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Game Preview: Islanders vs. Maple Leafs

The Islanders kick off the post-Olympic schedule against the Maple Leafs.

Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 12:00 AM / News
By Sarah Holzberg
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Game Preview: Islanders vs. Maple Leafs
The Islanders kick off the post-Olympic schedule against the Maple Leafs. (7:00 p.m., MSG PLUS, WRHU 88.7 FM, LI News Radio 103.9 FM)

New York Islanders
22-30-8 (52 points – 8th in Metropolitan Division, 14th in Eastern Conference)
8-14-8 home
Toronto Maple Leafs
32-22-6 (70 points - 4th in Atlantic Division, 5th in Eastern Conference)
11-12-5 road
7:00  p.m.
Nassau Coliseum
Uniondale, NY
 

Television: MSG PLUS
Play-by-play:
Howie Rose; Color: Butch Goring


Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM, LI News Radio 103.9 FM
Play-by-play: Chris King
Islanders Storylines
Tavares Injured: Captain John Tavares suffered an MCL tear in Sochi and is out for the rest of the Islanders' season. He does not require surgery and his rehab is expected to take eight-to-12 weeks. 
Nielsen/Martin Hurt: Frans Nielsen was placed on injured reserve (hand), retroactive to Feb. 8, while Matt Martin is out with a lower-body injury.
Call-ups: Ryan Strome, Anders Lee, and Mike Halmo were called up on emergency basis from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Okposo: Kyle Okposo is eighth in league scoring with with 59 points (24 goals, 35 assists).
Leafs Storylines
• Phil the Thrill:
Phil Kessel leads the Leafs in goals (31), assists (34) and points (65).
• Supporting Scorers:
James van Reimsdyk is second in team scoring with 47 points (23 goals, 24 assists) and Tyler Bozak has 32 points (12 goals, 20 assists) in 36 games this season.
• Shots Against:
The Leafs are allowing a league-high 36.2 shots per game. The Islanders have taken 62 shots in their two games against the Leafs this season.
• Special Teams:
The Leafs have allowed a league high 44 power-play goals, but have the NHL's second-best power play, converting at 22.2%.
Islanders player to watch
Michael Grabner - Forward

Michael Grabner was one of the breakout stars of the Sochi Games, tying Phil Kessel with a tournament-high five goals, despite playing two fewer games. The Isles’ Austrian winger finished fifth in Olympic scoring with six points, again despite playing at least one fewer game than the next 25 scoring leaders. Grabner hopes his hot hands will carry over to the NHL in the Isles' stretch drive.
Leafs player to watch
Phil Kessel - Forward

Phil Kessel is coming off of a dynamite Olympic performance, where he was named the top forward of the tournament. Kessel’s five goals and eight points were both tied for tournament highs, despite not scoring in Team USA's final two games. The Leafs winger is currently ranked fourth in NHL scoring with 65 points (31 goals, 34 assists) and second in the league in goals. Kessel has points in 13-of-15 games and has 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) over that span.
2013-14 season series (1-1-0)

The Islanders and Maple Leafs have split their season series 1-1-0, with both games taking place in Toronto. In the most recent outing, the Isles beat the Leafs 5-3. Captain John Tavares had three assists and Calvin de Haan’s first-career NHL goal held up as the game winner. Frans Nielsen broke a 2-2 tie in the third period, while Michael Grabner, Kyle Okposo and Cal Clutterbuck lit the lamp for the Islanders. 

LAST GAME: 
Jan. 7, 2014: NYI 5, TOR 3 - RECAP, BOX SCORE, HIGHLIGHTS
The Matchup
Islanders
16.6% (21st)
77.6% (29th)
164
200
3-6-1


 
 
Power play
Penalty kill
Goals for
Goals against
Last 10
    
   

 
Maple Leafs
22.2% (2nd)
78.0% (28th)
178
182
7-2-1
       
 
  
New York Islanders projected game lines
Forwards
26 Thomas Vanek –
29 Brock Nelson – 21 Kyle Okposo
40 Michael Grabner 12 Josh Bailey15 Cal Clutterbuck
27 Anders Lee
18 Ryan Strome13 Colin McDonald
36 Eric Boulton – 53 Casey Cizikas – 43 Mike Halmo

Defensemen

44 Calvin de Haan – 3 Travis Hamonic
14 Thomas Hickey – 11 Lubomir Visnovsky
37 Brian Strait 47 Andrew MacDonald 
 

Goaltenders
20 Evgeni Nabokov
60 Kevin Poulin
Toronto Maple Leafs previous game lines
Forwards
21 James van Riemsdyk – 42 Tyler Bozak – 81 Phil Kessel
19 Joffrey Lupul – 43 Nazem Kadri – 71 David Clarkson
40 Troy Bodie – 41 Nikolai Kulemin – 12 Mason Raymond
38 Frazer McLaren – 11 Jay McClement – 15 Paul Ranger

Defensemen
36 Carl Gunnarsson – 3 Dion Phaneuf
4 Cody Franson – 51 Jake Gardiner
8 Tim Gleason – 44 Morgan Rielly

Goaltenders
45 Jonathan Bernier
34 James Reimer
What's Happening at the Coliseum:
Lower Lobby @ 5pm
Doors Open @ 5:45pm
Charity of Game: Brain Tumor Society
Mercedes Benz CAP (chuck a puck)
Islanders St. Patrick’s Jersey Auction
MSG+ Islander Hat Giveaway

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 49 18 22 9 110 137 45
15 CAR 48 17 25 6 104 125 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 48 23 25 -1 48
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 48 9 25 16 34
B. Nelson 48 15 15 5 30
F. Nielsen 48 9 17 4 26
J. Boychuk 38 4 21 16 25
J. Bailey 36 8 14 7 22
N. Leddy 48 7 14 14 21
N. Kulemin 48 11 9 0 20
A. Lee 42 13 5 6 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 26 10 0 .912 2.42
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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