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Preview: New York Islanders vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

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The New York Islanders look to bounce back from their first loss of the season when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at Nassau Coliseum.  The Isles come in atop the Metropolitan Division with a record of 4-1-0 (8 points), but suffered their first defeat on Saturday at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins.  The Leafs just suffered two straight losses in a home-and-home set with the Detroit Red Wings.  Toronto is currently ranked sixth in the Atlantic Division at 2-3-1 (5 points).

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  • The Islanders announced after the morning skate that defenseman Travis Hamonic will be a game time decision after suffering an injury at Pittsburgh.  Lubomir Visnovsky could return to the lineup tonight after starting the season on injured reserve, but his status will also be a game time decision.  If both Hamonic and Visnovsky suit up, expect Brian Strait to be the odd-man out of the lineup.  Forward Mikhail Grabovski is out for his second straight game tonight, and is officially listed as day-t0-day.

    Tonight will be a reunion for Isles forward Nikolay Kulemin as he faces the Leafs for the first time as an opponent in his career.  Kulemin told the Islanders website that he is excited to play against the team he spent the first 6 years of his career with.  “It’s going to be a lot of fun. For sure, I’ll be giving my best against my old team” Kulemin said after today’s morning skate.  Jaroslav Halak will get the start in goal.

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    The main focus for the Islanders tonight has got to be the Penalty Kill.  We’ve talked about it endlessly on this site, but tonight could be a chance to right the ship on the PK.  The Leafs rank 13th in the league on the Power-Play so hopefully the Isles can get a few solid kills and start to grow their confidence as a unit.

    Where To Watch:

    With all three local teams in action tonight, the Isles of course get bumped to MSG+ 2.  Where on earth is that channel, you ask?  Click here for a list of channels in the Tri-State Area.

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