sleep 5Around the three-hour mark of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play August: Osage County, the matriarch of the dysfunctional family decides to cut through all the BS. "It's time for some truth-tellin'," she says.

 

Same here at Point Blank. I've always tried to have an open dialogue with our readers, but I feel like it's been a while. The time is now because it's been a few weeks since the end of the season and the rhetoric in the Comments space and in the emails has intensified to the point where I want to address some issues.

 

This is going to be long, long-winded, blunt, defensive and maybe at times offensive to a few of you. Just putting it all out there, folks. I will cover a whole range of topics, so pull up a chair and bear with me. Thanks.

 

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sleep 5Sponsors: You may see some ads on the site over the next few days. Our hope is to prove the value of the blog to potential sponsors. I would be indebted if you would please click on these ads from every computer you have access to, patronize the sponsors and spread the word. It could go a long way in keeping us running longer.

 

Support Drive: There's a likelihood that if the blog continues into next hockey season, I will run a support drive in the form of a deal on tickets to one or two Islanders games during the season. Consider it (hopefully) one giant Point Blank group sales night. Perhaps it's an opportunity for many of you to meet up at a game. I understand some readers may be season ticketholders and many are not from New York, but I certainly would appreciate the support of anyone in position to get involved.

 

PB Night III: If we're back for another season, it's a lock that the next Point Blank Night will be at R.C. Dugan's on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow. Thank you, Jay, for your dedication to the cause.

 

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"Conflicts": I realize some of you missed this when I wrote about it in the early days of the blog, or did not see when I spoke about it with C.J. Papa on the Islanders telecast. So that there's no misunderstanding, let me make a few things perfectly clear.

 

The idea for Point Blank came from Islanders President Chris Dey about a month or so after I left the organization last May 5. The team and the sport was in need of more coverage. Fans hungered for non-stop reporting on the Islanders and Dey wanted to deliver it to them. I was available! It was Dey who understood that it would only work if the blog was run independently of the team. For the record, Dey has stood by his end of the bargain, and I applaud him and am thankful to him for it.

 

The New York Islanders are the primary sponsor of Point Blank. Newsday refers to PB as the "team-sponsored blog" - as opposed to the Rangers-sponsored newspaper - and I've never hid from that.

 

Some facts: the Islanders have never asked me to write a story or not write a story. The first time Islanders management sees a post is the same as you: when it's published on the site. I've never been asked to take down a reader Comment about members of the organization, and there have been plenty of vicious ones.

 

sleep 5In 2009, more than three-quarters of sports journalism is touched by some conflict of interest. Leagues are in bed with networks. Writers from major magazines and newspapers serve as paid talking heads on league-owned networks. Two of New York's top sports radio voices receive checks from the companies that own major league sports teams. Sportswriters have publishing deals with the coaches and athletes they are supposed to cover.

 

Long Island's newspaper is owned by the company that owns the Knicks, Rangers, Madison Square Garden and MSG Network. Neil Best, one of the finest media columnists in the U.S. and a man of impeccable honor, covers one of the major holdings of his boss. So do the Newsday writers on the Knicks and Rangers. Wally Matthews blistered Charles Wang last summer, has plenty of tough opinions on the Steinbrenners and at times has been vicious toward Jeff Wilpon. As for the Dolans, Wally doesn't seem to have much to say.

 

I stand by the facts I've written, and the opinions that have come from the heart and the mind.

 

Town of Hempstead: Before I ever wrote my first critical word of Kate Murray's handling of the Lighthouse Project, I called Town spokesman Mike Deery three times and left him three voicemails. I attempted to start a professional relationship, but the Town did not have the time nor the interest for this blogger and resident. I don't expect them to ever want to deal with me now. Should the Town of Hempstead ever make its first right move - like maybe Murray showing up at a meeting - I'll be the first to praise it.

 

For now, that Islanders Fan First website and mailer fiasco - the project they aborted after three days - remains the Town's signature moment. To those of you who believe I just get my kicks bashing the Republican side of this issue, you don't know anything about me or my other projects. By writing the facts, and writing what I feel, in this brutal economy I'm potentially costing myself income from some of the PR consultant jobs I've been up for. That's about as far as I can take it.

 

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My Background: Other than knowing I worked for the team for a while, understandably most of you don't know my background and how it relates to the blog. So here's a bit about my career in the game.

 

sleep 5In my senior year in college, I worked full-time for the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1986-87 season, the year they went to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Along the way, the Flyers defeated the Rangers, Islanders (right after the Easter Epic) and Montreal before Wayne Gretzky took over in the final period of the deciding game in the Final. I did not get a Cup ring, but I made countless friends and contacts with the Flyers and around the league, most of them still in the business.

 

Six months later, I was hired by the Islanders to edit a monthly newspaper, Islander News. Among those on my first Islanders team: Trottier, Bossy, Denis Potvin, LaFontaine, Brent Sutter, Morrow, Flatley, Billy Smith and Kelly Hrudey. Along the way, I managed the team's publications, sold group tickets and even served as radio color commentator for a year and a half after Bob Nystrom left the job (yup, it was a major step down in the booth, but I tried). I went into PR fulltime in the mid-90s, was named VP in 1999 and stayed in that position for 9 years.

 

sleep 5So many of the players and coaches on those early Islanders teams are spread out around the league as scouts, coaches and broadcasters and remain good friends and invaluable contacts. On the 1992-93 team alone, former players are now near the top of directories with NHL teams and the Players Association. My favorite time was working for Al Arbour and the '92-93 team, the second was the mini-revival in 2001-02 under Peter Laviolette and watching the Coliseum come alive again.

