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Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Islanders preview: Why is everyone injured?

Point and Cirelli are back, but there are lots of players on the shelf from both teams.

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 01: Anthony Cirelli #71 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the New York Islanders at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on February 01, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. The Lightning defeated the Lightning 1-0 in the shoot-out.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Islanders: GAME #13
Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Long Island... Brooklyn? New York, New York? This location no meaning. New York.
Broadcast/Streaming: Fox Sports SUN
Opponent SBNation Site: Lighthouse Hockey

There aren’t many teams with bad fancy stats but a good record to start the season, but the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders are both examples of it. Both the Bolts and Isles have struggled to create shots for themselves and stop their opponents from getting them at the other end. Both are in the bottom third of the league in shot attempts, with the Isles below everyone but the New York Rangers.

The Lightning have relied mostly on their ability to create better chances with their skill and finish with a strong shooting percentage, but there are obvious holes that need to be filled on offense and defense.

For the Islanders, they have the fourth best team save percentage of the season so far. Last year, they were the improbable success story that rode a high save percentage and decent shot against results to getting swept in the second round. At least they made it that far. This season, it’s much of the same, with the team struggling massively in generating shots, but maintaining a strong record on the back of their goalie tandem and special teams. So far, so good, but the question as to whether this is a sustainable method of winning remains.

Injuries

Just to catch everyone up, Brayden Point is good to go, phew, after being a game-time decision ahead of the game against the Rangers. Anthony Cirelli is good for his second game of the week. He missed the Rangers game but played against the New Jersey Devils. Victor Hedman and Pat Maroon have been out since the first period against the Rangers and remain that way. Erik Cernak is hopeful to play according to Jon Cooper.

Matt Martin and Tom Kuhnhackl are both on the Injured Reserve right now for the Islanders, while Anthony Beauvillier, Noah Dobson, and Leo Komarov are all unlikely to play as a result of sicknesses. Something going around?

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Alexander Volkov - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Tyler Johnson
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Mathieu Joseph
Yanni Gourde - Cedric Paquette - Carter Verhaeghe

Defense Pairings

Ryan McDonagh - Luke Schenn
Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk
Braydon Coburn - Jan Rutta

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy
Curtis McElhinney

New York Islanders

Forward Lines

Anders Lee - Mathew Barzal - Josh Bailey
Anthony Beauvillier* - Brock Nelson - Derick Brassard
Ross Johnston - Otto Koivula - Oliver Wahlstrom
Michael Dal Colle - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck
Cole Bardreau - Andrew (not Hardev) Ladd

Defense Pairings

Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk
Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock
Devon Toews - Scott Mayfield

Goalies

Thomas Greiss
Semyon Varlamov