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New York Islanders at Buffalo Sabres [Game 55]

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Can they win a possession battle against the lowly Sabres? Can they win a game?

Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
-AT-
7:00 PM EST
Radio Network Arena Network Radio
88.7 FM WRHU MSG+2 First Niagra Center MSGB 550 AM WGR
League Value Metric Value League
20th 53.7% Points Percentage 35.8% 30th
22nd 14.97% Net Power Play Percentage 11.66% 31st
27th 77.36% Net Penalty Kill Percentage 82.69% 20th
27th 92.33% Combined Special Teams Percentage 94.35% 25th
3rd 3.35 Goals for per Game (All Situations) 2.26 31st
31st 3.65 Goals against per Game (All Situations) 3.30 28th
11th .15 Penalty +/- per Game (All Situations) .13 14th
25th 47.40% Shot Attempt Percentage (5V5 Score Adjusted) 46.22% 30th
28th 46.06% Scoring Chance Percentage (5V5 Score Adjusted) 45.84% 29th
8th 101.05% P.D.O. (5V5) 98.07% 28th
1st 9.38% Shooting Percentage (5V5) 5.89% 31st
27th 91.67% Save Percentage (5V5) 92.18% 19th
Data from Hockey-Reference.com and Natural Stat Trick
The Enemies' Lair
Die By The Blade

The New York Islanders are in the opposite corner of the state as they take to western New York to take on the Buffalo Sabres. The Islanders are not performing well right now as they're 20th out of the league's 31 teams in points percentage. Hopefully a game against the lowly Sabres can put the back on track.

The Sabres are one of the few teams that are worse than the Islanders in Corsi and scoring chance ratio at five-on-five. With that being said, the Islanders are actually worse than them over the course of the past two months and the Sabres have the advantage in Fenwick differential and shot differential per 60 minutes. They also have better special teams play than the Islanders do - there's not a whole lot of difference between the two teams in the way they play, but the Islanders have a considerable talent advantage which drives up their P.D.O. and should result in them being favored in this contest.

One thing that may prove detrimental to the Islanders is the loss of Scott Mayfield. He was placed on the I.R. and is expected to be out for four weeks. The team didn't have time to call anybody else up according to Doug Weight, so Dennis Seidenberg will take his place. The probable next man up for the Islanders, Mitchell Vande Sompel, left yesterday's matinee game with the Hartford Wolfpack and did not return which basically leaves Kyle Burroughs left to recall.

Ross Johnston makes a return to the lineup tonight in place of Alan Quine. Quine is awful, but there's not really much to suggest that Johnston is any better. Tanner Fritz is still injured, but he's the worst of them all and it's absolutely pathetic that any of these individuals are playing in an N.H.L. game on a team that has its eyes on the playoffs according to both its coach and its general manager.

Jaroslav Halak gets the start tonight against Robin Lehner. Tonight's game will be aired on MSG+2. Puck drop is at 7:05 P.M. Here is your channel lineup:

New York Islanders Projected Lineup

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Anthony Beauvillier John Tavares Josh Bailey
Anders Lee Mathew Barzal Jordan Eberle
Casey Cizikas Ross Johnston Jason Chimera
Andrew Ladd Brock Nelson Cal Clutterbuck
Left Defence Right Defense
Nick Leddy Sebastian Aho
Adam Pelech Ryan Pulock
Thomas Hickey Dennis Seidenberg
Goalies
Jaroslav Halak
Thomas Greiss

Buffalo Sabres Projected Lineup

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Evan Rodrigues Jack Eichel Sam Reinhart
Evander Kane Ryan O'Reilly Kyle Okposo
Zemgus Girgensons Johan Larsson Jason Pominville
Benoit Pouliot Jacob Josefson Jordan Nolan
Left Defence Right Defense
Nathan Beaulieu Rasmus Ristolainen
Marco Scandella Casey Nelson
Josh Gorges Victor Antipin
Goalies
Robin Lehner
Chad Johnson

Die By The Blade