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Islanders Gameday News: The rotation is back, so maybe we’ll see Greiss tonight

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Just don’t let Ovechkin hit no. 700 tonight. Please.

NHL: DEC 31 Islanders at Capitals
This game, on New Year’s Eve, was a much better memory than the one on Jan. 18.
Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The loss to the Lightning the other night was a bit disappointing, and they didn’t put their best foot forward, by any means. But the Islanders don’t have time to dwell on it, because they’ve got arguably an even more important game and bigger challenge tonight in D.C. against the Capitals.

Personally, I’m excited by the challenge. It would be a blast to beat them, preferably in regulation. But whatever happens, let’s just not have another accident, like last time. Sound good, folks?

FIGs go here.

Islanders News

Recaps from a shocker: LHH | Islanders | Newsday | NHL | NYI Skinny

Hear from Barry Trotz, who thought the Lightning were excellent defensively but that the Islanders needed to be a bit more determined.

  • Won’t you join me in previewing tonight’s game in Washington? [Islanders]
  • The Isles are nine points back of the Caps in the standings, but with two games in hand, they believe they can still catch the Metro Division leaders. Ya gotta believe, as they say. [Newsday]
  • It seems that Trotz is back to rotating his two goalies because of the tight schedule. For what it’s worth, both Semyon Varlamov and Thomas Greiss performed better when alternating. Also, the coach didn’t have an update on Ryan Pulock, who was hit in the head while crouched over by Alex Killorn in the dying minutes Saturday night. [Newsday]
  • The Sound Tigers had a home-and-home against the Providence Bruins this weekend, and they won at home on Saturday 4-2. Mason Jobst and Colin McDonald each had a goal and assisted on each other’s goals, and Simon Holmstrom had the game-winner. [Soundin’ Off pregame | Sound Tigers postgame]
  • And they swept the two-game set, beating the Bruins in Providence Sunday evening 2-1 in overtime. Parker Wotherspoon had the regulation goal on one of six shots, and Grant Hutton had the OT-winner. Josh Ho-Sang assisted on both goals. [Soundin’ Off pregame | Sound Tigers postgame]

Elsewhere

Saturday’s and Sunday’s NHL scores. On Saturday, the Penguins beat the Panthers, the Flyers smacked the Capitals, and the Avalanche topped the Blue Jackets, all in regulation. The Hurricanes won the skills competition against the Golden Knights, while the Maple Leafs lost 3-on-3 to Ilya Kovalchuk and the Canadiens. On Sunday, there was nothing that affected the relevant standings, but the Red Wings snapped the Bruins 6-game winning streak while the Rangers bested the Kings, both in regulation.

The above scores mean the standings look like this, with the Islanders in the first wild card at 68 points. Meanwhile, the Flyers (“ninth” in the East and not in a playoff spot) have more points than the Canucks (first in the Pacific). Hmmmmmm hope that the Isles don’t get screwed like that at the end of the year!

  • The Oilers signed defenseman Darnell Nurse to a two-year contract extension with a $5.5 million AAV. [Sportsnet]
  • The Maple Leafs’ back-end is without Morgan Rielly, who is good, and Cody Ceci, who is awful, so their already-thin defense is low on bodies. Will they make a trade or just a call-up? [PPP]
  • Some other NHL Trade Buzz includes the Lightning possibly going after some defensive depth, the Canucks’ plan hinging on Micheal Ferland, and the Stars eyeing the quiet market.
  • Micheal Haley (two misspelled Micheal’s in a row!) will be off the ice for the Rangers indefinitely with a core muscle injury. [NHL]
  • Meanwhile, the Canucks will be without Brock Boeser for two games with an upper-body injury. [NHL]
  • But, Connor McDavid’s knee bruise was “nothing serious” and was able to finish Edmonton’s game against the Predators.
  • The Bruins’ Jeremy Lauzon was suspended for two games for a check to the head of the CoyotesDerek Stepan. [NHL]
  • The Blues are going to retire Chris Pronger’s no. 44 sometime next season.
  • Alex Ovechkin, Auston Matthews, and David Pastrnak are all pacing 60 goals, or close to it. Can any of them do it? Would be the first time since Steven Stamkos hit 60 in 2011-12. [Yahoo]
  • Another question worth asking, as it pertains to goals: is Ovechkin already the greatest goal scorer ever? He’s almost certainly going to score twice and hit 700 tonight against the Islanders, because why wouldn’t he? [ESPN]