The NHL resumed play from its winter break last night, but the Islanders had to wait one more day to get back at it. They host the Senators in Brooklyn tonight, while the Leafs are in Columbus. Then the Isles and Leafs meet in Toronto Saturday to complete traveling back-to-backs, before New Year’s Eve in Buffalo.
Leave your FIG picks for tonight here.
- Casey Cizikas is scoring at a career-high pace, and credits his offseason work. The coach calls the “junkyard dog” a “foundational” player. [Isles]
- His linemate Matt Martin prepares to return to Toronto as a different player than the one the Leafs scratched for half of last season. [Athletic]
- His other linemate, Cal Clutterbuck is day-to-day. Thomas Hickey is skating but still not “with the group.” Jordan Eberle (stiffness) was held off from practice yesterday. Johnny Boychuk, who missed the last game for childbirth, was back at practice. So lots of moving parts for tonight’s lineup. [Isles | @NYIslanders]
- UPDATE: Clutterbuck and Eberle out, Ross Johnston in. Josh Ho-Sang will skate in Eberle’s spot, a big opportunity for him and something to look at with Eberle being a UFA. [Isles]
- The Isles are ready to come out of the break...and to meet that old guy who didn’t win the Calder tomorrow. [Newsday]
- The Sound Tigers got back into action last night, with Scott Eansor scoring twice in a 3-2 win over the Wolfpack. [CT Post | BST]
- For Bridgeport, it was the start of a three-in-three, and there may have been casualties (and league discipline?). [Soundin’ Off]
Kieffer Bellows snipe from the slot:
Eansor’s shorthanded winner:
Last night’s NHL scores include the Rangers losing to the Blue Jackets in overtime, and the Penguins beating the Wings in regulation. So the Isles resume at three points out of the wild card and four points out of third in the Metro, with games in hand on most.
- At the WJC: Russia kept the Danes still without a goal (4-0), Sweden cruised past Slovakia (5-2), Canada beat Switzerland (3-2), and Finland dispatched Kazakhstan (5-0).
- The Senators announced both Craig Anderson and Justin Falk have concussions, affecting tonight’s lineup and also creating the possibility of a rookie goalie debut. [Silver Seven]
- Carey Price comes out of the break carrying an injury, and will miss Montreal’s road trip. [NHL]