 

For more than a decade, I managed a press box that hosted scouts from every team in the league and elsewhere. Most of those relationships are still in place today. Naturally, I'm still in contact with many of my former colleagues in the Islanders front office.

 

So when I rank prospects, I may not always be bang-on, but understand I'm not throwing paper darts into the wind. When I write that the majority of scouts I've spoken with say Drew Doughty will have a better NHL career than Victor Hedman, it could ultimately be wrong, but I'm not listening to the voices inside my head. I'm a reporter who listens to dozens of men who do this for a living. Turns out the amateur scouts on the Point Blank speed dial knew almost all season Matt Duchene was 2 or 3, even when The Hockey News had him at 6.

 

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Blog Stats: With each month, the Page Views and Visits for Point Blank grew in leaps and bounds, peaking (of course) in March with Gueringate. The drama got so big, the numbers on Sunday - when everyone thought Bill was going to be traded - actually were better than the day of the Trade Deadline.

 

The really good news is that the stats in April barely dropped off. Lottery day was a good one, but it was so gratifying to see all the new readers we picked up in March seem to be sticking around.

 

When you consider the Islanders did not play an important game for the purposes of playoff contention since the holidays, the numbers have been remarkable. The credit goes to you for your dedication to this team and for spreading the word about the blog.

 

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Comments: One of the reasons why the Page Views of Point Blank have grown beyond my expectations is because of your efforts in the Comments space. I spoke with a top guy at NHL Security the other day who told me he is as interested in reading all the Comments as my blog entries. I wasn't offended. That's the way it should be on a good blog.

 

If many of you believe I'm a nut about moderating the Comments space, I take the hit but also have no regrets. We have all seen how the blogs of many talented writers have been almost destroyed by the nonsense that goes on in the Comments. I refuse to let that happen. For everyone I've ticked off, I still believe the Comment Guidelines are a vital reason why the site tends to get at least 100 legitimate, passionate, insightful Comments (and often a lot more) after each story. I want as many readers as possible to feel like they can share their opinions.

 

On criticism of my work, I have no problem when a reader disagrees with me, tears me apart or even plays the ever-popular shill card. (The son of a friend of mine posted from his college dorm a while ago that I was still Garth's boy). I love that stuff.

 

To be candid, the only ones I find personally annoying are the ones that say something like, "I don't care about this subject" or "Don't you have anything better to write about"? One of my favorites was when I broke the news the Islanders had signed third round pick Mark Katic and a regular reader of an Islanders blog said he didn't care and it was just "fodder."

 

If you are the kind of person who actually takes the time to post on an Islanders blog that you don't care about stories on Mike Bossy, Kirill Petrov, Denis Potvin, the Lighthouse - after all, it only determines the team's future - prospects and small anecdotes from behind-the-scenes, I encourage you to go somewhere else for your daily Islanders reading.

 

Now that we've been at this seven months and I have regularly asked readers to review the Comment Guidelines, I'm done with warnings. If you go off-topic, write not a comment but a full-blown blog entry, post more than 3 per thread, are profane, call your fellow readers "idiots" and "morons" and the ever-popular "___ clowns" or give me other reasons to be cautious, your Comment posts are going to moderation. If you'd like to address this issue, please send me an email so we can work it out one-on-one.

 

Effective today, while some readers may have their Comments go to moderation, no one is on permanent block any longer.

 

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sleep 5The Year in Review: After working for the team for so long, I was more comfortable transitioning to the media side than I expected. It probably helped that there was a new head coach and some key players (including Doug Weight) that I had never worked with.

 

Scott Gordon and I didn't have much to do with each other for about two months mid-season. He didn't like some stuff I wrote. I didn't like the way he handled it, so I passed on many of his media scrums because he wasn't saying much. In the final 4-6 weeks of the season, the working relationship improved. I stubbornly believe Scott has a few things he needs to work on. He stubbornly thinks I'm wrong and everything is okay. Scott works his tail off, is extremely bright and is a very talented coach. Time will tell how it works out.

 

Garth Snow was irritated with me for a few weeks, primarily because I wrote my 8-year old twins did a better job of staying on the same page as the Islanders were on the Rick DiPietro injury stuff. The Islanders stood by their version of the story. Over time, we moved on. As I wrote when I was in timeout, I do not need complete access to write the blog. When you shut out the media, it usually hurts the team more - especially when that team does not boast bountiful coverage. Felt the same way when I was the PR director.

 

I especially want to mention youngsters Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo for their professionalism during a difficult season. Think about Bailey. He knew about the immediate fan and press reaction when the team went from 5 to 7 to 9 and drafted him. I wrote that he should go to juniors, and then to the World Junior Championships. Yet through it all, he answered the questions and handled himself like a 15-year pro. My experience tells me that's a good sign.

 

All of the veterans were very good with the press, most notably for me Weight, Brendan Witt and Richard Park. The team's PR staff - Seth Sylvan, Corey Witt and young Josh Bernstein - are good men and made me feel comfortable in my new gig. I thank them for that.

 

Other than a few hours one Sunday early on when we battled over the "team-sponsored" thing, Greg Logan and I got along really well. He is a friend, and I have learned a lot from him. The days when Dan Martin of the Post and Peter Botte of the Daily News attend practice are always good days.

 

I also want to thank the MSG Network crew for putting me on the pre-game show and Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe for mentioning Point Blank more than a few times. Same to Steve Mears and Chris King for their support on the radio side and their assistance. Thank you to Lisa and the moderators at Islandermania for always linking to my stories. That's a huge help, and especially was early on when the blog was trying to get off the ground. Thank you to Roseanne and the crew at Gabrielle's for their amazing generosity as our unofficial watering hole.

