a Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh. Those experiences have benefited the young Isles d-corps and defensive prospects. This season, Eaton has two assists in 34 games.
The Senators All-Star captain has enjoyed a healthy comeback season this year. After posting 31 points in 54 games in 2010-11, Alfredsson has already surpassed that mark with 39 points (17g/22a) in 47 games this season.
His goals and assists are up and his shot clocks in at 101.3 mph according to last weekends All-Star Skills Competition. The NHL’s current longest-serving captain (12 years) also has great hockey sense, drafting John Tavares to Team Alfredsson in the 2012 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft
First look at Senators: In their 50th outing of the season, the Islanders play their first game against the Senators and now will have seen every Eastern Conference team. The Sens are sixth in the East, powered by defensive points leader Erik Karlsson and center Jason Spezza, who is enjoying a turnaround campaign. After not playing each other in the first four months of the season, these teams play three times in February.
Tavares First Star of the Month: John Tavares closed out January with his third four point night of the season against the Carolina Hurricanes and effectively sealed the NHL’s First Star of the Month award. Tavares led all players with 22 points (9g/13a) in 13 games, scoring in all but one game. He lifted the Isles to a 7-5-1 record, netting four game-winners. Tavares also put together a league-best 12-game scoring streak.
Special Teams: The Islanders hold a considerable advantage in special teams play heading into Ottawa. Both the power play and penalty kill are inside the NHL’s top 10 and have been clicking of late. The Isles fifth ranked power play scored two goals in their last game against Carolina and look to take advantage of Ottawa’s No. 20 PK.
Don’t get too comfortable: The Senators have been a resilient bunch this season, having won six games when trailing after two periods. They’ve spotted teams early leads only to steal them back, winning nine games when down after the first 20 minutes. The Sens have 71 third-period goals, so the Isles will need to play a full 60 to preserve a win in Ottawa.
The Islanders beat the Senators 4-3 in a shootout at Scotiabank Place Feb. 15, 2011. Nathan Lawson stopped 28 shots in regulation and two in the shootout for his first career NHL win. Frans Nielsen scored the game-decider in the shootout after Erik Karlsson forced overtime with 4:04 remaining in the third. Michael Grabner scored a short-handed tally while Josh Bailey and Blake Comeau rounded out the scoring for the Isles. The Senators power play went 2-5, with Bobby Butler and Ryan Shannon lighting the lamp.
Click the photo for gallery from last game.
IslandersPower play %: 20.26%
Penalty kill %: 84.46%
Home record: 11-11-4
Road record: 9-11-3
Goals For: 120
Goals Against: 145
SenatorsPower play %: 17.32%
Penalty kill %: 81.52%
Home record: 14-9-1
Road record: 13-11-5
Goals For: 160
Goals Against: 164
Jack Capuano on the Islanders first power play unit: "It’s been a bright spot for our team and it comes from hard work. That’s what the power play is. They’re putting four new guys on the ice every 20-25 seconds and you have to outwork the penalty killing unit and that’s what we’ve been able to do. There’s good hockey sense on the ice with those five guys.”
Author: Cory Wright