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Islanders Preseason News: Auditions continue in Devils blitz

Anders Lee was back on the top line, Aho got a good run of minutes.

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New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils
Well, it’s preseason.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Islanders fielded what looked a lot like two-thirds opening-night, one-third audition kind of lineup last night, but their preseason meeting with the Devils in Newark turned into a bit of a track meet.

Of the 6-5 loss, Lane Lambert said it’s “not the way we want to play that team” — loose on structure in defensive coverage and the neutral zone.

Can’t argue that goals are fun though, especially in preseason.

Islanders News

  • Highlights from last night [Isles]
  • Three takeaways: Need to tighten up, appreciate the on-going chemistry of Horvat-Barzal, and Nelson-Engvall. [Isles]
  • A bad second period, and the full lines/pairings from the night. [THN]
  • The Islanders opening roster, which was never too much in doubt barring injuries, is close to taking shape. [Newsday]
  • But in what combination? Last night, Anders Lee was back on the top scoring line with Bo Horvat and Mat Barzal. And the battle for the final/extra forward spots continues. [Post]
  • Simon Holmstrom got a long look in that spot next to Horvat-Barzal. Lambert liked his IQ, but the finishing is still wanting. [THN]
  • Where does Oliver Wahlstrom fit within it? [Newsday]
  • With Josh Bailey {sniff, sniff} gone, surely Brock Nelson gets the open A? [Post]
  • Pre-game notes on that topic, and finding the optimal lineup. [THN]
  • Filling in with double-duty for the moment after the Athletic’s sometimes-there Isles beatwriter scooted back to Philly, Staple shares some mid-camp plots. [Athletic]

Here’s one pretty setup from Bo Horvat to Mat Barzal:

Barzal scored twice, continuing his preseason (including scrimmages) that seems to reflect a renewed emphasis on getting shots on.

Sebastian Aho (over 17 minutes, +3) also got a goal to bring it to 6-5. From Sunday (before Monday’s game):


  • The Shane Pinto stalemate continues in Ottawa, where they have a lot of dead money tied up in guys like Matt Murray and Bobby Ryan, plus a curiously short-sighted (and now costly) buyout of Michael Dal Zotto. “If the Senators turn around and sign Josh Bailey to a one-year contract at the end of this week — before they handle the Pinto situation — it will be yet another slap in the face...” [Athletic]
  • The Ducks finally reached a deal, for three years, $5.75 million AAV, with Trevor Zegras. Their official statement had a lot of “confident to see him work on his all-around game” type of language. [NHL | TSN]
  • More waiver movement with some “Who?” guys: The Penguins claimed forward Jansen Harkins from the Winnipeg Jets; Trotz’s Nashville Predators claimed forward Samuel Fagemo from the Los Angeles Kings. Makes you wonder if the isles might lose a guy? [TSN]
  • The NHL’s elite athleticism forces bittersweet retirements from veterans hanging on via PTOs. [THN]
  • The Flames are trying to see if they have something substantial in Adam Ruzicka. [Sportsnet]
  • The Leafs are raving about Max Domi’s speed. Just wait till they meet the rest of his game! [Sportsnet]