The NY Islanders are looking to win their third straight game as they head back home to host the Arizona Coyotes at UBS Arena.
The 2022-23 Islanders showed, once again, just how resilient they can be. After coming back from a two-goal deficit to win against the Calgary Flames on Monday night, the Isles found themselves falling behind after two periods again, the next night at Madison Square Garden against the NY Rangers. Entering the third period down 3-1, the Isles got a quick goal from Adam Pelech, his first of the season, just 14 seconds in. Not long after, Brock Nelson put a one-timer past Rangers’ goalie Igor Shesterkin to tie the game at three. Islanders’ goaltender, Semyon Varlamov, stopped 37 of the 40 shots he faced, but most importantly kept the Rangers off the scoreboard in the final 20 minutes, allowing Anders Lee to eventually give the Isles the lead when he scored his team-leading eighth goal of the year. The Islanders would hold on to win 4-3, improving to 2-0-0 against their cross-town rival this season.
After coming from behind to beat the Washington Capitals on Saturday, the Coyotes traveled to Buffalo and dominated the Sabres from start to finish on Tuesday. The Yotes got off to a very quick start, as Lawson Crouse buried the game’s first goal just 23 seconds in. After Buffalo would tie the game at one, thanks to a goal from Tage Thompson, Arizona would put three more pucks past Eric Comrie, leading to a 4-1 victory. Despite getting outshot 33-24, the Coyotes got excellent goaltending from Karel Vejmelka, who made 32 saves in the victory.
Both meetings between the Islanders and Coyotes last season saw Ilya Sorokin steal the show. On October 23rd and January 21st, the Isles goaltender registered a shutout, leading the Islanders to 3-0 and 4-0 victories over Arizona.
In 83 all time matchups, the Islanders hold a 42-26-12-3 record against the Coyotes, including a home record of 23-9-8-1 (1-0-0 at UBS Arena).
Players to Watch
Nelson has gotten off to a great start this season. He’ll have a golden opportunity to continue that as he gets set to take on a team he’s had a lot of success against in his career. In 16 games against the Coyotes, Nelson has 15 points (eight goals and seven assists), including three goals in the two games last year. He also enters play as one of the team leaders in points this season for the Islanders.
Of anyone on the Coyotes roster, no one has more experience against the Islanders than Shayne Gostisbehere. The former Flyer spent six seasons in Philadelphia and in 26 career games against the Isles, he has 14 points (3 goals and 11 assists). Gostisbehere is second on the Yotes in points this season with 10.