EAST MEADOW, NY — It’s a big day in New York Islanders (27-22-5) country as Bo Horvat faces his former team for the first time as the Vancouver Canucks (20-27-4) come to down. Anthony Beauvillier returns to Long Island after being traded in a deal for Horvat on Jan. 30.
Puck drop is slated for 7:30 PM ET at UBS Arena. It is Pride Night, but Islanders are not wearing rainbow warm-up jerseys, as they have never. They are making donations to LGBTQ+ charities and more.
The Islanders enter the game against the Canucks on a four-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents 10 to 2. With the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins off, a regulation win would have the Islanders in the first wild-card spot.
With Beauvilllier coming back, a beloved Islander despite his struggles at times, it’s going to be an emotional night at UBS Arena.
“Once the game starts, we hit the ice, and there’s only one thought process in mind, which would be the same for him as well,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. “But yes, you know, there’s an emotional night. Anthony did a lot of good things for this organization. And he’s very well-liked, and his teammates just loved him.”
“It’s going to be an emotional night, but at the end of the day, we have a job to do.”
For Horvat, it’s going to be weird to see the Canucks logo and his old teammates on the other side.
“I think it’s just going to be weird,” Horvat said. “Obviously, I’ve never played against Vancouver. So I mean, just seeing the guys that you grew up playing with over the years and that jersey when you’re not wearing it, it’s definitely gonna be weird.”
“I’m just gonna be relieved when I get out there, and the game starts going, and the nerves again, more nerves are stopped, and we just can just go and play hockey.”
For the Canucks, they have lost six of their last eight games (2-5-1), falling to the New York Rangers 4-3 Wednesday night. With Spencer Martin starting Wednesday, Collin Delia starts against the Islanders.
If you remember, Delia was in goal for the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 3 of, 2019, a game where Devon Toews scored his first NHL in overtime.
MORNING SKATE UPDATES
Ilya Sorokin was the first goaltender off the ice as he will make his 40th appearance of the season. He has shutouts in his last two games, stopping all 54 shots that have come his way.
After missing Tuesday’s contest for personal reasons, Alexander Romanov is back in the lineup.
Samuel Bolduc, who played for Romanov, stays in the lineup as Sebastian Aho comes out.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS LINES (PROJECTED)
Josh Bailey-Bo Horvat-Mathew Barzal
Anders Lee-Brock Nelson-Kyle Palmieri
Zach Parise-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Simon Holmstrom
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Hudson Fasching
Adam Pelech-Ryan Pulock
Alexander Romanov-Scott Mayfield
Samuel Bolduc-Noah Dobson
VANCOUVER CANUCKS LINES (PROJECTED)
— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) February 9, 2023
Tonight, the New York Islanders host the Vancouver Canucks in the second and final meeting between the two teams this season.
The last time these teams met was Jan. 3, in Vancouver, when Mathew Barzal recorded three points, Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored twice, and Casey Cizikas tallied a goal and an assist in a 6-2 Islanders win at Rogers Arena.
The Islanders have collected points in 12 of their last 13 meetings with the Canucks. The Islanders will also look to extend their four-game win streak tonight after defeating the Seattle Kraken 4-0 on Tuesday, their league-leading sixth-team shutout of the season.
DRAFTKINGS BETTING CORNER
Do you think the New York Islanders will beat the Vancouver Canucks? You can get the Islanders at -215 & +120 on the puck line. The Canucks come in at +185 & -140 on the reverse puck line.
The over for the contest is 6.5 at +100, with the under at -120.
Head over to DraftKings to place your bets now!
HOW TO WATCH
Thursday’s contest will be available on MSGN. On the radio dial, the game can be heard on 1050 AM ESPN, 88.7 FM WRHU, and 103.9 FM LI News Radio.