The New York Islanders are in D.C. to face the division-leading Capitals as the first part of a traveling back-to-back.
By the looks of it, they’ll be doing it without Kieffer Bellows, the rookie who is off to a nice three-game start to his NHL career. Morning skate lines had Ross Johnston in his place:
#Isles Barry Trotz says Ross Johnston inserting into lineup tonight vs. #Caps would be a situational move against a heavy team. He was OK with Kieffer Bellows game at Tampa. Third line not as noticeable that game but Trotz cites how deep the Lightning are as a reason.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) February 10, 2020
I would interpret “heavy” as “Tom Wilson is the type to take a run at a rookie,” but we’ll see how that line looks.
Let's think about this another way...A Hall of Fame coach is taking out a 21-year-old with 3 games of NHL experience on the front-half of a back-to-back against one of the best teams in the league.— Brendan Burke (@brendanmburke) February 10, 2020
Does that sit better with you?
#Isles morning skate— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) February 10, 2020
Extra Fs: Bellows, Kuhnhackl
Extra D: Aho
Thankfully, Ryan Pulock is okay after taking a heavy hit late in the loss to the Lightning.
Sounds like Thomas Greiss in net, with Ilya Samsonov in the opposite pipes.
The Capitals, who are doing quite a rotation at the bottom of their blueline, look like this:
Capitals expected lines vs Islanders:— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) February 10, 2020
*Gudas appears to be the healthy scratch
*Wilson/Oshie flip back
The Islanders began the day a point behind Columbus for third in the Metro...and also just a point ahead of both Carolina and Philadelphia in the wild card bubble. They do have two games in hand on the latter two and three games in hand on the CBJ.
Omen? Ovechkin Chases 700
I don’t like the looks of this, but I cannot deny I’d have pointed out the same, as Alex Ovechkin enters just two goals short of 700 regular season NHL goals:
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) February 10, 2020
Foreshadowing? Ovi does play the Isles tonight. #NHLNow pic.twitter.com/1JgyPlYJq0
Enjoy this one. And then rest up because the Islanders are back in action again tomorrow night at home against the Flyers, which will be on NBC Sports in the U.S.