Game Preview: NY Islanders host Calgary Flames in Saturday matinee

Calgary Flames v New York Islanders
Calgary Flames v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The New York Islanders (22-17-12, fourth in the Metropolitan Division) host the Calgary Flames (24-22-5, fifth in the Pacific Division) this afternoon at UBS Arena. Face-off is at 1:00 PM EST

LAST GAME

The Islanders are coming over their most complete effort under Patrick Roy, throttling the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2 at UBS Arena on Thursday night. Six different players scored goals for the Islanders, as Mathew Barzal had a goal and assist to extend his point streak (3G, 3A) to four games. Bo Horvat scored his 21st of the season to tie Brock Nelson for the team lead, and Casey Cizikas scored in his first game back after missing ten games with a lower-body injury.

Mikael Backlund, Jesper Bratt
Calgary Flames v New Jersey Devils / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Meanwhile, Calgary comes to Long Island as winners of three straight after topping the New Jersey Devils 5-3 in Newark on Thursday night. Jacob Markstrom had 37 saves in the win, and Mikael Backlund and Connor Zary each had a goal and an assist.

HISTORICAL MATCHUP

The Islanders defeated the Flames 5-4 in a shootout to snap a seven-game winless streak back on Nov. 18. It was a back and forth game that mirrored many of the Islanders games during their November slide. The team lost a third-period lead, but this time, survived overtime, and Oliver Wahlstrom beat Markstrom for the deciding goal in the shootout.

Ilya Sorokin had 35 saves in the game. Brock Nelson, Mathew Barzal, Hudson Fasching and Kyle Palmieri were the goal-scorers.

Nov 18, 2023; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders right wing Oliver Wahlstrom (26) celebrates
Nov 18, 2023; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders right wing Oliver Wahlstrom (26) celebrates / Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Isles came back from a two-goal third-period deficit to defeat Flames 4-3 in OT at UBS Arena last season in November and later loss 4-1 in Calgary on Jan. 6.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Ryan Pulock scored in his second game back in the lineup on Thursday night. Paired once again with Adam Pelech, the Islander's defense is more balanced, and minutes are being distributed more evenly against the group. However, after being healthy for two games, Alexander Romanov will be out of the lineup with a lower-body injury and Sebastian Aho will draw back into the lineup.

Watch the defensive pairs against the Flames' new-look top line of Jonathan Hurberdeau, Yegor Sharangovich, and the recently acquired Andrei Kumenko. Sharangovich has been hot with six goals and two assists over his last 10 games. Meanwhile, Blake Coleman is tied for the team lead with 20 goals, while Nazem Kadri leads the team in points with 16 goals and 27 assists.