Game Preview:Will The Ducks Strech the Isles Skid to 10?
Fresh off of some exciting news, the promotion of super prospect Ryan Strome, the Islanders have the daunting task of taking on the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center in Southern California. Puck drop is set for 10:00pmEST, the game can be seen on MSG+ and heard on WRHU88.7FM/WRCN103.9FM.
To make room for the promotion of Strome, the Islanders placed Pierre Marc-Bouchard on waivers. Strome will not it to the west coast for tonight’s game, but is expected to be at the Shark Tank in San Jose tomorrow night. It is still yet to be determined if he will be in the lineup, however.
The Islanders (8-17-5) recent road trip has begun as miserable as the team’s season thus far, as they dropped both games in St. Louis and Los Angeles, while being outscored 8-1. The Isles have lost a total of 9 games in a row and their season is on the brink of obscurity.
What better way to turn things around than playing the Ducks (20-7-5) in their home building where they have yet to lose in regulation in 12 tries. Anaheim is first in the Pacific Division and second in the Western Conference. Basically the Ducks are the complete opposite of the Islanders.
The Ducks top line of Ryan Getzlaf, Dustin Penner, and Corey Perry is one of the scariest, if not the scariest, lines in the NHL right now. Not only does this line score but they are all big bodies that finish checks and never back down from a challenge. This threesome has been doing most of its damage even strength, but they are a force on the man advantage as well.
The Islanders will try stopping the Ducks powerful offense with rookie Anders Nilsson claiming his fourth start in goal five games. Nilsson is 0-2-1 in his three starts. Anaheim will counter with Jonas Hiller manning the Ducks net. Hiller comes in with a 10-4-4 record, including 2 shutouts.
Islanders 3 Keys to the Game:
- Force the Ducks to take penalties. This game was made for the 4th liners like Martin, Cizikas, and Clutterbuck to get under the skin of these powerful scorers with short tempers.
- Protect the goalie. Nilsson has not been stellar so far, but leaving opponents in front of the net must stop in order to make him not look so vulnerable.
- Shoot early and often. The shot totals Saturday night was pathetic for the Isles and they made a rookie look like a hall of famer. The only way to score is to shoot and this must be a top priority while fore-checking tonight.
Projected Lineup (According to Dailyfaceoff.com):
26 Vanek-91 Tavares(C)-21 Okposo(A)
12 Bailey-51 Nielsen-29 Nelson
40 Grabner-16 Regin-15 Clutterbuck
17 Martin-53 Cizikas-13 McDonald
47 MacDonald(A)-14 Hickey
44 de Haan-3 Hamonic
55 Ness-7 Carkner
IR: 11 Visnovsky, 37 Strait, 20 Nabokov