Eyes On Isles Pre-Game Report
Tonight, the New York Islanders (25-33-9, 59 Points) host the San Jose Sharks (43-17-7, 93 Points) in game no. 66 of the 2013-14 NHL season. Here’s what you need to know before puck drop…
Where: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
When: 7:00 PM ET, March 14, 2014
TV: MSG+ (Howie Rose, Butch Goring)
Radio: 88.7 FM WRHU, 103.9 FM WRCN (Chris King)
Opposition Blog: Blades Of Teal
The New York Islanders take the ice tonight for the first time since their rousing 7 goal third period buried the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.
In what has been a very tough stretch since the March 5 trade deadline has come and gone, the Islanders are playing out the string of games left on their schedule and at the same time getting a long look at some young developing talent that will hopefully catapult this team back to its former glory.
So far, the results have been positive from that front, with only Ryan Strome a little late in showing his true superstar potential. Brock Nelson has been fantastic all season since making the team out of training camp and Anders Lee has been spectacular with 5 goals in 7 games and 6 in his first 9 as a professional. Matt Donovan is back and still playing at a high level, even with a new partner in Brian Strait. Lastly, Anders Nilsson might not be the future long term starter but is clearly showing he at least can be a capable backup.
Now, we get a look at two more added to the roster. Kevin Czuczman, the highly coveted 19 year old college defenseman, is on the big club and could see action as soon as tonight. Johan Sundstrom earned the first recall of his professional career and will get into the lineup tonight with Michael Grabner suffering from the effects of a concussion.
The only time these two teams met was memorable, with New York earning a 3-2 shootout win at the HP Pavilion in San Jose led by Kyle Okposo‘s late game tying goal and a wonderful effort by goaltender Kevin Poulin, who made 46 saves.
The Sharks come in as one of the hottest teams in the entire league, as they have won 4 straight and sport an 8-1-1 mark over their last ten games. They are 18-13-3 on the road and 19-6-3 against the Eastern conference.
Surprisingly, they are only 23rd on the power play at 16% but do have the 6th ranked penalty kill at 84.4%.
Antii Niemi is expected to be the starter in goal.
What They’re Saying
- “A 3-0 deficit going into the third period, we were pretty deflated,” winger Matt Martin said. “The coaches came in and made it clear we didn’t do enough in the second period and we didn’t play for one another, and if we didn’t pick up our game in the third period they’d have no problem taking guys out of the lineup.”
- “It feels good to be right up there,” Marleau said. “It’s not going to be easy the rest of the season.”
29 Brock Nelson – 51 Frans Nielsen – 21 Kyle Okposo
27 Anders Lee – 18 Ryan Strome – 13 Colin McDonald
17 Matt Martin – 12 Josh Bailey – 15 Cal Clutterbuck
28 Johan Sundstrom – 53 Casey Cizikas – 43 Mike Halmo
91 John Tavares