Game Preview: NY Islanders vs. Anaheim Ducks
Coming off their rough loss to the Los Angeles Kings, the NY Islanders look to get back on track against the Anaheim Ducks tonight at 10:00 PM EST. After dropping their past two games, the Islanders look to maintain their current wildcard position with a win tonight in Anaheim.
Last night, the Islanders played the Los Angeles Kings in another rough showing for the blue and orange. In the first period, Pierre Engvall got the Islanders on the board with a 1-0 lead. However, after that, it was all Kings. Blake Lizotte, Drew Doughty, Alex Iafallo, and Trevor Moore scored four unanswered goals. JG Pageau would score in his first game back, to make the game 4-2 late in the second period to help start an Islanders comeback, but Quinton Byfield would put the final net in the coffin with an empty net goal as the Islanders would fall 5-2. Ilya Sorokin allowed four goals and made 32 saves, for a save percentage of .889%.
On the other side of things, the Ducks come into this game having lost their most recent game to the Nashville Predators on Sunday, 5-4. Two goals by Mason McTavish and a goal by Frank Vatrano and Troy Terry would force overtime with the Predators, but the final dagger came from Tommy Novak, as he scored the game-winning goal in overtime for Nashville.
This game marks the second time this season that these two teams will meet. The first time they met came back in October of 2022 when the Islanders completely dominated the Ducks, picking up a 7-1 victory. Five unanswered goals by Scott Mayfield, Noah Dobson, Oliver Wahlstrom, Scott Mayfield (again), and Anthony Beauvillier would put the Islanders ahead 5-0.
It wasn't until the third period that the Anaheim Ducks would get on the scoreboard. This came off an unassisted goal by Troy Terry. However, back-to-back goals in the third period by Robin Salo would more than secure the win for the Islanders, with a dominating offensive performance. Sorokin had a fantastic performance, only allowing one goal and making 22 saves.
Players to Watch
For the Islanders, captain Anders Lee is certainly the player to watch in this game for the blue and orange. When these teams first met each other this season, Lee picked up a three-point game, all off of assists. Over the course of the past five games, Lee has four goals, maintaining a bit of a hot streak. Lee has shown he plays very well against the Ducks and could prove to be a factor tonight if the Islanders get it done.
On the other side of things, Cam Fowler has been an assist machine. Over the course of his past five games, Fowler has tallied six points, all off assists. In the most recent game against the Predators, he had three alone. Out of the last five games, Fowler has tallied at least one point in all but one of them. He is a dangerous threat on the ice who can not only score a goal when he needs to but also can find open teammates with ease.