 

In the world outside the Islanders, thank you to Don La Greca for guiding this novice on ESPN Radio. Thank you to Hofstra University for the opportunity to see if I can teach. Thank you to Stan Bratskeir for his PR guru-ness.

 

Thank you to Kevin Schultz of Barry Melrose Rocks for getting behind the Gran Torino when I had to step away. Thank you to B.D. Gallof for his help in the early days and best of luck with his new venture. Whatever happened in between, I wish him well in doing his best to make sure it doesn't happen again.

 

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Future: As of this date, there's a commitment to write this blog until the NHL Draft in late June. After that, I do not have any guarantees. It is my sincere wish to run Point Blank for at least another year and hopefully a lot more beyond that. I hope to know in the next few weeks if I'll be around past June. For now, please click the heck out of any sponsor ads you may see.

 

One thing is certain: the only way I will ever do this blog is if I'm provided the opportunity to cover the Islanders 24/7/365. From time to time readers suggest that if I move into another full-time career that I pop in and write once or twice a week. This franchise has been my life's work and a bit of an obsession now for 21 years. When I worked for the Islanders, I thought about my responsibilities every hour for two decades. It's impossible for me to picture doing this blog half-way. In fact, I'm sure I will never do it that way.

 

One more time, thank you to all of the Point Blank readers for checking out the site, sharing your insight, passing along your knowledge and keeping me in line. Here's hoping we can keep this going for a long time.

 

 

Since I went long, the 100-word limit is waived for this Comments section - as long as you stay on topic!

 

I need to take a personal day, maybe two, so I will miss the U.S.-Russia game on Friday morning. Unless there is any breaking Islanders news, I'll be off the laptop. I'm sure Greg and the Times blog, among other sites, will be on the Worlds.

 

Please feel free to submit any questions you may have related to this post and I will address as many as I can as soon as I return. Thanks...CB

Tags: News

Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

NEW YORK (AP) Esa Lindell scored twice during Dallas' four-goal second period and the Stars beat the New York Islanders 6-2 Sunday.

Alexander Radulov had two goals and an assist, Tyler Seguin had a goal and two assists, and Roope Hintz also scored for the Stars, who have won two straight. Jamie Benn had three assists, Jason Spezza had two to top 900 points in his career, and Ben Bishop stopped 37 shots.

Anthony Beauvillier and Scott Mayfield scored for the Islanders, who lost in regulation for the third time in 12 games (7-3-2). Thomas Greiss had 16 saves, but was pulled after giving up three goals on six shots in the first 7:08 of the second period. Robin Lehner came on and finished with 11 saves.

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Nov 8, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) reacts as he missed a shot on goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 8, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) reacts as he missed a shot on goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

NEW YORK -- A pair of teams off decidedly different yet equally unprecedented victories will square off Sunday afternoon, when the New York Islanders host the Dallas Stars at Barclays Center.

The Islanders last played Thursday night, when they remained perfect in the Metropolitan Division and continued their dominance over the New York Rangers with a 7-5 win over their arch-rivals at Barclays Center. The Stars edged the visiting Boston Bruins on Friday night, when Jason Dickinson scored 1:34 into overtime to give Dallas the 1-0 win.

With their franchise-record eighth straight win over the Rangers, the Islanders (10-6-2) improved to 7-0-0 in the Metro. It is the Islanders' best divisional start ever and the first time since the 2012-13 season an NHL team has won its first seven divisional games.

Read More

 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Anthony Beauvillier scored his first career hat trick as the Islanders topped the Rangers in a 7-5 barn burner at Barclays Center. >> Box score

First period:

  • 5:00 NYR Chris Kreider (power play); Assists: Neal Pionk, Mika Zibanejad
  • 5:35 NYR Fredrik Claesson; Assists: Brett Howden
  • 9:35 NYI Anthony Beauvillier; Assists: Thomas Hickey, Valtteri Filppula
  • 10:38 NYI Brock Nelson; Assists: Nick Leddy, Jordan Eberle

Second period:

  • 2:24 NYI Anthony Beauvillier; Assists: Valtteri Filppula, Leo Komarov
  • 3:21 NYR Kevin Hayes (shorthanded); Assists: None
  • 5:13 NYI Anthony Beauvillier (power play; hat trick); Assists: Johnny Boychuk, Mathew Barzal
  • 14:04 NYI Anders Lee (power play); Assists: Nick Leddy, Josh Bailey

Third period:

  • 9:56 NYI Leo Komarov; Assists: Valtteri Filppula, Anthony Beauvillier
  • 13:13 NYR Chris Kreider (power play); Assists: Neal Pionk, Alexander Georgiev
  • 17:31 NYR Filip Chytil; Assists: Vladislav Namestnikov, Kevin Shattenkirk
  • 19:39 NYI Cal Clutterbuck (empty net); Assists: Brock Nelson
Tags: Anders Lee, Anthony Beauvillier, Chris Kreider, Filip Chytil
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New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for the puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for the puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Three months ago almost every NHL preview did not have the Rangers and Islanders as two teams that would be fighting for the lead in the Metropolitan Division, but as we approach their first matchup Thursday night, it appears that neither team read, watched or listened those predictions -- the Isles and Rangers are tied for second place with 20 points, trailing only the Columbus Blue Jackets by two points for the division lead. 

Both teams have taken very different paths to get to this point. 

