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|Team Record: 26-28-8
Last Game: 5-2 L @ OTT
Season Series: 2-0-0 of 4
|Team Record: 31-26-5
Last Game: 4-2 W vs TOR
Season Series: 0-2-0 of 4
After playing in a tough shootout loss Friday night with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, David Ullstrom woke up Saturday morning to a pleasant surprise as the Islanders recalled the 22-year-old Swede for the second time this season.
Originally recalled from loan on Nov. 20 when he stood atop Sound Tigers scorers, Ullstrom played a sound and steady 14 games for the Isles before suffering a concussion Dec. 20 in Winnipeg. He netted a pair of goals and assists during a month of spirited play, so Ullstrom will certainly be expected to contribute energy and points through the end of the year.
Sunday night in Ottawa Ullstrom fired three shots on goal (third-most on the team) in only 11 minutes on the ice. He’s also been called up at a somewhat comfortable time – over those 15 NHL games he played earlier this year, nine were as a visitor. The Islanders started a four-game road trip with their game in Canada’s capital
Since joining the Capitals in 2003, Alexander Semin has shown many flashes of brilliance, making nifty dekes and scoring improbable goals all over the National Hockey League in 450 games. Yet he’s still only 27-years-old and seems to have even more upside to his game; it’s now a matter of when and if his play will consistently continue at that superstar-level many view him as having.
Semin is nearing 400 career points and in 58 games this season, he has compiled 41 points. None of those have come in the two games against the Islanders though, where he’s been held to three shots and barely made a dent on the scoring sheets. However, he's been heating up and has points in nine of Washington’s last 12 games.
Nearing 60: John Tavares still leads the Isles in points with 61, but his linemates are creeping up to the 60-point plateau. PA Parenteau’s two points in Ottawa gave him 58 and moved him into the top 20 of league scorers as he continues to build a new career high. Also in Ottawa, Matt Moulson tied his career high of 53 points with a third-period goal and has 19 games to hit the big 6-0.
Undefeated: The Islanders have won both games this season against the perennial Stanley Cup contenders by an aggregate score of 8-3. Leading the way versus Washington has been Frans Nielsen, who has a goal and four assists in the pair of contests with the Capitals.
Standing Pat: The Islanders and Capitals stayed quiet for most of the 2012 NHL Trade Deadline. Early Monday, the Caps placed Nicklas Backstrom on the long-term injury list with a concussion, drawing many to believe moves would be made. That was not the case as General Manager George McPhee didn’t pull the trigger on a single deal. Islanders GM Garth Snow held off until the end of the day when he sent Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau to Boston in exchange for two prospects. It was a slower than usual deadline across the league, but the quiet from these two managers shows their confidence in the squads they’re currently dressing heading into the final playoff push.
PA Parenteau posted his first career multi-goal game and Evgeni Nabokov recorded his first shutout of the season as the Islanders beat the Washington Capitals 3-0 Jan. 17. Parenteau scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season, but the game-winner belonged to John Tavares. Nabokov stopped 17 shots en route to his 51st career shutout.
Click the photo for gallery from the last time the Islanders played the Capitals.
IslandersPower play: 19%
Penalty kill: 81.8%
Home record: 14-14-5
Road record: 12-14-3
Goals For: 146
Goals Against: 184
CapitalsPower play: 17%
Penalty kill: 80.8%
Home record: 20-8-2
Road record: 11-18-3
Goals For: 169
Goals Against: 176
Answer from Sunday's question: It’s been over 19 years since the last hat-trick was recorded in a Senators-Islanders game. Who was the last player to score three goals in a Sens-Isles contest? The answer is: Pierre Turgeon. King and Sylvain Turgeon each scored a hat trick on Oct. 23, 1993 suggesting many to come, but Pierre Turgeon’s trick on Nov. 17, 1993 was the last one to date.
Evgeni Nabokov will start tonight. Capuano also announced some line changes. Click here to see tonight's lines and pairs.
Capitals Expected LineupsForwards: Ovechkin-Johansson-Knuble; Hendricks-Laich-Brouwer; Chimera-Perreault-Semin; Beagle-Halpern-Ward.
Defensemen: Alzner-Carlson; Schultz-Green; Orlov-Wideman.
Goaltenders: Vokoun; Neuvirth
Center Frans Nielsen after Sunday night’s loss to Ottawa on how the Islanders can be successful: "We've got to get in the shooting lanes, be hungrier to the loose pucks and get them out when we have a chance. Get back to basics."
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