It's road game three of five as the New York Islanders head to the lone star state to face the Dallas Stars. A team who, unlike the Islanders, are just outside a playoff spot. With 81 points on the year, the Stars are one point back of the Vegas Golden Knights for that final Western Conference Wild Card spot.
Ideally, tonight's result will be the same as it was when the Islanders welcomed the Stars to Long Island back on March 19. The Isles picked up a 4-2 win that night thanks to a hat-trick from Brock Nelson and an opening goal from Ryan Pulock.
Helping things "be the same" is the return of Ilya Sorokin to the lineup.
New York Islanders: Lineup back to full-strength
On Tuesday morning, it seemed as though Cory Schneider was sent down to the Bridgeport Islanders. With a 10:30 AM puck drop in Bridgeport, that move had to be made as early as it was. But we've seen these types of moves before and turned out to be just a paper move.
But with Ken Appleby sent down from Bridgeport to the ECHL's Worcester Railers at the same time, it was clear that Schneider was going down. Meaning the emergency that was created for his call-up was now over. Ilya Sorokin is back.
That certainly doesn't mean he'll get the start. The Islanders are conservative when it comes to putting players back in after injury. And it's not like there's a rush. Semyon Varlamov has been excellent in net for the Islanders.
In Varlamov's last five games, he's held a 4-1-0 record while averaging 0.936SV% and a 2.20GAA. Not to mention that Varly stopped 37 of 39 shots when the Isles welcomed the Stars in March for a 0.949SV%. He was also named the NHL's third star of the week last week.
So as the Isles look to pick up a fifth win a row, they'll be totally healthy* while trying to do so.
Islanders Projected lineup
*Minus the two guys who aren't coming back this year in Mayfield and Clutterbuck.