Game Preview: NY Islanders vs St. Louis Blues

The Islanders need to earn two points against this Western Conference foe to keep up with the surging Metro Division.

St Louis Blues v New York Islanders
St Louis Blues v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

23-28-14. 106. MSGSN2. 2/22. NYI -115. isles blues. 29-24-2. 99. 8:00 PM

Last Game

The NY Islanders played to their forte on Tuesday night, taking another game to overtime this season after blowing a 4-2 third-period lead to the Pittsburgh Penguins. This time, however, unlike the Stadium Series game against the New York Rangers, the Blue and Orange came away with the extra point thanks to the heroics of Adam Pelech, of all people. Brock Nelson, Mat Barzal, and Pelech all came away with one goal and one assist against their long-time division rival, with the other goals being scored by Simon Holmstrom and Mike Reilly. Ilya Sorokin stood strong, making 37 saves on 41 shots.

The St. Louis Blues are coming off their second straight loss at home, this time against a Morgan Reilly-less Toronto Maple Leafs. St. Louis was yet another victim of Auston Matthews' goal-scoring heater, as he moved one away from his 50th goal, which he scored last night against the Arizona Coyotes in just his 54th game. The game-winner scored by William Nylander came short-handed in the third period, a brutal break for the Blues. Brandon Saad and Pavel Buchnevich scored the two Bluenote goals in the 4-2 loss. Joel Hofer made 25 saves on 28 shots in goal.

Historical Matchup

New York and St. Louis split last season's matchups, with the Isles taking a 5-2 win on the road at Enterprise Center while the Blues came away with a 7-4 win at UBS Arena. Noah Dobson, Anders Lee, and Nelson had two points in the road win. Dobson also had two points in the home matchup, but Noel Acciari's two goals and St. Louis' spread-out scoring helped secure a win on Long Island. Notably, Oliver Wahlstrom has had three points in his five career games against the Blues and had an assist in both games last season.

Players to Watch

Barzal has been a sensational player for New York this season, which feels like a nice sigh of relief after failing to break 62 points since his rookie year. Now, he has 17 goals and 42 assists, which adds up to 59 points, three away from that mark. The former 16th overall pick in 2015 is turning into the dynamic player he was meant to be while consistently putting up numbers. Speaking of consistency, he is currently on an eight-game point streak with 11 points during that span and has only had one stretch this season where he has gone multiple games without a point. He will be the player St. Louis will try to shadow tonight.

Robert Thomas has been far and away the best offensive player for the Bluenotes this season. Four players on the team, including him registered 19 goals to lead the squad, but nobody comes close to his 43 assists. The former first-round draft pick in 2017 is on pace to score 92 points by season's end, which would shatter his previous career-high of 77, and is also one goal away from tying his season-high goal total at 20. Thomas is fast, shifty, and a creative playmaker that the Islanders' defense will have to watch out for.

Projected Lines


Anders Lee - Bo Horvat - Mat Barzal
Pierre Engvall - Brock Nelson - Kyle Palmieri
Simon Holmstrom - JG Pageau - Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin - Kyle Maclean - Cal Clutterbuck

Alexander Romanov - Noah Dobson
Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock
Mike Reilly - Scott Mayfield

Semyon Varlamov
Ilya Sorokin


Pavel Buchnevich - Robert Thomas - Jordan Kyrou
Jake Neighbours - Brayden Schenn - Zachary Bolduc
Brandon Saad - Kevin Hayes - Kasperi Kapanen
Alexey Toropchenko - Oskar Sundqvist - Nathan Walker

Nick Leddy - Colton Parayko
Torey Krug - Matt Kessel
Marco Scandella - Scott Perunovich

Jordan Binnington
Joel Hofer

Projected lineups courtesy of Daily Faceoff.