Let's start with the Islanders, who appear to have moved on from losing former captain John Tavares. The stability that Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have brought to the organization cannot be quantified. While this team is not the most talented, it does not get outworked, plays a much better defensive structure and is keeping the puck out of its own net. Thomas Greiss and Robin Lehner have provided stability between the pipes and the duo of Josh Bailey and Anders Lee have proven that they are not a product of their former captain. 

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Chris Kreider, Jimmy Vesey, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Mika Zibanejad, Neal Pionk, Thomas Greiss
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Nov 13, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) shoots against Vancouver Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher (51) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 13, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) shoots against Vancouver Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher (51) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Tom Kuhnhackl led the Islanders with two goals in their 5-2 win over the Canucks at home on Tuesday night. >> Box score


First period:

  • 2:48 VAN Brendan Leipsic; Assists: Bo Horvat, Michael Del Zotto
  • 5:11 NYI Tom Kuhnhackl; Assists: Leo Komarow, Valtteri Filppula
  • 5:56 NYI Josh Bailey; Assists: Mathew Barzal
  • 14:50 NYI Jordan Eberle; Assists: Brock Nelson, Andrew Ladd
Tags: Brock Nelson, Mathew Barzal
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

We have one question Tom Kuhnhackl: How did you just score on this play?

While fighting for a puck against the boards against the Canucks, Kuhnhackl came away with it, but slipped off his skates. But that didn't stop him from trying to throw the puck at net.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE PLAY

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Nov 8, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) reacts as he missed a shot on goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 8, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) reacts as he missed a shot on goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

NEW YORK -- The New York Islanders and Vancouver Canucks were two of the most surprising stories of the NHL through the first month of the season. But these next few weeks are likely to reveal more about the Islanders and Canucks than the first few weeks.

The Islanders and Canucks will each be looking to snap losing streaks Tuesday night, when New York hosts Vancouver at Barclays Center.

The Islanders suffered their third straight loss Saturday night, when they fell to the host Florida Panthers, 4-2. The visiting Canucks lost their second consecutive game Monday, when they dropped a 2-1 decision to the New York Rangers.

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Nov 10, 2018; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers right wing Juho Lammikko (91) skates with the puck around New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) as goaltender Robin Lehner (40) looks on in the first period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)
Nov 10, 2018; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers right wing Juho Lammikko (91) skates with the puck around New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) as goaltender Robin Lehner (40) looks on in the first period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)

Aleksander Barkov scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and the Panthers went on to defeat the Islanders on Saturday, 4-2. >> Box score


First period:

  • 6:20 FL Denis Malgin; Assists: Jared McCann, Nick Bjugstad
  • 7:27 NYI Mathew Barzal; Assists: Anders Lee
Tags: Brock Nelson, Mathew Barzal
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Nov 8, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey (12) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 8, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey (12) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Florida Panthers were supposed to be serious playoff contenders this season, and the New York Islanders, well, weren't.

But through roughly the first-eighth of this season, the opposite seemed true.

The Islanders, who visit the Panthers on Saturday night at the BB&T Center, entered the weekend atop the Metropolitan Division with 18 points and an 8-5-2 record.

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Nov 8, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) reacts as he missed a shot on goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 8, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) reacts as he missed a shot on goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Josh Bailey scored two goals and the Islanders had 37 shots, but Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy kept his team in it as the Lightning came away with the 4-2 win Thursday night. >> Box score


First period:

  • 3:40 NYI Josh Bailey; Assists: Brock Nelson

Second period:

  • 5:58 TBL Mathieu Joseph; Assists: Alex Killorn, Anton Stralman
  • 11:12 TBL J.T. Miller; Assists: Mikhail Sergachev, Steven Stamkos

Third period:

  • 8:43 NYI Josh Bailey; Assists: Adam Pelech, Mathew Barzal
  • 18:34 TBL Tyler Johnson; Assists: Nikita Kucherov, Yanni Gourde
  • 19:50 TBL Steven Stamkos (Empty Net); Assists: J.T. Miller, Ryan McDonagh
Tags: Josh Bailey, Tampa Bay Lightning
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Oct 30, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Matt Martin (17) celebrates his goal with right wing Tom Kuhnhackl (14) and center Casey Cizikas (53) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at PPG PAINTS Arena. New York won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Oct 30, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Matt Martin (17) celebrates his goal with right wing Tom Kuhnhackl (14) and center Casey Cizikas (53) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at PPG PAINTS Arena. New York won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The Tampa Bay Lightning look to continue their winning ways against the resurgent New York Islanders when the teams meet Thursday at Amalie Arena.

The Lightning enter with a three-game winning streak and have won four of the past five games to sit atop the Atlantic Division standings.

The Islanders saw their five-game winning streak end on Monday at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens but remain at the top of the Metropolitan Division standings. >> Read more

 

Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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Oct 29, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward John Tavares (91) skates against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Arena. Calgary defeated Toronto. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Oct 29, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward John Tavares (91) skates against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Arena. Calgary defeated Toronto. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

The Islanders' Feb. 28 game against the Toronto Maple Leafs will be played at Nassau Coliseum rather than Barclays Center -- and John Tavares, for one, is looking forward to it.

The former Isles captain knows he'll hear plenty of boos after leaving his longtime team to sign with the Leafs this past summer. But Tavares told The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun that he's nevertheless excited to return to where he developed into an NHL star.

