The New York Islanders attempt to break a three-game winless streak while breaking in their latest alternate uniforms as the "none more black" Yormarkization of the Islanders reaches full throttle tonight.
They do so against the New Jersey Devils, the original team to abandon identifiable team colors in the chase for black sexiness and the merchandising dollar. They also do so without their third jersey model, the still-ill (but improving?) John Tavares, who was at least well enough to skate with the extras this morning.
Jaroslav Halak starts in goal, sporting new equipment for the occasion:
(Speaking of which, I feel like the awesome Fishermen-era lighthouse tribute on his mask has flown under the radar this year. We here at Lighthouse Hockey approve.)
As for Tavares, it was too early to say whether his improvement means he'll make the trip to Montreal for Thursday's game. They'll see how he responds after exercising again:
"He got hit hard and couldn't recover for a few days," Capuano said. "He started to turn the corner in the last couple of days. We wanted to get him out of bed and get a little exercise, and we'll see how he is moving forward.
"He's been laid up there for a little while. We had people check on him. We had some more opinions, more check-ups, just tests, and everything was negative, which is good."
However, do not let this very illness-sounding sequence of events prevent you from pursuing the darkest conspiracies into your most illuminati-worthy corners of the Internet.
Don't look now, but the Devils have won six of their last seven games, and a regulation win tonight would pull them even with the Islanders on points.
The Devils have been going with seven defensemen. Tom Gulitti reports Jiri Tlusty is still out with an upper body (shoulder) injury, while Stefan Matteau again draws the infamous role of "we'd rather go with seven D than play you" healthy scratch.
In their first game without Tavares, the Isles sleepwalked through most of the opening periodd before erasing a 2-0 deficit and dominating but failing to score in the third. Overtime solved nothing, so the Devils took the extra point in the shootout.
Tonight, all are looking for a full 60-minute effort and maybe a little better goal luck, too.
Leave your First Islanders Goal picks here. By 7 p.m. Don't pick Tavares.