Game Preview: NY Islanders vs Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders
Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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LAST GAME

In the most exciting game of the season for the NY Islanders, a third period comeback against the Los Angeles Kings put the Isles on the right side of a third period collapse for the first time. Playing a solid game through two periods, the Isles headed into the final frame trailing by two to one of the NHL’s best teams but struggled to generate offense. At 8:42 into the third period, Anders Lee got the Isles on the scoreboard, only to add another seven minutes later to knot the game at two. Headed to OT for the 10th time this season, JG Pageau ended the game after 13 seconds, giving the Isles a hard-earned two points.

The Toronto Maple Leafs played host to the Nashville Predators Saturday night, walking away with a 4-0 victory. Auston Matthews scored twice and goaltender Ilya Samsonov earned a shutout, saving all 18 shots sent his way.

HISTORICAL MATCHUP

It tends to be a rowdy atmosphere each time these two franchises meet, especially on Long Island. The Isles faithful still passionately show their resentment towards former captain John Tavares each time he steps on the ice.  

The Isles took two out of three games from the Leafs last season, including a 7-2 victory in the most recent matchup. Toronto took a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission, but it was all Islanders from there. Cal Clutterbuck scored twice on the night with additional goals from Zach Parise, Hudson Fasching, Simon Holmstrom, Noah Dobson, and Anders Lee.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Ilya Sorokin looks to be getting the start tonight after a strong performance against the Kings. Sorokin hasn’t been his dominant self this season, posting a 3.12 GAA and .913 SV% in 17 games. He’ll look to build off Saturday’s performance and get back on track as one of the leagues top netminders.

John Tavares will have a target on his back from the fans and players alike, as he’s just two points shy of 1,000 for his career. With plenty of former teammates still playing with the Islanders, they’ll want to ensure the milestone isn’t reached on their watch. 

PROJECTED LINEUP

NYI

Anders Lee- Bo Horvat- Mathew Barzal
Pierre Engvall- Brock Nelson- Kyle Palmieri
Simon Holmstrom- JG Pageau- Julien Gauthier
Hudson Fasching- Casy Cizikas- Cal Clutterbuck

Alexander Romanov- Noah Dobson
Samuel Bolduc- Robert Bortuzzo
Mike Reilly- Scott Mayfield

Ilya Sorokin
Semyon Varlamov

TOR

Matthew Knies- Austin Matthews- William Nylander 
Tyler Bertuzzi- John Tavares- Mitch Marner
Nicholas Robertson- Max Domi- Calle Jankrok
Noah Gregor - David Kampf- Ryan Reaves

Morgan Rielly -TJBrodie
William Lagesson - Jake McCabe
Simon Benoit -Connor Timmins

Ilya Samsonov
Martin Jones