Pre Game Info: New York Islanders vs. Ottawa Senators

By James McDermott

Who, When and Where: 

Ottawa Senators vs. New York Islanders, 7pm, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY

By the Numbers:

The Isles come in tied for first place in the Metropolitan Division with 34 points. They have won 11 of their last 13 games. Their 17 victories are tied for the most of any NHL team this season.

Ottawa sits in seventh place in the Atlantic Division with 24 points, having lost four of their last five games.

The Isles have been stout at Nassau Coliseum this season, posting a 9-2-0 record, while the Sens have won only five of their 13 road games.

The Captains lead the way for both teams with Erik Karlsson registering a team high 17 points for the Sens and John Tavares‘ 23 points pacing the Isles.

Who’s In, Who’s Out:

Defensemen Lubomir Visnovsky and Johnny Boychuk are both out for the Islanders tonight, reserves Brian Strait and Matt Donovan will take their places.

Ottawa Forward Bobby Ryan has been ruled out with a broken finger.

Despite being named the starter this morning, Craig Anderson is likely to miss tonight’s game, meaning Robin Lehner will be making the start for the Sens. Jaroslav Halak, winner of his last nine starts, will get the nod for the Isles.

Bottom Line:

The Isles and Sens will face-off on the front side of a home and home between the two clubs this week. This will be a battle between a reeling Ottawa squad and a red hot Isles team. On paper, it seems like a bad match-up for the visitors. They have had trouble finding the back of the net, ranking in the bottom third of the NHL in goals scored and are going up against the NHL’s first star of the week in Halak, who has seen his save percentage balloon up to .926 and his goals against drop to 2.13.

At five on five the Isles should hold a pretty distinct advantage, but Ottawa does have an edge in both special teams categories, if they are to pull out a victory from this game, it is likely that their special teams will have played a serious part.