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Islanders vs. Avalanche: Low-stakes rematch [Game #53]

Zach Parise has always been a center.

New York Islanders v Colorado Avalanche
Just swinging by...
Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

Last week in Denver, the Islanders hung with the eminently terrifying Avalanche before giving it up in the third period. Tonight they’ll get a chance to try again — not for any meaningful mistakes, mind you, but for the friends they made along the way.

By the looks of reports from the morning skate, ex-Av Semyon Varlamov will get the start, Anders Lee will be back in the lineup (but Zdeno Chara and Mathew Barzal remain out), and the lines may be...different:

If those lines hold, then with Lee returning, Otto Koivula bumps back out of the lineup, and Zach Parise swings over to center again. Barry Trotz called Parise a “student of the game,” probably the Isles “most consistent” forward all season and — snark and scoring slumps aside — he’s not exactly wrong. Parise gives it his all out there and pays detailed attention to positioning within Trotz’s structure. The legs, hands and shot aren’t what they once were, but I imagine the previous traits make him a Trotz dream.

I bet he gets re-signed.

Anyway, game is at 7:30 p.m. EST. First Islanders Goal selections go here. Chat away and enjoy...