The NY Islanders will begin their four-game road trip by traveling to Canada's capital to face the struggling Ottawa Senators.
After coming off of getting shut out at home by Karel Vejmelka and the Arizona Coyotes, the Islanders were able to take down the reeling Columbus Blue Jackets in overtime on Saturday night 4-3. Both teams would trade goals throughout the game, with Columbus being the team that would take the lead each subsequent time. Brock Nelson would score the Islanders' first two goals, and Sebastian Aho assisted on both of them. The Isles have become comfortable playing while they are down, and while down 3-2, Scott Mayfield was able to score his fourth goal of the season on a high backhander to beat Joonas Korpisalo and tie the game. The Islanders weren't able to seal the game in regulation, but Zach Parise after being impeded by Patrik Laine on his way to the goal, still was able to break away received a great pass from JG Pageau and bury it high on the blocker side to win it for the Isles in overtime. Ilya Sorokin would make 26 saves on 29 shots in the win.
The Senators are coming off a win of their own after taking down the Flyers 4-1 in Philadelphia. Their offseason acquisitions broke through for them in this game, namely former Flyers' captain Claude Giroux, who registered two assists in the win. Alex DeBrincat who they acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks for draft capital would net two goals including the game-winner, and Tim Stützle would finish with a goal and an assist. Thomas Chabot scored the first goal for the Sens but ended up leaving the game and later was put on injured reserve and diagnosed with a concussion, a huge blow for Ottawa's blue line. Cam Talbot earned his first win of the season, making an impressive 37 saves on 38 shots.
The Islanders last season were only able to accomplish a season sweep against one Eastern Conference team, and that team is the Ottawa Senators. They won all three games they played in convincing fashion, winning the first meeting in Ottawa 5-3, and then in New York by scores of 4-1 and 3-0. In the latter matchup, Nelson registered assists on all three goals, all of which came in the third period. Oliver Wahlstrom and Mathew Barzal both scored their tenth goals of the season in the 4-1 victory, and Wahlstrom netted the eventual game-winner. In a wild game that saw eight goals in the final two periods of play, the Islanders took down the Senators for their first win in 11 games during the infamous winless month of November last season. Wahlstrom also scored in that game along with Anders Lee scoring two goals, but current Flyers forward Kieffer Bellows scored the game-winner to end the winless drought for the Isles.
Players to Watch
Nelson has been red hot for the Islanders as of late. He has been getting on the scoreboard very consistently and seemed to find his game after going the first seven games of the season without scoring a goal. He now has eight on the season to go along with nine assists in 16 games, putting him over a point-per-game pace for the season. As mentioned above, he scored two goals in the Islanders' winning efforts over the Blue Jackets while also registering 10 shots on goal, the first Islander to do so since John Tavares five years ago. After Nelson's last outing against Ottawa saw him have three assists in the teams' three goals, the Senators will surely be watching him carefully tonight.
Plenty of players have begun to heat up lately for the Sens, but Brady Tkachuk is always a player that teams need to be aware of on the ice. Bother of Flordia Panthers winger Matthew Tkachuk and son of former NHLer Keith Tkachuk, Brady can do anything he is asked to do. He can score, pass, hit and get shots on goal at an elite level. The former fourth-overall pick has 19 points in 14 games so far in his age-23 season and had three assists against the Flyers in their last game. Tkachuk has five multi-point games this season, so the Islanders will need to keep a close eye on him and disrupt him as much as possible.
Zach Parise-Mathew Barzal-Oliver Wahlstrom
Anders Lee-Brock Nelson- Anthony Beauvillier
Josh Bailey- JG Pageau- Kyle Palmieri
Matt Martin- Casey Cizikas- Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech-Ryan Pulock
Alexander Romanov-Noah Dobson
Sebastian Aho-Scott Mayfield
Brady Tkachuk- Tim Stützle- Claude Giroux
Alex DeBrincat- Shane Pinto- Drake Batherson
Tyler Motte- Derrick Brassard- Mathieu Joseph
Paker Kelly- Mark Kastelic- Austin Watson
Jake Sanderson- Travis Hamonic
Jacob Bernard-Docker- Erik Brannstrom
Nick Holden- Jacob Larsson
Injured Reserve: Josh Norris, Thomas Chabot, Artem Zub
Lines per Daily Faceoff.