"Yeah I mean, it's really out of my control,'' Tavares said of how Islanders fans will receive him. "However they feel is how they feel. All I hope is that they saw me give all I had for nine years and that I was completely invested in being an Islander. I loved it there. I made a decision that I thought was best for myself and my career. That place still means a lot to me. A lot of great people who had a big impact in my life and a big reason I am who I am today. But obviously they're very proud and protective of their hockey team and what it means to them. They're not very nice to the visitor, at least when I was still part of it, and I'm sure it'll be similar for myself. But it'll be fun to play in.'' 

Tags: John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leafs
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New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss makes a save against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at Barclays Center. (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss makes a save against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at Barclays Center. (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders blew a two-goal first-period lead and lost to the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in a shootout on Monday at Barclays Center. >> Box score


First period:

  • 4:04 NYI Casey Cizikas; Assists: Adam Pelech, Ross Johnston
  • 5:59 MON Jonathan Drouin; Assists: Max Domi, Noah Juulsen
  • 7:44 NYI Valtteri Filppula; Assist: Leo Komarov
  • 14:58 NYI Casey Cizikas; Assist: Cal Clutterbuck
Tags: Casey Cizikas, Montreal Canadiens
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New Jersey Devils left wing Miles Wood interferes with New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils left wing Miles Wood interferes with New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Islanders have established themselves as one of the surprise stories of the NHL by dominating within their division. Now the Islanders will look to see if they can carry that over to non-Metropolitan Division foes.

The Islanders will look to extend the Eastern Conference's longest winning streak on Monday night, when they host the Montreal Canadiens at Barclays Center.

 

Tags: Montreal Canadiens
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Nov 3, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) and New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) fight for the puck during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 3, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) and New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) fight for the puck during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Jordan EberleBrock Nelson, and Scott Mayfield each scored goals and Thomas Greiss saved 35 shots to help the Islanders shut out the Devils on Saturday night at Barclays Center. >> Box Score

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Oct 24, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) plays the puck against Florida Panthers defenseman Bogdan Kiselevich (55) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 24, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) plays the puck against Florida Panthers defenseman Bogdan Kiselevich (55) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

NEW YORK -- Everyone knew things would be different for the New York Islanders after the departure of generational talent John Tavares. But few people expected the difference to manifest itself in a potentially record-setting start for the Islanders, who will look to remain perfect in the Metropolitan Division when they host the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night at Barclays Center.

The Islanders extended their winning streak to four games Thursday night when they moved into a tie for first place in the Metropolitan with a 3-2 shootout win over the other first-place occupant, the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Devils suffered their second straight loss Thursday night, falling to the host Detroit Red Wings 4-3.

The winning streak for the Islanders (7-4-1) has come entirely against Metropolitan opponents. New York is 5-0-0 in the Metropolitan this season, the franchise's best start against divisional rivals since it opened the 1982-83 season 6-0-0 (wins-losses-ties) in the Patrick Division. >> Read more

Copyright 2018 by the Associated Press

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Nov 1, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate the goal by New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey (12) against The Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Nov 1, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate the goal by New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey (12) against The Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

The Islanders continued to stay hot with a shootout victory, 4-3, over the Penguins on Thursday night at Barclays Center. >> Box score

First period:

  • 6:20 PIT Dominik Simon (Power Play); Assists: Jake Guentzel, Olli Maatta

 

Tags: Anders Lee, Josh Bailey
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Anders Lee (27) Sidney Crosby (87) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Anders Lee (27) Sidney Crosby (87) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

NEW YORK -- The New York Islanders ended the quirkiest early-season schedule in the NHL by winning three straight road games in a span of four days. Now the task for the Islanders is to produce similar success in their first extended homestand of the 2018-19 campaign.

The Islanders will look to remain hot Thursday night, when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins in an early-season battle for first place in the Metropolitan Division at Barclays Center.

It will be the second straight game between the rivals. The Islanders earned a convincing win Tuesday night, when Jordan Eberle scored twice in a 6-3 win over the Penguins. >> Read more

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Oct 30, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Matt Martin (17) celebrates his goal with right wing Tom Kuhnhackl (14) and center Casey Cizikas (53) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at PPG PAINTS Arena. New York won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Oct 30, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Matt Martin (17) celebrates his goal with right wing Tom Kuhnhackl (14) and center Casey Cizikas (53) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at PPG PAINTS Arena. New York won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Prior to Tuesday's game between the Islanders and Penguins, Pittsburgh honored the shooting victims who were killed at the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday with a moment of silence. Two officers wounded in response to the shooting also participated in an honorary puck drop.

As for the game, the Islanders won their third after recovering from blowing a 2-0 lead in the first period. The scored three goals in the second -- two from Jordan Eberle -- en route to a 6-3 win over the Penguins. The victory extends the Islanders' winning streak to three games and point streak to four. 

Islanders goalie Robin Lehner made 23 of 25 saves but was replaced by Thomas Greiss at the start of the third period due to a strain, per head coach Barry Trotz. >> Box score

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Oct 8, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate the goal by New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) against the San Jose Sharks during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Oct 8, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate the goal by New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) against the San Jose Sharks during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- It's pretty straightforward for the New York Islanders (5-4-1). They can extend their winning streak to three games, their point streak to four games and stay above .500 with a win Tuesday against Pittsburgh at PPG Paints Arena.

Things are more complex for the Penguins (6-1-2). Under normal circumstances, they would simply be returning home triumphant after going 4-0 on a road trip through Canada that they claim helped them bond and set a tone for perhaps the rest of the season.

