The NY Islanders are looking to get back to their winning ways against the Calgary Flames at UBS Arena after a three-game road trip ended with a shutout loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
The Islanders have been red hot lately, recently having a five-game win streak against some quality opponents, but that would end Saturday afternoon against Detroit losing 3-0. The game became a physical one very fast, with a lot of shoving back and forth in front of the net after whistles. The turning point in the game came in the second period when Mathew Barzal took a high hit by Lucas Raymond in the neutral zone. Linemates Oliver Wahlstrom and Josh Bailey came to his defense which ended up with Wahlstrom getting a roughing penalty. Raymond would then score the game-winning goal on the power play and the Islanders were not able to recover. This was the first game they got blanked all season, and while it wasn't Semyon Varlamov's fault that they lost, it was not his best game either. It's hard to win six in a row in the NHL, and the Red Wings came out with more energy in the end.
The Flames' last game came against the New Jersey Devils in Calgary, where they would lose 4-3 in overtime. Nazem Kadri scored first for the home team, but they found themselves down 3-1 after the first period. Elias Lindholm would cut the Devils' lead to one and then Nikita Zadorov would score early in the third period to tie the game at three, but the comeback attempt would end there. Fabian Zetterlund of New Jersey scored his second of the game on the power play to win it for the Devils in overtime. Calgary is currently on a four-game losing streak after this loss.
Last season when these two teams played, the Islanders lost both games by a score of 5-2. The first game they played was the first-ever game played at UBS Arena, which was an unfortunate result for such a huge build-up. Brock Nelson scored both goals for the Islanders, and breakout forward Andrew Mangiapane would score two goals for the Flames as well. Varlamov would start and make 26 saves on 29 shots. In hindsight, this was a 3-2 game that ended with two empty net goals, but a loss is still a loss. The next 5-2 loss came in February, where Noah Dobson and JG Pageau would score both Islander goals and Ilya Sorokin would let up five goals on another 29 shot effort by the Flames. The Islanders have not played the Flames since 2019, and have lost their last four outings against them. The Isles are also 31-21-9-0 against the Flames at home all-time.
Players to Watch
Jonathan Huberdeau was acquired by Calgary in the offseason along with MacKenzie Weegar through a massive trade with the Florida Panthers that sent Matthew Tkachuk the other way. Huberdeau seemed angry about how this situation played out according to former teammates and intends to use this as motivation to play even better than he did last season with the Panthers. Huberdeau finished the 2021-22 season with 115 points off of 30 goals and 85 assists, the most assists in a single season by a left-wing in NHL history. This season, however, he has only registered one goal and four assists in nine games and has recently said publically that he is not satisfied at all with his play, and that nobody has seen his true potential yet.
Brock Nelson has been red hot for the Islanders to start the 2022-23 season, scoring over a point-per-game with 13 points in 11 games. Even though "Brocktober" may have ended, Brock started to heat up in his last five games with seven points during that span, scoring a goal in all of them along with two against the Carolina Hurricanes. He did not have his strongest game against Detroit on Saturday being a -2, but Nelson rarely keeps bad games as a trend. Nelson has only gone scoreless in three games this season and has always scored a point in the next game following being held off the score sheet. He has only scored three goals against the Flames in his entire career, and he'll look to add to that total tonight.
Josh Bailey- Mat Barzal- Oliver Wahlstrom
Anders Lee- Brock Nelson- Anthony Beauvillier
Zach Parise- J.G. Pageau- Kyle Palmieri
Matt Martin- Casey Cizikas- Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech- Ryan Pulock
Alexander Romanov- Noah Dobson
Sebastian Aho- Scott Mayfield
Jonathan Huberdeau- Elias Lindholm- Tyler Toffoli
Dillon Dube- Nazem Kadri - Andrew Mangiapane
Blake Coleman- Mikael Backlund- Trevor Lewis
Milan Lucic- Kevin Rooney- Brett Ritchie
Noah Hanifin - Rasmus Anderson
Nikita Zadorov - Mackenzie Weegar
Connor Mackey - Nick Desimone
*Lineups per DailyFaceoff