Game Preview: NY Islanders vs Vancouver Canucks

Seattle Kraken v New York Islanders
Seattle Kraken v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

NYI -215. 7:30 PM. 20-26-4. 104. 2/9. 27-22-5. 106. MSGSN

The NY Islanders are looking to win their fifth straight game during their mid-season turnaround, and they will look to do that against their most recent trade partners, the Vancouver Canucks. Both teams made headlines when the Islanders acquired center Bo Horvat in exchange for Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Räty, and a first-round pick, and both teams will have players looking to have a statement game against their former clubs. The Canucks are 0-1-1 since the trade, while New York is 2-0-0.

Last Game

The Islanders took down the Seattle Kraken in a dominant effort on Tuesday night, winning by a final score of 4-0. The Isles played a very complete 60-minute game and never let off the gas, having 54% more high-danger scoring chances than Seattle all game. The scoresheet included goals from Simon Holmstrom, Zach Parise, the first NHL goal for Samuel Bolduc, and of course the first goal for Horvat wearing the blue and orange. Ilya Sorokin was also outstanding, stopping all 32 shots he faced to earn his league-leading fifth shutout of the season. It seemed like every line combination that was put out on the ice for New York worked very well, and it's hard to imagine we'll see many pivots after an impressive effort throughout the entire lineup.

Vancouver is coming off of their first two games on their Tri-State Area road trip, both resulting in one-goal losses to the New Jersey Devils on Monday and the New York Rangers last night. The Kraken did not have a lead all game against the Rangers, losing 4-3 in the end. The Canucks found themselves down 2-1 after the first period with their lone goal coming late off the stick of Conor Garland. Vasily Podkolzin beat Igor Shesterkin to make it 3-2 heading into the third period, but Mika Zibanejad scored late to give the Rangers a commanding 4-2 lead. Elias Pettersson ended up scoring just moments later to restore the one-goal deficit, but that Zibanejad goal proved to be pivotal and ended up being the game-winner. Spencer Martin, who assumed starting duties since Thatcher Demko has been out with injury only made 17 saves on 21 shots in the loss.

Players to Watch

How could it not be Horvat? The former 9th overall pick by the Canucks scored his first goal in an Islanders uniform and completely ignited the UBS Arena crowd. He now has a chance to make a statement against the team that wanted to get rid of him while the Islanders are playing winning hockey. Horvat has 32 goals and 55 points on the season, which leads the team, and in his two games as an Islander has one goal, six shots on goal, four hits, and three blocks. He has certainly been a difference-maker so far and has slid in nicely as the first-line center between Mathew Barzal and Josh Bailey.

New York Islanders v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
New York Islanders v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

On the other side, if anybody wants to beat the Islanders in this game for the Canucks it's definitely Beauvillier. The roster piece that the Canucks got back in last week's trade has yet to score on his new team, and how much more poetic could it get to score a goal in the building he once called home. Tito has nine goals and 11 assists in 50 games this season and struggled with inconsistency this season while on the Island. This game will certainly be emotional for both sides, and it's fair to expect Long Island will give a warm reception to the fan favorite that had many memorable moments as an Islander.

Historical Matchup

The Isles visited Vancouver in their second game of 2023 while on a grueling four-game road trip, with the only win of the bunch coming against the Canucks. Barzal, a British Columbia native scored the game-winner for the Islanders in front of friends and family in a 6-2 Islanders win. Raty scored the first goal for the Isles against his soon-to-be new team, and take a guess as to who scored both Vancouver goals. That's right, Bo Horvat. Talk about coming full circle almost a month before both players switched sides.

Projected Lines


Josh Bailey-Bo Horvat-Mat Barzal
Anders Lee-Brock Nelson-Kyle Palmieri
Zach Parise-JG Pageau-Simon Holmstrom
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Ross Johnston

Adam Pelech-Ryan Pulock
Alexander Romanov-Scott Mayfield
Sebastian Aho-Noah Dobson

Ilya Sorokin
Semyon Varlamov


Andrei Kuzmenko-Elias Pettersson-Anthony Beauvillier
VasilyPodkolzin-JT Miller-Conno Garland
Dakota Joshua-Sheldon Dries-Brock Boeser
Phillip Di Giuseppe-Nils Åman-Curtis Lazar

Quinn Hughes-Ethan Bear
Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Luke Schenn
Riley Stillman-Tyler Myers

Lines via Daily Faceoff