With zero wins on their current road trip or any in their last six games, the New York Islanders will try to give it another shot tonight against the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena. Here’s what you need to know ahead of time.
Of all the things going wrong for the Islanders during this losing streak, their problems of taking and killing off penalties are by far the biggest. As long as that continues for the Islanders, so will the losing.
Martin Out; Gauthier Unavailable:
Islanders head coach Lane Lambert announced prior to tonight’s game that forward Matt Martin is out due to an upper-body injury.
Last night in Vancouver, Martin totaled just 7:11 of ice time. Lambert also said the depth forward Julien Gauthier isn’t available tonight as he is dealing with an illness.
Therefore, by process of elimination, Hudson Fasching will rejoin the Islanders’ lineup against the Kraken after sitting out the last two games. In eight games this year, Fasching has just one point.
Last Time Out:
Last night against the Canucks, the Islanders held a two-goal lead in the second period, but their persistent issues with penalties once again came back to bite them as they lost in overtime, 4-3.
After Bo Horvat scored in his return to Vancouver, the Islanders surrendered two power-play goals, allowing the Canucks to tie the score in the third period.
At 2:36 of overtime, J.T. Miller found Quinn Hughes with a pass in behind the Islanders’ defense, setting up the Vancouver captain to snipe the game-winning goal past Ilya Sorokin.
Sorokin was nearly perfect at even strength but finished the night with a .907 save percentage as the Islanders gave up three power-play goals in the loss.
Pierre Engvall scored his first goal of the season on the man-advantage to give the Islanders an early 1-0 lead, which was then doubled by another extra-strength goal from Brock Nelson less than two minutes later.
The overtime loss dropped the Islanders’ record to 5-6-4 and extended their losing streak to an even six games, tying their longest streak from a year ago.
It appears the Seattle Kraken have regressed in their third season, as they’re off to a 5-8-4 start.
Seattle is also playing in the second half of a back-to-back tonight. They, too, lost in overtime last night, falling at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers, 4-3.
Although they struggle to score at even strength, the Kraken possess the NHL’s ninth-best man-advantage unit. However, like the Islanders, are near the bottom of the league in penalty-killing, ranking 26th.
Defenseman Vince Dunn leads the Kraken in scoring with 15 points this season, while Jaden Schwartz is their top goal scorer.
Former Islander Jordan Eberle is having a down year thus far in Seattle, totaling five points with just one goal in 14 games.
Philipp Grubauer is expected to get the start in the crease tonight. While splitting time with Joey Daccord, the 12-year veteran posts a 3.37 GAA and a .891 save percentage in nine starts so far.
The Islanders’ issues in the third period are well documented. So until they can prove otherwise, their opponents will be heavy favorites in the final 20 minutes of each game. Bet on the Kraken to take the third by using odds presented by Draft Kings.
How To Watch:
Puck drop between the Islanders and Kraken from Climate Pledge Arena is scheduled for just past 10 p.m. EST. The game can be seen on MSG Network and streamed on MSG + and ESPN + for out-of-market viewers. 88.7 FM WRHU will produce the radio feed of the game, which can also be heard on 98.7 FM ESPN and 103.9 FM WRCN.