Game Day (79): Senators at Islanders, 7pm

at
(33-31-14)                (31-36-11)
Nassau Coliseum — Uniondale, NY
TV: MSG+ Radio: 88.7, 103.9 FM

The Least You Should Know About the Senators… The Senators will be without left wing Collin Greening when they take on the Isles on Tuesday. Greening has not played since March 30 due to an undisclosed injury. He did partake in practice with the Senators on Monday. … Craig Anderson will start for Ottawa on Tuesday night. He played in last Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to the Islanders in Ottawa. … Defenseman Patrick Wiercioch could become the 89th player in Senators history to play in 100 games if he plays against the Isles…

The Islanders get set to play their final home game of the year on Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators.

Brett Gallant will make his NHL debut after getting called up on Monday from AHL Bridgeport. Gallant has a goal and an assist in 56 games for the Sound Tigers. He also leads Bridgeport in penalty minutes with 246. Scott Mayfield will make his home debut for the Islanders after playing in his first NHL contest on Sunday.

Mayfield saw 17:04 of playing time in the 4-0 shutout loss in Columbus.

Anders Nilsson will start in net for the Islanders. He is 6-6-2 on the season and was in net for the Islanders when they defeated the Senators last Wednesday in the Canadian capital.

Projected Lineup:
Lee-Nielsen-Bailey Czuczman-Hamonic Nilsson
Persson-Nelson-Clutterbuck Carkner-Donovan Nabokov
McDonald-Strome-Martin Hickey-Mayfield
Gallant-Cizikas-Halmo
Scratches: Martinek, Grabner, Strait, Okposo, Visnovsky, Boulton IR: Tavares

Isles recall Brett Gallant, return Johan Sundstrom

The Islanders have recalled Brett Gallant from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers under emergency conditions.

New York will return Johan Sundstrom to Bridgeport.

Gallant, 25, leads the Sound Tigers with 245 penalty minutes, the fourth highest total in the AHL. The Summerside, PE, native also has two points (one goal, one assist) in 56 games this season.

The Islanders signed Gallant as a free agent on Feb. 5, 2013. The 2013-14 season marks his third full campaign with the Sound Tigers and his fifth professional season. In 140 AHL games with the Sound Tigers and Syracuse Crunch, Gallant has four goals, two assists and 596 penalty minutes.

Blue Jackets 4, Islanders 0 — Three PPGs Power Columbus

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Box Score || Highlights || Fancy Stats

Kevin Schultz, Islanders Point Blank:

The Columbus Blue Jackets, sitting in the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, looked hungry to solidify their playoff chances and took advantage against 11 Islander rookies. Given six power plays, Columbus made half of them count en route to a shutout on their home ice. They notched three power play goals in their first four opportunities, and the Islanders weren’t able to answer.  

With the loss, the Islanders Tank keeps pace with the Calgary Flames’ Tank as the Isles hold the fourth position in the draft lottery. Both teams have 73 points in 78 games with the Islanders holding the tiebreaker of fewer ROW wins (regulation and overtime wins). The Florida Panthers are in third with 64 points and with three games to go, it’s not possible for them to pass the Islanders.  To read more of this story, click here

Game Day (78): Islanders at Blue Jackets, 6pm

at
(34-30-13)                (31-35-10)
Nationwide Arena — Columbus, OH
TV: MSG+ Radio: 88.7, 103.9 FM

The Least You Should Know About the Blue Jackets… Ryan Johansen has 31 goals for Columbus this year, the second most ever for the franchise by a player not named Rick Nash… Nathan Horton and Nikita Nikitin are both questionable for tonight’s game…Sergei Bobrovsky is the confirmed starter for Columbus…  

Kevin Schultz, Islanders Point Blank:

The Islanders will look to play spoiler again for another Eastern Conference team’s playoff hopes, as they travel to Columbus to play the Blue Jackets. Columbus is currently sitting in the final playoff spot in the East, one point ahead of New Jersey and Toronto.

Both teams could be worn out for this one; tonight will be each team’s fourth game in the last six games. Columbus’ final week of the season is especially condensed, as they play five games in seven days this week and eight games in 12 April days overall.

For the Islanders, Scott Mayfield is expected to make his NHL debut and Johan Sundstrom will also play after both were recalled last night. They will replace the re-injured Michael Grabner and Calvin de Haan. Anders Nilsson is the confirmed starter in goal with Sergei Bobrovsky on the other side of the ice. Here’s a guess at the lineup:

Projected Lineup:
Lee-Nielsen-Bailey Czuczman-Hamonic Nilsson
Persson-Nelson-Clutterbuck Carkner-Donovan Nabokov
McDonald-Strome-Martin Hickey-Mayfield
Sundstrom-Cizikas-Halmo
Scratches: Martinek, Grabner, Strait, Okposo, Visnovsky, Boulton IR: Tavares

Isles Recall Two from Bridgeport

The Islanders have recalled Johan Sundstrom and Scott Mayfield from Bridgeport. Sundstrom has played nine games for the Islanders this year, recording one assist.

For Mayfield it will be his first NHL callup. Mayfield, originally a 2nd round pick in 2011, has played 69 games with the Sound Tigers this season. He has 125 PIM, 17 points and is a -2 in those games.

Capitals 4, Islanders 3 (SO): Isles Lose Two players in Loss to Caps

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

UNIONDALE, N.Y — The Islanders lost more than just a hockey game Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum.

