Lightning vs. Islanders preview: And we meet again
Nine days since the Lightning handed the Islanders a 6-1 loss; 9 days since Drouin hasn’t played
Lightning at Islanders: Game 14
Time: 7:30 pm Eastern Time
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: SUN, MSG+
Opponent SBNation Site: Lighthouse Hockey
It’s been nine days since the Lightning disposed the Islanders 6-1 at Barclays Center, a game that prompted boos and chants for Isles head coach Jack Capuano’s firing. The Islanders responded to that game with two shootout losses and a 4-2 victory over the Canucks, one of the league’s basement dwellers.
The biggest issue for the Islanders is their lack of balancing scored from the offense. It’s easy to point the finger at their big, offseason free-agent signing, Andrew Ladd, being dropped to the fourth line. But since we last saw the team, Ladd has gotten a goal, which brings his season total to... one goal and one assist in 13 games. Combined with re-signing of Casey Cizikas also in the offseason, the Islanders employ a fourth line that’s being paid a combined $13 million this year. Yikes.
The Islanders’ defense is a bright spot. They already have a combined 29 points from the top six, and Dennis Seidenberg is third in scoring for the team. For comparison, Lightning’s top six have 24.
The Islanders are going to have to bring their A-plus game as they face a Bolts team coming off loss they let slip away late in the game. The Isles could be dangerous if they play with a chip on their shoulder. They were embarrassed in the previous meeting, and the losses the Bolts keeping handing them are mounting.
But the Bolts kinda have one of their own. They won't soon forget the reason why there’s no timetable for Jonathan Drouin’s return. Drouin hasn’t played since being knocked out in their last meeting on a hit by Calvin de Haan.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Vladislav Namestnikov - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov
Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point
Alex Killorn - Valtteri Filppula - Ryan Callahan
Brian Boyle - Cedric Pacquette - JT Brown
Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman
Jason Garrison - Andrej Sustr
Braydon Coburn - Nikita Nesterov
New York Islanders
Josh Bailey - John Tavares - Cal Clutterbuck
Alan Quine - Ryan Strome - Shane Prince
Anders Lee - Brock Nelson - Jason Chimera
Andrew Ladd - Casey Cizikas - Nikolay Kulemin
Nick Leddy - Adam Pelech
Thomas Hickey - Johnny Boychuk
Calvin deHaan - Dennis Seidenberg