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Islanders vs. Canucks Preview/Game Thread: Light at the end of the road trip

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The Islanders need a win against a reeling opponent to keep their playoff positioning.

Vancouver Canucks v New York Islanders
Awkward!
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The New York Islanders are now, if you can believe it, seven games into their March Marathon nine-game road trip.

So far, they’ve survived it in good shape: 4-2-1 on the trip so far and still in a playoff position entering tonight’s eighth game of the trip in Vancouver.

Playoff Picture

Things could be different by mid-game though: The Toronto Maple Leafs (one point behind for the second wild card spot) and the Philadelphia Flyers (two points behind) also meet tonight in Toronto.

Lineup News

They’ll attempt to further the cause with another lineup adjustment against the Canucks. Shane Prince has been sent home from the trip after an ugly ankle injury suffered in the win over the Oilers.

In Prince’s place, Stephen Gionta returns to the lineup.

The defense remains the same, including a continued reunion of the Clavin de Haan - Travis Hamonic pairing. Johnny Boychuk will miss his third straight game with injury.

Thomas Greiss starts in goal.

The Canucks are hurting and a little ill, so defenseman Alex Biega will dress as a forward on the fourth line. This is the second of a five-game home stand that began with an overtime loss to the Canadiens.

With 64 points, they are seven points behind the West’s second wild card holder, so things are looking a little bleak:

"We know we need points to even have a slight chance of making it," captain Henrik Sedin said.

Coverage

Check our friends at Nucks Misconduct for Canucks coverage.

This one is the free game on nhl.com tonight, if you’re in the right area. Otherwise it behooves you to catch it on MSG, or radio broadcast on AM970 - The Answer, 88.7FM - WRHU and 103.9FM - LI News.

Leave your First Islanders Goal picks here by game time, which is 10 p.m. EST.