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Islanders Game 5 Preview vs. Colorado Avalanche: Lines, Best Bets, Who & How To Watch




Coming off a poor weekend featuring back-to-back losses, the New York Islanders (2-1-1) welcome the Colorado Avalanche (5-0-0) to UBS Arena on Tuesday night.

Shuffling Lineup:

Islanders head coach Lane Lambert is shaking up his lineup, making the most significant changes on the third line. Against Colorado, Simon Holmstrom and Oliver Wahlstrom will flank Jean-Gabriel Pageau as Lambert hopes to find the right balance for a line that’s had a slow start to the season.

“With Holmstrom and Pageau, two really solid guys defensively,” Lambert said. “Wahlstrom is on there as a trigger man. The thought process is potentially a little bit more of a matchup line.”

Anders Lee started the year on the third line but is being moved up to the first with Bo Horvat and Mathew Barzal, a spot he was in throughout the Islanders’ playoff run last year.

“[Getting] production out of [Lee] and a net-front presence would help [Horvat and Barzal],” Lambert said. “Lee in a straight line going right to the net will be good.”

Barzal gets moved back to the right wing with the re-insertion of Lee. Although Barzal requested to play on the left side to start the season, Lambert doesn’t see the change being an issue.

“Barzal said before he’ll do and play wherever he’s needed,” Lambert said. “That’s how you balance it. You put people in certain situations for what you feel is best and go from there. He’s been very good about it, whether he’s left or right.”

Projected Lineup:










Mayfield Back On Ice:

Defenseman Scott Mayfield practiced on his own prior to the team’s optional morning skate today, according to Lambert. Mayfield has missed the Islanders’ last three games with a lower-body injury that he suffered while blocking a shot in the team’s season-opener on Oct. 14.

Last Time Out:

The Islanders last played on Saturday night, getting run over by a much faster Buffalo Sabres team 3-1 at KeyBank Center.

“Through the neutral zone, just our puck management, it has to be better,” Lambert said following the loss. “The intentions are good, but unintended consequences come along with that. When you turn the puck over in the neutral zone, certainly against fast teams, and every team in this league is fast in transition, then you find yourself back in your own zone and spending way too much time there.”

The Opponent:

After facing fast teams such as the Sabres and New Jersey Devils, the Islanders aren’t getting a chance to slow down against the Avalanche tonight.

Colorado is undefeated so far this year and last played on Saturday when they beat the Carolina Hurricanes 6-4 in Denver. They are one of the league’s best on special teams, ranking eighth in power play percentage and second in penalty killing. Meanwhile, the Islanders are 27th in both categories.

Former Islander Devon Toews returns to Long Island with the Avalanche this evening. Since being traded to Colorado in 2020, Toews has compiled 111 points in 204 games for the Avalanche. He recently signed a new seven-year contract extension worth $7.25 million annually that will kick in at the start of next season.

Best Bets:

Considering their last two performances, it’s hard to imagine the Islanders having an easy time against the Avalanche tonight. You can feel comfortable betting on the Avalanche with the money line using odds from Draft Kings.

Who To Watch:

If Lambert wants his new-look third line of Pageau, Holmstrom and Wahlstrom to be one that can match up with opponents’ top players, there’s no better test than the Avalanche.

Keep a close eye on who Lambert deploys that line against. Granted, all four of Colorado’s lines will present a challenge.

How To Watch:

Puck drop between the Islanders and Avalanche from UBS Arena is scheduled for just past 8 p.m. EST. The game can be seen on MSG Network and streamed on MSG+ or ESPN+ for out-of-market viewers. 88.7 FM WRHU will broadcast the radio feed of the game, which can also be heard on 1050 AM ESPN and 103.9 FM WRCN.




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