The Minnesota Wild (23-17-9) come into Brooklyn to kick off the second half of the season against the Islanders (25-16-6). Both teams are fighting for playoff spots and need strong second halves in order to do this.
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In a somewhat surprising move, the Islanders are starting third goalie Jean-Francois Berube in goal as opposed to Jaroslav Halak or Thomas Greiss. Berube has been hot in Bridgeport going 4-0 and giving up less than a goal per game during that stretch. Despite the hot streak it is pretty clear the Islanders are starting Berube in hopes of increasing his value for a possible trade.
In addition to increasing his trade value, having a third goalie will help keep Halak and Greiss fresh. The Islanders have a packed schedule in the second half of the year and will be playing 35 games in the next 68 days. Berube could be instrumental in the month of February if he can hold his own.
The Islanders are going to need to have a strong second half to secure the two seed in the Metropolitan division. They have a very realistic chance at attaining the two seed but a poor showing in the second half could leave the Islanders on the outside looking in come Stanley Cup Playoffs time.
What: New York Islanders vs. Minnesota Wild
When: February 2nd, 2016 // 7:00 pm EST
Where: Barclays Center Brooklyn, NY
TV Info: MSG+ 2, FS-N, FS-WI
Live Stream: NHL Gamecenter