3/3/13 Senators vs. Isles Preview

Later this afternoon, the New York Islanders will take on the Ottawa Senators at the Nassau Coliseum. It will be the second of three meetings between the two Eastern Conference clubs.

Coming into the game with the worst home record in the NHL at 2-8-1, the Isles are looking to turn things around today against a team that has struggled to score but manages to stay afloat due to their stellar backup goaltenders.

Since Senator’s star-goalie Craig Anderson’s ankle injury, backups Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner have only allowed 5 goals between the two of them in 4 games, sporting a 2-1-1 record. According to various reports, Anderson may be ready to return but might be given a little more time to recover thanks to Bishop and Lehner’s recent sharpness.

The Senators will play a back-to-back game today, after playing the Flyers last night where they lost 2-1. Despite Bishop putting up 39 saves, the Senators couldn’t capitalize on key power play chances and lost the game.

Ottawa’s deficiency in scoring goals as of late can go hand-in-hand with the numerous injuries that keep some of their top guys out of the lineup. In addition to Anderson, the Sens are without Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza, and Milan Michalek.

On the other end, the New York Islanders are looking to rebound after a tough home-loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. On Thursday night, the Isles scored two late third-period goals to tie the game at 4-4, only to lose in overtime. In the game that didn’t have a power-play, the Islanders finally saw a little offense from guys that needed to score.

Despite the nauseating home record this season, the Islanders are starting to see the rest of the team play their roles. Kyle Okposo played his best game of the season with a game-tying goal and and two assists, while Lubomir Visnovsky scored his first goal as an Islander with a wicked slap-shot.

The first match-up between these two teams on 2/19 will be a little different than the one we will see today. The Senators, with goaltender Anderson healthy, beat Rick DiPietro and the Islanders by a score of 3-1 despite being outshot 38-26.

The Islanders desperately want grab what little is left on this long home-game stretch. To do so, the whole team will collectively look for a way to win today at the Coliseum.

The Islanders take on the Ottawa Senators at 3pm today.

Let's Go Isles!

-TJ Weber

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