Longtime Islander Andrew MacDonald returns to LI with Flyers

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Andrew MacDonald hadn’t been in the visitor’s dressing room since his early days with the New York Islanders, so the experience was a bit of a new one for him on Monday night.NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins

MacDonald, who spent five seasons with the Islanders, returned to Nassau Coliseum for the first time since he was traded on February 4.

“Obviously, my first time back and everything, but I think both sides have moved on,” he told reporters on Monday. “There’s been quite a bit of time since I’ve left now, so for us we’re just worried about playing well and getting two points.”

Philadelphia was only able to leave Long Island with one point after losing to the Isles in the shootout. In his first visit back to the Coliseum, MacDonald was shown on the video board during the first period and booed by a subset of Islander fans in attendance.

The 28-year-old defenseman spent his entire career in the Islander organization – which drafted him No. 160 overall in 2006 – and, for a while, he was a part of the team’s defensive core. During the 20013-14 season, MacDonald was seeing upwards of 20 minutes of playing time a night for the blue and orange.

But as the season progressed and the trade deadline came closer, it became clear that MacDonald was on the block to be traded. To read more of this story, click here

Halak leads Isles to shootout win over Philly

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

The Islanders made some history in their 1-0 shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday Night at Nassau Coliseum.USATSI_8226946_110579513_lowres

The Islanders secured their fifteenth win through their first 21 games of the season, doing so for the first time in franchise history. The milestone is in large part thanks to the goaltending of Jaroslav Halak, who made 21 saves through 65-minutes of action.

“I thought [Halak] played well,” Islander head coach Jack Capuano said. “He’s played well for us, both goalies have stepped in, but tonight he knew the guy at the other end was playing pretty well. The chances that he faced, they were some grade A chances there and he came up big for us.”

Monday night was a departure from the offensive track meets the Islanders played in the previous two games against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Steve Mason kept the Islanders off the board through three periods and five minutes of OT. To read more of this story, click here

Game Recap: Islanders 1 – Flyers 0 (Shootout)

Recap: The Islanders beat the Flyers in a shootout on Monday night on Long Island.



Need to Know: Although the Islanders were the aggressors throughout, out-shooting Philadelphia 46-20, Steve Mason was equal to the task and the game entered overtime in a scoreless tie.

After a scoreless overtime period, Frans Nielsen and John Tavares scored the deciders in the shootout for the Isles.


Links: AP recap | Box Score


What’s Next: The Isles host the Capitals on Wednesday night at 7.

Hickey, de Haan out due to illness

The Islanders announced that defensemen Calvin de Haan and Thomas Hickey will both miss Monday’s game against Philadelphia due to illness.

Islanders ranked number one in ESPN & The Hockey News power rankings

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

The Islanders are tied for first in the Metropolitan Division, but ESPN’s Peirre LeBrun had no problem placing the Islanders atop his weekly NHL power rankings and neither did The Hockey News. Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 3.15.19 PM

“This week in the Rankings I want to reward one of the NHL’s most loyal fan bases with the top spot,” LeBrun wrote. ” And why not? Their team deserves some love!”

The Islanders, without a doubt, deserve to be recognized for their effort so far. New York is coming off a sweep over NHL powerhouse, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and is holding an 8-2-0 record in the month of November.

They were ranked Ninth in the previous week’s rankings by ESPN and THN. Here’s is some of what Ken Campbell wrote in THN about the Isles:

The New York Islanders are not in first place in the NHL today. They’re not even in the top five of the NHL standings. But is there a team in the league any team would like to meet less than the Islanders at the moment?

We doubt it. The Islanders have won eight of their past nine, including back-to-back wins over the team most consider to be the best in the Eastern Conference, the Pittsburgh Penguins. They’ve scored at least four goals in each of their past five victories and are playing with a swagger we haven’t seen from this team in years.

Over the course of the last week, the Islanders scored a combined 14 goals through three games and have seen contributions from everyone on their roster. The team’s success has garnered a lot of attention from people who are used to the Islanders swimming near the bottom of the standings.

With the way things have been going in Islander land, it would be hard to imagine this being the last time the Isles are near the top of a power ranking.

Also, you have to give props to LeBrun for sneaking in a “YES!” chant reference into his headline.

Game day (21): Flyers at Islanders, 7 pm

at
Nassau Coliseum — Uniondale, NY
TV: MSG Plus Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9 FM

The Least You Should Know About the Flyers… Philadelphia snapped a four-game losing streak on Saturday with a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets… The Flyers begin a stretch of games in which seven of their next eight will take place on the road. The Flyers are 2-6-0 on away from Wells fargo Center this season… Jakub Voracek has 29 points (seven goals, 22 assists) through 19 games. Voracek leads the Flyers, and the NHL, in points and assists.

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — After a well deserved day off, it’s back to work for the New York Islanders.

They will host the struggling Philadelphia Flyers tonight and try to extend a three-game winning streak. Historically the Islandes have struggled against the hockey club from Philadelphia. Since the 2007-08 season the Flyers have gone 33-4-3 against the Isles.

This years Islander squad (as it has been well documented) is much different from those teams in the past and they will be a much tougher opponent for the Flyers.

Jack Capuano won’t change his lineup that has won three straight games and Jaroslav Halak will start in net for the Islanders. It will be Halak’s second consecutive start.

The Flyers are struggling entering tonight’s game in Uniondale. They snapped a recent four-game losing skid and sit sixth in the Metropolitan Division. That doesn’t mean Capuano sees this as an easy game.

“They’re always a dangerous team,” he said after the Islanders morning skate. “They probably should be a lot better. They have great goaltending, they’re healthy now and they have solid defense. They have tremendous forwards up front… We have to be ready to go. They’re a hard working team and they always have been a hard working team.

“This is a great challenge for our hockey team.”

The Islanders will see two former members of the organization, with former captain Mark Streit and Andrew MacDonald members of the Flyers. Streit returned to Nassau Coliseum with Philadelphia last season. Tonight is MacDonald’s first game against his former club.

GEICO SportsNite: Islanders sweep Penguins

GEICO SportsNite has reaction from Matt Martin and John Tavares after the Islanders defeated the Penguins 4-1 on Saturday night. The win completed a home-and-home sweep for the Islanders, who moved into a tie with the Pens for first place in the Metropolitan Division.