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Islanders vs. Predators: Lineup questions take center stage on return

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MARCH 14: Kieffer Bellows #20 of the New York Islanders skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 14, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MARCH 14: Kieffer Bellows #20 of the New York Islanders skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 14, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The New York Islanders are back in action today after a five-day break early in the season. You can say the break came at the right time or that it came at the absolute worst time for the Islanders.

On the one hand, the Islanders could use the break to figure out their defensive zone play that caused them so many issues at the start of the year. But, you can also argue this is the worst time with the Isles posting back-to-back shutouts leading into the break and going 3-0-1 since their horrendous start.

Whatever you think (and you’d be right either way), the Isles are back, and the big question is: “What is the lineup going to look like?”

New York Islanders travel to Nashville on return from break

New York Islanders Projected Lineup

Lee-Barzal-Palmieri
Beauvillier-Nelson-Bailey
Bellows-Pageau-Wahlstrom
Martin-Cizikas-Clutterbuck

Pelech-Pulock
Chara-Dobson
Greene-Mayfield

Sorokin (Varlamov)

Zach Parise is a game-time decision for the Islanders. The veteran forward had some stiffness over the last few days so he might not suit up for this one. Both Ross Johnston and Kieffer Bellows have been taking reps in Parise’s spot at practice.

While Ross could step in, with Martin healthy, there’s no reason for Johnston to take a role on the team. While Bellows hasn’t been great in his few cameos this season, he’s the best option if Parise is out.

Varlamov will dress, but I can’t imagine Barry puts him in to start this one after missing so many games with injury and with Sorokin running on back-to-back shutouts.

Don’t take this d-core as static. This might be the default setting for Barry, but he will mix-and-match during the game.

Where to catch the game?

The Isles are on the road, and it’s an early game. Puck drop is at 1:30 pm. So here’s where you can watch or listen to the game:

TV: MSG+, MSG GO, ESPN+
Radio: 1050AM, 88.7FM, 103.9FM

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