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Islanders vs. Stars Gameday [#59]: Weekend of matinees and trade buzz

Not a lot of trade talk around the Isles, who probably don’t have many guys they want to move.

NHL: New York Islanders at New York Rangers
At least we can keep trying to score.
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The Islanders host the Stars Saturday afternoon as part of a back-to-back matinee weekend, all leading into Monday’s NHL trade deadline. Not that the Isles are buyers — and from the sounds of it, not very much sellers either (maybe Cal Clutterbuck? Semyon Varlamov?), but we’ll see what emerges from the Lou cone of silence.

For today’s game at Belmont, it’s a Nickelodeon theme day, so that will explain any odd noises or colorful characters popping up during the game.

Like the Islanders, the Stars still have some COVID-fueled games in hand on their playoff competition, but unlike the Islanders, the Stars are very much in the hunt for the wild card. Dallas (33-23-3) enters competition today one point behind Vegas for the second slot in the West, but with four games in hand.

Today’s game on Long Island and tomorrow in Philadelphia re both 2 p.m. starts. Leave First Islanders Goal picks for today here.

Islanders News

  • Game notes/preview: The Islanders aim to extend their points streak to six. [Isles]
  • The Islander know their playoff chances are near-invisible, so they’ll just put their heads down and try to keep up their recent success. [Post]
  • But Thursday’s Isles-Rangers tilt had a playoff feel thanks to the goalies. [Post]
  • The Islanders’ goal scorers are scoring goals, which has strongly correlated with the Islanders winning games. [Newsday]
  • Chris Botta discusses the trade deadline and talks to Martin Biron about Semyon Varlamov, Isles goalie guru Mitch Korn, and goalies moving at the deadline. [Hockey Press Pass]

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores include wins for the Capitals and Bruins, and another loss for the Flyers.

But the main buzz all weekend is going to be the trade deadline. Will Marc-Andre Fleury go anywhere? What will the top contenders do? What will the bubble teams with injury issues do?

  • Answering “the big questions” ahead of the deadline. [ESPN]
  • The Lightning’s success with Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow means everyone is treating “glue guys” like the new Butch Goring of trade deadline targets. [NHL]
  • But now the Lightning have traded two lottery-protected first-round picks to the Hawks for breakout sparkplug Brandon Hagel. [ESPN | Raw Charge]
  • The Hurricanes, however, will not trade their first-round pick. [TSN]
  • Robin Lehner’s injury has created an unhappy goalie situation for Vegas coach Peter DeBoer. [Review Journal]
  • 12 “quick notes” on the trade deadline. [Sportsnet]
  • This weekend’s games may determine the trade direction the Rangers take. [Post]
  • Flames players share the “pretty chaotic” feel of the trade deadline. [TSN]
  • Nino Niederreiter did a bad thing, will have a hearing. [NHL]
  • Spencer Knight got his first NHL shutout as the Panthers dumped the Ducks, but Aaron Ekblad left with an injury. Still, the Panthers don’t believe it’s serious like the injury he suffered at the end of last season. [NHL]