Islanders look to continue playoff push with a visit to Ottawa
The Islanders look to build off their win from earlier in the week and start a second half playoff push with a game against Ottawa tomorrow night. The Islanders are currently riding a hot streak getting 5 out of a possible 6 points in the last 3 games. This has the Islanders only 9 points out of playoff spot with plenty of time left in the season.
A couple of the sparks in the Islanders last win were the Bridgeport call ups of Kevin Poulin and Rhett Rakhshani. Poulin made his contribution playing a great game between the pipes, which showed many fans why he is considered the goaltender of the future. Rakhshani was a great move in my eyes as he was a spark plug on a line with Matt Martin and Josh Bailey. The whole game the line was buzzing around the ice and creating chances. Hopefully they will get another chance in Ottawa to keep showing that they are improving their chances and create more secondary scoring which is what this team needs.
The lines in practice on Thursday were the same as the game on Tuesday and I would predict they would stay the same for the game Friday night. The only mystery from the Islanders line-up would be the starting goalie. Even though Poulin played well in the last game he was sent back to Bridgeport. This leaves either Nabokov or Montoya to start. With games Friday and Saturday night I would expect to see them each get a start. The other news from practice on Thursday was that Rolston and Reasoner who are currently out of the line-up were skating with the team and working out. I don’t expect either to play Friday but they can’t be too far off from playing.
Ottawa is having a pretty good season this year and is currently 6th in the Eastern Conference. This is the first meeting between the two teams this season so it will be interesting to see how the Islanders come out and play against another team that is currently playing very well. The Islanders will have to deal with the Senators top line that was all members of the all-star game. Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, and Milan Michalek all have over 30 points this season and are a very good offensive group. It is important that the Islanders slow them down in order to win this game.
A note for everyone to remember about this game is that it is a later start than normal; the puck will drop at 7:30pm. Hopefully the Islanders didn’t wear themselves out too much at casino night this week and will be ready to play a great game. This should be good matchup between two teams looking for the play-offs so sit back and enjoy!
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