With no football on Sunday, the Islanders will play one of seven games around the NHL today taking advantage of the sudden void left by football. Both the Islanders, Panthers, Capitals and Lightning are in action today. All have played 54 games and are vying for the last spots in the East (with the Panthers and Caps having the added possibility of being a division winner). For these teams, today can pretty much be considered one of their ‘games in hand’ on their conference opponents with so many other teams out of action. For one, the four Canadian teams chasing those final eastern spots — Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Winnipeg — are all idle today. They occupy four of the five standings spots between 7th and 11th.
In other news the Sound Tigers continued on their hot streak, destroying Springfield 8-1 last night. Micheal Haley had a hat trick (are pigs flying?) to add to two goals from Ty Wishart and three points from Matt Donovan. The Sound Tigers are now 13-1-1 since New Year’s.
(These are Saturday’s lines. These will be updated when today’s lines are announced.)
Moulson – Tavares – Okposo
Grabner – Nielsen – Parenteau
Rolston – Bailey – Martin
Niederreiter – Pandolfo – Wallace
Streit – Staios
Ness – MacDonald
Jurcina – Eaton