Game Preview: NY Islanders vs Seattle Kraken, 2/13/2024

Fresh off a loss to Calgary, the Islanders need to start taking care of these must-win games as the playoff stretch heats up.

The Islanders will welcome old friend Jordan Eberle back to UBS Arena tonight.
The Islanders will welcome old friend Jordan Eberle back to UBS Arena tonight. / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The NY Islanders (22-18-12) host the Seattle Kraken (21-21-10) tonight at UBS Arena. The Isles, after another up-and-down performance last week with a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning followed by a frustrating loss to the Calgary Flames- desperately need to start taking care of these winnable games, lest the playoff race get away from them quickly.

The Kraken, meanwhile, have struggled a bit this season in following up last season's miracle run to the second round of the playoffs, but are still a tough opponent that cannot be taken lightly. Phillip Grubauer, who hasn't started in goal since December 9, is expected to start tonight for the Kraken, which is perhaps an opportunity of which the Islanders can take advantage.

Puck drop tonight is at 7:30 PM EST.

LAST GAME

The Islanders lost 5-2 to the Flames this past Saturday afternoon. MacKenzie Weegar put up his first career hat trick, and Jonathan Huberdeau- who hasn't been able to score against anybody else this season- naturally scored on Long Island. Brock Nelson and JG Pageau scored in the loss for the Isles, and Semyon Varlamov took the loss in goal.

HISTORICAL MATCHUP

The Islanders are 2-3 all-time against the Kraken, alternating losses and wins through the first five matchups. Naturally, the Isles need a win tonight to continue that alternating streak and even up the all-time series between the two teams. Earlier this season, the Isles lost their seventh-straight game at the time when the took the shootout loss in Seattle.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

NYI- Pierre Engvall: This week at practice, the Islanders have toyed with the idea of Engvall moving up to play with Bo Horvat and Mathew Barzal, and perhaps riding their coattails can get Engvall going a bit as we head into the stretch. Engvall, who is in the first year of a seven-year contract signed just this past summer, has disappointed this year, with only 6 goals and 16 points in 46 games. The Isles surely expected more for his $3M cap hit than that. But a hot stretch run would erase a lot of that failure, and that can start tonight against Seattle.

Pierre Engvall, Ilya Samsonov
Was Pierre Engvall's game-winning goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs a sign of positive things to come? / Chris Tanouye/GettyImages

SEA- Jordan Eberle: Hello, old friend. Eberle, the former Islander who was taken by the Kraken in the Expansion Draft, returns to UBS Arena tonight having put up 9 goals and 29 points in 48 games for Seattle this season. Additionally, Eberle is auditioning for contending teams, as he is due to be a UFA this summer. For what it's worth, as a rental, the Isles could do worse than bringing Eberle back to bolster the top six, which might be something to watch if the Islanders can stay in the race.

EXPECTED LINEUPS

SEA

Jared McCann- Matt Beniers- Jordan Eberle

Jaden Schwartz- Alexander Wennberg- Andre Burakovsky

Eeli Tolvanen- Yanni Gourde- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Tomas Tatar- Kailer Yamamoto- Brandon Tanev

Vince Dunn- Adam Larsson

Jamie Oleksiak- Will Borgen

Ryker Evans- Brian Dumoulin

Phillip Grubauer

Joey Daccord

Alexander Romanov
Alexander Romanov will be a game-time decision for the Islanders, who could really use him back in the lineup. / Chris Tanouye/GettyImages

NYI

Pierre Engvall- Bo Horvat- Mathew Barzal

Anders Lee- Brock Nelson- Kyle Palmieri

Simon Holmstrom- JG Pageau- Oliver Wahlstrom

Matt Martin- Casey Cizikas- Cal Clutterbuck

Alexander Romanov- Noah Dobson

Adam Pelech- Ryan Pulock

Mike Reilly- Scott Mayfield

Ilya Sorokin

Semyon Varlamov

Expected Line Combinations courtesy of Daily Faceoff.