But these aren't normal circumstance. The Penguins will be juggling their emotions playing at home for the first time since a shooting Saturday at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill area of the city left 11 people dead.  >> Read more

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New York Islanders right wing Joshua Ho-Sang (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders right wing Joshua Ho-Sang (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders entered the 2018-19 season with a new regime led by team president Lou Lamoriello and Stanley Cup-winning head coach Barry Trotz.

But Josh Ho-Sang, the Isles' first-round pick (No. 28 overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft, says he's been offered anything but a fresh start. In fact, the 22-year-old believes he wasn't given a fair shot at making the NHL squad during training camp, instead being sent down to the AHL for the second straight season.

"I felt like they had their minds made up on what was going to happen and what the team was going to look like," Ho-Sang told the New York Post on Monday. "It's OK. They had the whole summer to plan that. I don't know if you watched any of the games, but I didn't play a lot. It's OK. It is what it is."

Tags: Josh Ho-Sang
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New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee checks Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce during the first period at PNC Arena. (James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee checks Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce during the first period at PNC Arena. (James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 on Sunday at PNC Arena for their second straight victory. >> Box score

First period:

  • 3:39 NYI Anders Lee (power play); Assists: Josh Bailey, Nick Leddy

 

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Oct 8, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate the goal by New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) against the San Jose Sharks during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Oct 8, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate the goal by New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) against the San Jose Sharks during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Two teams feeling good after their most recent results meet Sunday when the New York Islanders face the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena.

The teams put together different types of inspirational victories in advance of this game, but the confidence might be brewing for both clubs.

For the Islanders, it was Saturday afternoon's 6-1 whipping of the Philadelphia Flyers for a strong start on a three-game road swing.

"They are games that mean a lot," said Islanders center Anthony Beauvillier, who notched his first goal of the season Saturday. "All of us want to get rolling." >> Read more

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Feb 9, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates with center Mathew Barzal (13) after Nelson scored the game winning goal in overtime against the Detroit Red Wings at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 9, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates with center Mathew Barzal (13) after Nelson scored the game winning goal in overtime against the Detroit Red Wings at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Brock Nelson scored twice and Anders Lee tallied four points -- three assists and a power-play goal -- as the Islanders defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in a 6-1 rout. >> Box score

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Oct 13, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) has his shot blocked by Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Oct 13, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) has his shot blocked by Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Two Metropolitan Division rivals looking for answers face each other in a Saturday matinee in Philadelphia.

The New York Islanders, 0-4-1 in their last five games, have to find a way to score some goals -- and will go against a Flyers team that has to find a way to stop them.

The Islanders (3-4-1 overall and in the middle of playing six of seven games on the road) have scored eight goals during the five-game stretch and blew a 2-0 lead before losing 3-2 in overtime to the Florida Panthers in Brooklyn Wednesday night.

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Oct 24, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) plays the puck against Florida Panthers defenseman Bogdan Kiselevich (55) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 24, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) plays the puck against Florida Panthers defenseman Bogdan Kiselevich (55) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Brock Nelson and Jordan Eberle scored the first two goals of the game, but the Panthers rallied in the final period and won in overtime, 3-2.  >> Box score

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Oct 13, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) has his shot blocked by Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Oct 13, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) has his shot blocked by Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

NEW YORK -- The Florida Panthers are looking forward to playing Wednesday night because it will provide them an opportunity to forget about what happened Tuesday.

The New York Islanders are looking forward to Wednesday night so they can confirm they haven't forgotten how to play hockey.

The Panthers will complete a back-to-back set Wednesday night, when they visit the Islanders in New York's first home game in more than two weeks at Barclays Center.

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New York Islanders owner Charles Wang takes question from the media during a news conference at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Officials on New York's Long Island will ask voters this summer to approve a $400 million plan to build a new hockey arena next to the current home of the New York Islanders. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Islanders owner Charles Wang takes question from the media during a news conference at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Officials on New York's Long Island will ask voters this summer to approve a $400 million plan to build a new hockey arena next to the current home of the New York Islanders. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Former Islanders owner Charles Wang passed away on Sunday at the age of 74, his attorney said in a statement

Wang was the majority owner of the Islanders from 2000 to 2016, when he became a minority co-owner as Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin became the primary owners. 

"We are heartbroken by the news of Charles Wang's passing. New York Islanders's co-owners Dewey Shay, Scott Malkin and I were privileged to be selected by Charles to be his partners in the team," Ledecky said in a statement. "Charles loved the Islanders unconditionally. The arena at Belmont Park will be just one of his many legacies left to the team and to Long Island. His unique personality, his wonderful sense of humor and his extraordinary wisdom will be greatly missed."

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Oct 20, 2018; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Rourke Chartier (60) shoots the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock (6) during the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports (Neville E. Guard)
Oct 20, 2018; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Rourke Chartier (60) shoots the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock (6) during the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports (Neville E. Guard)

The Islanders mustered just one goal in a 3-1 loss to the Sharks on Saturday night in San Jose.  >> Box score

First period:

  • 7:49 SJ Timo Meier; Assists: Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl
  • 19:27 NYI Brock Nelson; Assists: Josh Bailey, Anders Lee

Second period:

Tags: Brock Nelson
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After being blanked by Robin Lehner earlier this month, the San Jose Sharks may not get the chance to earn a win over the New York Islanders? new starting goalie this season.

Coming off their best game of the season, the Sharks wrap up a two-game homestand against the Islanders on Saturday night.

On Oct. 8 -- and in his New York debut -- Lehner posted his ninth career shutout as the Isles won 4-0. The Swedish veteran made 16 of his 35 saves in the final 20 minutes.

