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New York Islanders vs Ottawa Senators [Game 36]

NHL: New York Islanders at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders return from the Christmas break for a game at “home” in Brooklyn before heading out to Ontario for a date that every Islanders fan had circled on their calendar since the start of free agency. Tonight’s opponent is the Atlantic Division’s worst team in the Ottawa Senators. After that, they’ll trek off to take on their former franchise centre tomorrow against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Senators are quite frankly a disgrace at even strength right now. They’re possessing the puck at the league’s worst rate and have it’s third worst goal ratio in the league to go along with it’s third worst projected goal ratio. They are also allowing goals at the fifth highest rate on the penalty kill. Their starting goalie tonight, Mike McKenna, has the third worst dSV% in five-on-five play with guys of a minimum of 200 minutes. They’re a mess.

As for the Islanders, they’re still trying to get back into a playoff spot. Joshua Ho-Sang has been promoted to the top line thanks to an injury to Jordan Eberle while Ross Johnston displaces an injured Cal Clutterbuck on the fourth line. Johnny Boychuk is back in action and he’ll replace Luca Sbisa in the lineup as Devon Toews gets partnered with Scott Mayfield. Thomas Greiss is in net.

Puck drop is at 7:00 P.M. E.S.T. at Barclays Center.