The New York Islanders host the Ottawa Senators Sunday night and with a record good for last place in the Eastern Conference — nine points behind Ottawa, which holds second place in the Atlantic — all the talk is of “keep at it, one game at a time, working hard, playing hard, good hockey,” etc.
In the “because why not?” category, the Islanders wills tart Jean-Francois Berube in goal for the second consecutive game. This, after the third-string waiver claim didn’t see any game play this season until mop-up duty (facing one shot) on Dec. 10.
Otherwise the lineup remains the same as in Friday’s overtime loss to the Sabres in Buffalo. That includes Casey Cizikas remaining out, and now for apparently longer than it originally appeared.
The Senators are coming off a home win over the Devils last night to end a three-game losing streak. But as with that one, tonight they will be without Mike Hoffman thanks to a two-game suspension for cross-checking Logan Couture.
Thanks to a hot start to the season, Ottawa is still 17-11-3 and in Atlantic home-ice playoff position despite up-and-down play and results over the past month.
Like the Isles, the Sens will use a rusty goalie: Andrew Hammond will get his first start since Oct. 28, and his first game action since Dec. 11. Craig Anderson is still on leave as his wife battles cancer.
How to Watch
In addition to the usual MSG+ broadcast coverage, this game is today’s “free” game on NHL.tv.
Leave your First Islanders Goal picks here by game time, which is 7 p.m. EST.
Check Silver Seven for more on the Senators.