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The Islanders exploded with four goals in the third period to power past the Kings in Los Angeles, 7-2.  >> Box score

First period:

  • 4:55 NYI Casey Cizikas; Assists: Scott Mayfield
  • 14:56 LAK Tyler Toffoli; Assists: Drew Doughty, Ilya Kovalchuk

Second period:

  • 3:43 NYI Josh Bailey (PPG); Assists: Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal
  • 12:07 NYI Valtteri Filppula; Assists: Leo Komarov, Andrew Ladd

Third Period:

  • 2:54 LAK Jeff Carter (PPG); Assists: Alex Iafallo, Drew Doughty
  • 3:40 NYI Valtteri Filppula (SHG); Assists: Andrew Ladd
  • 4:40 NYI Matt Martin; Assists: Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck
  • 9:20 NYI Leo Komarov; Assists: Scott Mayfield, Mathew Barzal
Tags: Andrew Ladd, Josh Bailey
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Apr 7, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Islanders center Jordan Eberle (7) gets defended by Detroit Red Wings left wing David Booth (17) during the third period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Apr 7, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Islanders center Jordan Eberle (7) gets defended by Detroit Red Wings left wing David Booth (17) during the third period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

Los Angeles Kings goalkeeper Jonathan Quick could return from a lower-body injury when the New York Islanders visit Staples Center on Thursday night.

Quick, a three-time NHL All Star and 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, sustained the injury during practice on Oct. 7, two days after a 3-2 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks in the season opener.

Jack Campbell has played the past five games and went 2-3-0 with a 2.69 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.

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Oct 13, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) has his shot blocked by Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Oct 13, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) has his shot blocked by Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

The Anaheim Ducks are hoping to have center Ryan Getzlaf back in the lineup when they play the New York Islanders at Honda Center on Wednesday.

Getzlaf has missed the past four games with a groin injury, but the team captain skated three days in a row before practicing with the top line on Tuesday.

"(Monday) was a day I pushed it pretty hard from a skating standpoint, and it reacted well," Getzlaf told reporters after practice Tuesday. "I skated with the guys (Tuesday), which was a more of an up-tempo, little more of that push and pull, those kinds of things, reactionary stuff, and so we'll see how it reacts (Wednesday)." >> Read More

 

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General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers (Brad Penner)
General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers (Brad Penner)

Islanders prospect and UConn freshman Ruslan Iskhakov was carted off the ice after getting knocked out by a scary hit during the Huskies' game against Quinnipiac Tuesday night in Connecticut.

Iskhakov, who was drafted by the Islanders in the second round of the 2018 NHL Draft, carried the puck into the offensive zone in the third period when Quinnipiac's Brogan Rafferty left his feet to deliver a crushing blow to the 18-year-old's head.

The 5-foot-7 Russian forward quickly collapsed to the ice, where he remained motionless. After several minutes, Iskhakov was able to move his arms and legs and gave the crowd a thumbs-up as he was taken off on a stretcher en route to a local hospital.

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Oct 13, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) makes a save on a shot attempt by New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Oct 13, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) makes a save on a shot attempt by New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Brock Nelson scored his 100th career goal on Saturday night in the Islanders' 5-2 loss to the Predators.

Nelson's goal came in the third quarter to put his team on the board after falling behind 3-0. The goal was Brock's first of the season after he was forced to wait the entire offseason to reach the 1,000-goal milestone.

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Oct 13, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) has his shot blocked by Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Oct 13, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) has his shot blocked by Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

The Islanders fell into an early 3-0 hole and couldn't recover in a 5-2 loss to the Predators on Saturday night in Nashville. << Box score 

First period

  • 15:25 NV Calle Jarnkrok; Assists: Nick Bonino, Ryan Hartman
  • 16:37 NV Filip Forsberg; Assists: Ryan Johansen, Viktor Arvidsson
  • 19:50 NV Viktor Arvidsson; Assists: Ryan Johansen, Dan Hamhuis
Tags: Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson
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Oct 8, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate the goal by New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) against the San Jose Sharks during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Oct 8, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate the goal by New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) against the San Jose Sharks during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

It was just the fourth game in an 82-game regular season, but the Nashville Predators had a little extra incentive for Thursday night's visit from the Winnipeg Jets.

In their first meeting since Winnipeg knocked them out of the Western Conference semifinals last spring with a 5-1 Game 7 decision, Nashville pieced together its best game of the young season, getting Pekka Rinne's 52nd career shutout in a 3-0 decision.

"It's Winnipeg, you know, we just lost against them in the playoffs and you could sense that," Rinne said. "There was a lot of emotion on the ice. I thought the first period was the fastest hockey so far this year." >> Read more

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Jan Kovar (43) Mandatory Credit: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports (David E. Klutho)
Jan Kovar (43) Mandatory Credit: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports (David E. Klutho)

The Islanders placed F Jan Kovar on unconditional waivers on Wednesday, the team announced.

The former KHL star, who signed a reported one-year, $2 million deal with the Isles over the summer, failed to make the final cut out of training camp and never showed up to AHL Bridgeport.

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Oct 8, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner (40) attempts to cover up the puck as San Jose Sharks center Melker Karlsson (68) and New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) battle for the rebound during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Oct 8, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner (40) attempts to cover up the puck as San Jose Sharks center Melker Karlsson (68) and New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) battle for the rebound during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

NEW YORK (AP) Robin Lehner stopped 35 shots for his ninth career shutout in his New York debut, leading the Islanders to a 4-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Monday.

