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Islanders/NHL News: Isles homestand begins with winless Sabres

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A tale of relative struggles: The 2-2-1 Islanders and 0-6-1 Sabres are each disappointed in their own special way.

#96 in your programs, and a top-six role tonight?
#96 in your programs, and a top-six role tonight?
Bruce Bennett

By losing to Minnesota last night, 2-1, the Sabres tied a franchise record by going winless in their first seven games (0-6-1). They are at the Coliseum tonight, no doubt in either an ornery or a resigned mood.

How will the Isles deal with their reeling guests tonight? Will they dress a fighter in prep for silliness, or focus on their own ills to exploit a slumping upstate neighbor?

Coach Jack Capuano explained the mix of lines at yesterday's practice, with specific mention of Pierre-Marc Bouchard likely returning to a top-six role:

Just wanted to look at a few different things [regarding line shuffling]. Maybe give Bouchard a chance at some extra minutes, and see how he produces. … We've talked, he's gotta give us more if he wants to play. He wants the opportunity, we'll give him an opportunity and see where it goes.

[via Isles Blog video from post-practice scrum]

Read on:

  • The Isles talk about what they need to do on this homestand. [Isles]
  • More from Frans Nielsen about that, and Pierre-Marc Bouchard on getting settled. [Newsday]
  • A supermarket tabloid would probably splash some headline about Matt Moulson being a bad father or husband or something, but his family pushed him to leave the hospital and join his team after his second son was born. [Newsday]
  • John Tavares assures you that when silly "face of NY sports" things are written, he'll stick to the cliches for his response. [Isles Blog]
  • A look at Bridgeport's lost weekend. [The Checking Line] Fornabaio had more notes from the second loss, against Springfield. [Soundin' Off]
  • The Butch Goring Show talks about the two losses last weekend and what's needed.
  • Some Must Follow Twitter accounts relating to the Isles. [THW]
  • FIG Picks: Leave your First Islanders Goal picks for tonight's game here.
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