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New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning [Game 19]

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*Gulp*

Kucherov still probably scored.
Kucherov still probably scored.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
-AT-
7:00 AM EST
Radio Network Arena Network Radio
88.7 FM WRHU MSG+ Amalie Arena FSF 970 AM WFLA
League Value Metric Value League
10th 61.1% Points Percentage 84.2% 1st
29th 8.33% Net Power Play Percentage 27.03% 1st
18th 76.67% Net Penalty Kill Percentage 80.30% 11th
26th 85.00% Combined Special Teams Percentage 107.33% 2nd
2nd 3.67 Goals for per Game (All Situations) 4.05 1st
23rd 3.28 Goals against per Game (All Situations) 2.47 3rd
15th .00 Penalty +/- per Game (All Situations) .42 6th
14th 50.69% Shot Attempt Percentage (5V5 Score Adjusted) 52.34% 8th
18th 48.92% Scoring Chance Percentage (5V5 Score Adjusted) 53.68% 3rd
3rd 102.16% P.D.O. (5V5) 103.31% 1st
2nd 10.12% Shooting Percentage (5V5) 10.08% 3rd
17th 92.04% Save Percentage (5V5) 93.23% 4th
Data from Hockey-Reference.com and Natural Stat Trick
The Enemies' Lair
Raw Charge

Fresh off of their one game home stand, the New York Islanders have headed to the gulf coast to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tonight's game is the first of their two trips to Tampa this season. The two will square off three times during the regular season.

The Lightning are currently the most torridly-hot, frightening team in the N.H.L. They carry the top point percentage in the league by a decent margin over the St. Louis Blues. The Islanders have an elite offense that is second in the league - Tampa bay has .38 more goals per game than they do. They have the best power play, the highest P.D.O. in the league, the best goal differential in the league, and are third in scoring chance ratio. They're playing some historic-level hockey, but the Islanders are a team that downed the similarly-great Blues only a week ago - not all hope is lost.

There defensive pairings are definitely going to be the same for tonight's game as they were against the Carolina Hurricanes. That's probably the correct move as the group that was rolled out has been the most consistently-positive thing for the Islanders. The forwards are a different story and will be a game-time decision. Nobody could blame Doug Weight for scratching anyone on that third line as its performance was abhorrent on Thursday and they've been awful all year. Alan Quine wouldn't really be an improvement, but that line has been such an Achilles heel at this point that it hardly matters - that line needs help.

Thomas Greiss is back in net for tonight's game. Goaltending has been a problem for the Islanders in the month of November as only the Vegas Golden Knights have a worse five-on-five save percentage for the month. They're on their fifth and sixth goalies of the season while the Islanders 1A and 1B are both healthy, so one of Greiss or Jaroslav Halak have to start earning their keep. Greiss will square off against Andrei Vasilevskiy who's been very good for Tampa Bay, but more importantly has a name that reminds me of the song "Vasoline" by Stone Temple Pilots.

*UPDATE* The Lines are in and they're pretty weird. Cal Clutterbuck is out - he just won first star, but he's ill. The decision to promote Quine from a healthy scratch to the second line is a curious one.

New York Islanders Lineup (Maybe)

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Anders Lee John Tavares Josh Bailey
Alan Quine Mathew Barzal Jordan Eberle
Brock Nelson Anthony Beauvillier Jason Chimera
Andrew Ladd Casey Cizikas Joshua Ho-Sang
Left Defence Right Defense
Nick Leddy Johnny Boychuk
Calvin de Haan Adam Pelech
Thomas Hickey Ryan Pulock
Goalies
Thomas Greiss
Jaroslav Halak

Tampa Bay Lineup

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Vladislav Namestnikov Steven Stamkos Nikita Kucherov
Ondrej Palat Brayden Point Yanni Gourde
Alex Killorn Tyler Johnson Andrej Sustr
Chris Kunitz J.T. Brown Ryan Callahan
Left Defence Right Defense
Victor Hedman Jake Dotchin
Mikhail Sergachev Anton Stralman
Braydon Coburn Dan Girardi
Goalies
Andrei Vasilevskiy
Peter Budaj