Anders LeeScott MayfieldMatt Martin and Casey Cizikas scored to help New York get new coach Barry Trotz his first win at home. The Islanders, who opened the season with an overtime win at Carolina last Thursday, then lost their home opener to Nashville two nights later.

Lehner, who signed with the Islanders in July, played for the first time since last March 29 for Buffalo. He left that game against Detroit because of a panic attack and was subsequently treated for alcohol and drug addiction and also diagnosed with bipolar disorder, ADHD and PTSD...

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Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

NEW YORK -- The season is just two games old, but it has already been a transitional one for the New York Islanders and their new head coach, Barry Trotz.

The adaptation process will continue Monday afternoon, when Robin Lehner makes his first start for the Islanders in a Columbus Day matinee against the San Jose Sharks at Barclays Center.

It will be the third game of the season for both teams. The Islanders dropped their home opener Saturday, when they fell to the Nashville Predators, 4-3.

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Oct 6, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Viktor Arvidsson (33) celebrates his goal against New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 6, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Viktor Arvidsson (33) celebrates his goal against New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Isles fought, but couldn't comeback against the Predators in a 4-3 loss in their home opener at Barclays Center on Saturday night. << Box score 

First period

  • 3:42 NSH Viktor Arvidsson; Assists: Filip Forsberg, P.K. Subban
  • 12:01 NYI Mathew Barzal; Assists: Josh Bailey
  • 16:56 NSH Mattias Ekholm; Assists: P.K. Subban, Colton Sissons
Tags: Anders Lee, Josh Bailey
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Oct 4, 2018; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders center Valtteri Filppula (51) is congratulated by his teammates after his second period goal against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Oct 4, 2018; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders center Valtteri Filppula (51) is congratulated by his teammates after his second period goal against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

NEW YORK -- The season opener Thursday night marked the official start of a new era for the New York Islanders. But Saturday night will truly reinforce the uncertainty upon which the Islanders have embarked.

The overhauled Islanders will begin their vagabond home existence Saturday night, when New York hosts the Nashville Predators at Barclays Center.

Both teams earned wins in their openers Thursday night, when the visiting Islanders edged the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in overtime, while the Predators beat the host New York Rangers 3-2. >> Read more

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Jan Kovar (43) Mandatory Credit: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports (David E. Klutho)
Jan Kovar (43) Mandatory Credit: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports (David E. Klutho)

The Islanders decided to send F Jan Kovar to AHL Bridgeport when making their final roster cuts. Well, Kovar hasn't showed up to the Sound Tigers. 

According to The Athletic's Arthur Staple, Kovar is taking some time to figure out what he wants to do next. 

Kovar played the past five seasons in the KHL, and joined the Islanders on a reported one-year, $2 million deal. However, he didn't impressed the Islanders enough in camp to keep him for the start of the season. 

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Valtteri Filppula (51) Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Valtteri Filppula (51) Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

Josh Bailey scored the game-winning overtime goal against the Hurricanes to start the Islanders' season on the right foot. << Box score 

First period

  • No Goals

Second period

Tags: Josh Bailey
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Anders Lee (27) Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Anders Lee (27) Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

The Carolina Hurricanes have undergone considerable change in the offseason, with the makeover creating heightened expectations going into the season.

That description perhaps relates to perhaps an even larger degree for the New York Islanders.

After all, fresh off coaching the Washington Capitals to a Stanley Cup championship, Barry Trotz is on board directing the Islanders.

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Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

The Islanders announced Thursday that Anders Lee has been named team captain, becoming the 15th captain in franchise history.

Lee replaces John Tavares, who left for the Maple Leafs as a free agent during the offseason.

"It's extremely humbling, quite an honor to be a captain of this organization," Lee said. "It's definitely one of the most special things that's happened in my hockey career."

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Josh Bailey, Danny Abriano
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Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Devon Toews (25) and Philadelphia Flyers center Mikhail Vorobyev (46) battle for the puck during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Devon Toews (25) and Philadelphia Flyers center Mikhail Vorobyev (46) battle for the puck during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

The Islanders have sent D Devon Toews and C Jan Kovar to AHL Bridgeport on Tuesday, per Newsday's Andrew Gross.

President and GM Lou Lamoriello has to submit his 23-man roster by the end of the day, and Toews and Kovar were the moves necessary to reach that number. The Islanders are also waiting to see if F Tom Kuhnhackl cleared waivers, so they could send him to Bridgeport as well. 

"What you do in situations like this is give yourself flexibility, that's what we did," Lamoriello said. "If a player gets claimed, that's part of the game."

 

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Cal Clutterbuck (15) Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)
Cal Clutterbuck (15) Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)

Islanders D Cal Clutterbuck has a new nickname, but he isn't too fond of it.

"Shuttlebuck" came about from an interview with Flyers F Robert Hagg, who expressed his hatred for Clutterbuck during an interview after the Isles preseason opener at the Coliseum. 

"It doesn't matter if you play against Martin or Shuttlebuck, or whatever it is -- I hate that guy," Hagg told The Post's Brett Cygalis. "There's that kind of player on every team."

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Matt Martin
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Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

The Islanders already missed out on their coveted free agent in C John Tavares this offseason. But that is now officially in the past, and focus turns toward another Isles key cog that will see his contract expire at the end of the year as well. 

Anders Lee is in the final year of his four-year, $15 million deal, after which he becomes an unrestricted free agent. It is too early to tell if Lee will take Tavares' route and hear out potential suitors next offseason, but that isn't even on his mind. 

According to Newsday's Andrew Gross, Lee isn't worried about his contract situation, saying "our cases are different."

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares
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