NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, November 19th
(All times Eastern)
New York Islanders (8-10-3) at Toronto Maple Leafs (12-7-1), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Islanders try to win consecutive games for
only the second time this season when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs for
Tuesday's battle at Air Canada Centre.
The Islanders last won back-to-back outings on Nov. 1 and 2 against Ottawa and
Boston, respectively. New York is coming off Saturday's home shootout victory
over Detroit, although that win did come at a cost as goaltender Evgeni
Nabokov suffered a groin injury early in the affair.
Nabokov had sat out the previous three games before returning to action on
Saturday against the Red Wings. His return didn't last long, however, as the
38-year-old veteran left 4:12 into the game after facing only one shot.
Nabokov was placed on injured reserve on Monday and could miss a month of
action or more.
Kevin Poulin, who is 2-1-0 in his last three decisions, stopped 19-of-22 shots
through overtime in his relief effort on Saturday. He also turned aside
Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi in the shootout
phase to seal the 5-4 triumph for the Isles.
"He battles hard, he competes really hard," Islanders captain John Tavares
said about Poulin. "He's a confident guy and did a great job obviously in the
With Nabokov on the shelf, Poulin will assume the starter's role. The
Islanders also recalled netminder Anders Nilsson from their American Hockey
League affiliate in Bridgeport to serve in a backup role.
Frans Nielsen scored the lone shootout goal on Saturday, while Tavares
registered a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who once again played
without winger Thomas Vanek.
The Austrian forward has missed the past four games after playing in just six
games with New York following a trade with Buffalo last month. Vanek, who has
five goals and seven assists in 19 total games this season, is questionable
for tonight's contest.
Saturday's win allowed New York to complete a three-game homestand with a
2-1-0 record. The club will play its next three on the road and is just 3-6-0
as the guest this season.
The Isles have won three straight and four of their last six games in Toronto.
New York has claimed three of four overall in this series. The Maple Leafs,
however, are boasting a strong 7-2-0 mark on home ice this season and are
beginning a four-game stay at the ACC tonight.
Toronto also is after a second straight win on Tuesday. The club dropped three
in a row before ending the slump with Saturday's 4-2 win over visiting
James van Riemsdyk scored twice to lift the Maple Leafs to a win Saturday in
the back end of a home-and-home series with the Sabres. Mason Raymond posted a
goal and an assist while Nikolai Kulemin also scored for Toronto. James Reimer
posted 33 saves in the victory.
Reimer is 4-2-1 with a 3.43 goals against average in his career against the
Islanders. Fellow Toronto goaltender Jonathan Bernier has never faced the
Toronto's Phil Kessel is questionable for Tuesday's contest after the star
winger sat out practice on Monday with a bout of the flu. Kessel is leading
Toronto this season in both goals (10) and points (19).
Meanwhile, Maple Leafs forward Tyler Bozak returned to practice Monday for the
first time since suffering a hamstring injury on Oct. 25. Bozak is eligible to
come off the injured reserve on Thursday, but it's unclear if he will be able
to play in Toronto's game that night against Nashville.
11/19 10:58:53 ET