Daughter has a practice test for her black belt that she is testing for in May. Won’t get to see this until later but will be following on radio. So did not have time to do one early or thorough. We are coming off a less than inspired win against the Devils. Lately, we are giving up more shots than we had in a while would like to see the keep them under 25 today.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS (31-16-6) VS COLORADO AVALANCHE (22-22-9)
SEASON SERIES: NYI LEAD 1-0-0
The Islanders beat the Avalanche 4-1 on Dec. 17 in Denver. Thomas Greiss stopped 30 shots in the win, as the Isles held the Avs high-flying top line in check in the win. The Islanders are 3-0-0 against Colorado in Brooklyn and 10-1-0 in their last 11 home games vs the Avs.
- Cal Clutterbuck did not participate in the Islanders optional skate on Friday, but his injury is not deemed to be serious by Head Coach Barry Trotz. Clutterbuck left Thursday's win against the Devils in the second period and did not return. His status for Saturday's game was not revealed. UPDATE: Clutterbuck will be a gametime decision. If he can't go, Tom Kuhnhackl is expected to draw into the lineup.
- The Islanders are coming off a 2-1 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. The win improved the Islanders to 7-1-2 in their last 10 games and are 17-4-2 in their last 23 games.
- Saturday's game is the first half of a back-to-back set for the Islanders, who wrap up their two-game set on Sunday against the Minnesota Wild. The Islanders are 5-2-1 in the front half of back-to-backs and are 8-0-0 in the back half - which ties a club record.
- Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss are likely to split the back-to-back games this weekend. Lehner is 12-2-1 (1.44, .950) in his last 15 decisions with an NHL-leading 2.02 GAA and NHL-leading .932 SV%. Greiss is 3-0-1 in the last four games, allowing a total of two goals in 130 shots (3-0-1, 0.48 GAA, .985 SV%).
- The Islanders (68 points) remain atop the Metropolitan Division, two points ahead of the Washington Capitals (66 points) and five points ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins (63 points apiece).
- Mathew Barzal is riding a three-game point streak (2G, 1A) and has four points (3G, 1A) in his last five games. Barzal leads the Islanders with 32 assists and 48 points.
- The Avalanche (53 points) are in a crowded chase for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Avs are two points back of the St. Louis Blues (55 points) for the second wild card berth, but only three points ahead of the last-place LA Kings (50 points).
- The Avalanche are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games and are most recently coming off a 4-3 OT loss to the Washington Capitals on Thursday.
- Colorado is powered by by Mikko Rantanen (75 points), Nathan MacKinnon (73 points) and Gabriel Landeskog (56 points). Rantanen is fourth in the NHL in points, MacKinnon is sixth, while Landeskog is 27th.
- Avs coach Jared Bednar did not reveal his goaltender for Saturday's game, per the Avalanche's official site.