New York fell 4-3 in the shootout to the Washington Capitals, as well as saw two players leave the game with injuries. Both Michael Grabner and Calvin de Haan suffered injure that forced them to leave Saturday’s contest early. Grabner went to the Islander room after taking a fist to the face in the first period and de Haan was shook up after getting tangled up with Alexander Ovechkin behind the net, and then getting hit in the body with a shot.

Islander head coach Jack Capuano told reporters after the game that he will be out with an upper body injury. There was no update on de Haan’s condition.

“You don’t want to see anybody get hurt,” Capuano said. “These are two really good players that log a lot of minutes for us, especially when you have eight to 10 rookies dressed in your lineup. We’ll just wait to see what the outcome is and what the doctor has to say.”

Despite the injuries, the Islanders had been playing well. They jumped to a 1-0 lead 12:55 into the first period off a goal from Cal Clutterbuck. The Capitals tied the game early in the second, but the Islanders responded minutes later.

John Persson put the Islanders ahead 2-1 after he shot the puck on net and it snuck through the pads of Capitals’ goaltender Braden Holtby. The goal was Persson’s first in the National Hockey League. Frans Nielsen made it 3-1 during the power play. Josh Bailey fed Nielsen down low and Nielsen fired a quick one-timer from the face-off circle.

But the Capitals just as quickly tied the game back up.

Nicklas Backstrom cut the Isles lead to 3-2 with a goal at 12:45 of the second period and Joel Ward tied the game at 15:01. The game tying goal came off a sloppy turnover in the Isles zone. Ward picked off a clearing attempt right in front of the net and easily beat Evgeni Nabokov.

The game remained tied through the rest of the game and overtime. It was Evgeny Kuznetsov’s lone goal in the shootout that secured the win for the visiting Capitals.

“Obviously we had that lead, but they kept pressing and they kept coming,” Capuano said. “We lose Grabner then we lose de Haan, so I give our guys full marks against a real good team here. A very skilled team. We held some of their guys in check and overall it was good effort.”

The Islanders had a good effort for the most part in Saturday’s loss, but obviously let a win slip away. What can be said for the Isles is that they are hanging with some good teams and giving other teams fighting for a playoff spot trouble.

“We beat Jersey, we beat columbus,” Ryan Strome said after the game. “We’ve been beating some teams that have really been in the hunt right now. We know the standings. We know where we’re at, but a lot of guys are in it for next year and trying to earn spots. These guys are pushing for the playoffs, we’re pushing for a job.”

Game Day (77): Capitals at Islanders, 5pm

at
(34-30-13)                (31-35-10)
Nassau Coliseum — Uniondale, NY
TV: MSG+ Radio: 88.7, 103.9 FM

The Least You Should Know About the Capitals… Brooks Laich and former Islander Jack Hillen will both miss today’s game due to injury… The Caps lost 2-1 in New Jersey last night and are 0-3-2 in their last five games… Alex Ovechkin is one goal away from his first 50-goal season since 2009-10…

Kevin Schultz, Islanders Point Blank:

 The Capitals playoff hopes are nearly gone after a string of recent defeats. The Capitals haven’t won since March 22 and they only have two points from the five games since that point. That’s put their playoff hopes basically to the line, as they can now only achieve a maximum of 91 points with five games to go. They’re going to need to win out and have teams in front of them collapse to have any hope of making it in. SportsClubStats.com has them with a 1.2% chance of making the playoffs right now.

The Islanders have been hot of late despite not having John Tavares and Kyle Okposo in the lineup. They are 5-0-1 in their last six games. Today’s start is a bit odd at 5pm, so take note of that if you’re heading to the Coliseum. It’s also the first night of a back-to-back, as the Islanders will play the Columbus Blue Jackets at 6pm in Ohio tomorrow night. No word on who tonight’s goalie will be but I’d imagine the same lineup as the one that beat the Senators on Wednesday night. Michael Grabner did skate yesterday, so it’s possible he could play tonight but I would guess he would return next week out of precaution due to the concussion.

Projected Lineup:
Lee-Nielsen-Bailey de Haan-Hamonic Nilsson
Persson-Nelson-Clutterbuck Carkner-Donovan Nabokov
McDonald-Strome-Martin Hickey-Czuczman
Sundstrom-Cizikas-Halmo
Scratches: Martinek, Strait, Okposo, Visnovsky, Boulton IR: Tavares, Grabner

Free $500 NHL fantasy hockey contest

Sign up and draft the 10 NHL players you think will score the most fantasy points on Saturday, while staying under the $100,000 salary cap. 1st Place wins $109 Voucher and $500 in prizes will be awarded at the end of the Predators vs Sharks game.

Tooch’s roster turned $2 into $200 Friday, February 7thUntitled

How to get your Free Shot at $500 in prizes playing daily Fantasy Hockey:

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The Morning Skate: 20th Straight Season without Series Win, Tavares Talks Sale

Kevin Schultz, Islanders Point Blank:

The Islanders were officially eliminated from playoff contention last night, not that you didn’t see it coming, but it puts the final nail in the coffin of the 2013-14 season. That marks a full 20 seasons — or 21 years, thanks lockout — since the Islanders last won a playoff round, which of course came in the 1992-93 season. If you know someone who is not yet of legal drinking age, know that (with a few exceptions) they were not born the last time the Islanders won a playoff series (May 14, 1993).

The Islanders hold the longest post-season series win drought in the entire NHL. Here is a list of professional sports teams that existed in 1993 and have as futile or worse streaks without a playoff series win (or in football, a playoff game win).  To read more of this story, click here