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New York Islanders

Playoff Gameday: Islanders Lines, Notes, Matchups for Game 1 vs. Tampa

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Islanders lines, Islanders lineup and other notes for Game 1

The New York Islanders are one round closer to reaching the Stanely Cup Final for the first time since the 1980s. They will have to go through the Tampa Bay Lightning to do so, with the series beginning tonight in Edmonton.

The Islanders arrived in the Edmonton bubble Sunday night and have a quick turnaround, while Tampa Bay will be well-rested after a lengthy break since their Second Round series ended on Aug. 31.  The Labor Day game will mark the third time the two teams have squared off in the postseason.

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Head coach Barry Trotz didn’t reveal anything about the Islanders lineup ahead of tonight’s game. He did indicate that everyone was available to the Islanders against Tampa Bay.

A reporter’s attempt to ask about the Islanders starter did not produce an answer. Thomas Greiss was the starter on Saturday when the Islanders shutout Philadelphia in Game 7 to advance to the conference finals.

Michael Dal Colle also cracked the Islanders lineup against Philadelphia in place of Leo Komarov.

“To me, I was looking for a little different energy,” Trotz said about the lineup change in the previous game. “Some new blood. It’s demanding. The playoffs are demanding and guys marked up. When you say every team has guys that are banged up, marked up, but they can still play. AT this time of year you’re either hurt or injured and unable to play. A lot of guys are hurt, but they’re ready to play.”

Tampa Bay will be without Steven Stamkos for this series, but they have plenty of high-quality players to fill the void. Brayden Point holds the team lead in scoring with 18 points ( six goals, 12 assists) and Nikita Kucherov has 16 points (four goals, 12 assists).

“They work extremely hard and they hound pucks,” Casey Cizikas said about Tampa Bay. “That’s kind of what they’ve done all playoffs and they’ve been successful doing it. We just have to match that intensity. We have the same mentality and we have the same group that does that.”

Three Islanders X-Factors in Conference Finals Showdown with Tampa | NYHN+

Islanders Lines (Projected)

Anders Lee — Mathew Barzal — Jordan Eberle

Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — Josh Bailey

Derick Brassard — Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Leo Komarov

Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck

Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews — Scott Mayfield

Nick Leddy — Andy Greene

Thomas Greiss

Semyon Varlamov

Lightning Lines (Projected)

Ondrej Palat — Brayden Point — Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn — Anthony Cirelli — Tyler Johnson

Barclay Goodrow — Yanni Gourde — Blake Coleman

Pat Maroon — Mitchell Stephens — Cedric Paquette

Victor Hedman — Zach Bogosian

Ryan McDonagh — Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev — Kevin Shattenkirk

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Game Notes

Andrei Vasilevskiey is 1-1-0 against the Islanders this season. He holds a 2.54 goals-against average and a .884 save percentage. … Tampa Bay is making its fourth appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals in the last six years. It is the sixth conference finals appearance in franchise history. … Tampa is 2-3 all-time in the Eastern Conference Finals. … Josh Bailey’s 15 assists in the postseason are the second-most by an Islander since Bob Bourne had 20 in 1983. … Anthony Beauvillier’s eight goals in the playoffs are the most by an Islander since 1993 when Steve Thomas had nine. … The Islanders killed all 13 of Philadelphia’s power plays in the Second Round. It was the first time since 1979 against Chicago that New York did not allow a power-play goal in a series.

How to Watch

The game will air locally and nationally on NBC. On the radio dial, the game will air on 98.7 FM ESPN New York, 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 FM LI News Radio.

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New York Islanders

Three Takeaways: Dobson, Bellows Look Good, Barzal Finds Two-Way Game in Win | NYHN+

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New York Islanders players

The New York Islanders started off the 2020-21 NHL season off on the right foot Thursday night with a 4-0 win over the New York Rangers.

The Islanders capitalized on the power play on several occasions, they received timely goaltending when they needed it and their top-six forwards found the back of the net. Not to mention, the play of several young Islanders hoping to maintain their spots on the roster.

Let’s take a look at three takeaways from the Islanders’ season-opening win over their Manhattan rivals:

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New York Islanders

GARDEN PARTY: Lee, Barzal Lead Islanders Shutout Thrashing of Rangers

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New York Islanders Anders lee Mathew Barzal

The New York Islanders will take a start like that any day.

The Islanders scored three times in the first period, anchored by goals from Anders Lee and Mathew Barzal, and kicked off the 2020-21 season with a 4-0 win over the New York Rangers. Brock Nelson also scored for the Islanders on Thursday.

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“I think we just wanted to start on the right foot and get to our game early,” Lee said. “Find that momentum by playing the way we play and I think we did a pretty good of that. It was the result of a good camp and everyone being ready for tonight, and Varly playing a great game as well. Just a good team effort.”

The season-opening win was anchored by a strong effort in the first and third period by the Isles, and a good performance in the net when they needed it from Semyon Varlamov. It was the 10th consecutive opening night start and second with the Islanders for Varlamov, who finished the night with 24 saves.

The opening night shutout was the Isles’ first since Chico Resch accomplished the feat in 1976 against Philadelphia.

“It’s always easy to play like that when we score first,” Varlamov said. “Overall I’m pretty happy with how we did today. I thought the team played very well.”

The Islanders finished the night with 33 shots on net, while holding the young Rangers to 24 shots.

The Isles special teams unit got plenty of work to start the season, with the Rangers giving the Islanders eight power-play chances on Thursday. They capitalized on two of their chances.

It didn’t take long for the Islanders to find the back of the net on Thursday night. It was a mere 2:33 into the game when Nelson lit the lamp for the first of four goals on the evening from the Long Island visitors.

The goal was the fourth fastest the Islanders have scored in a season-opening game in franchise history.

Anthon Beauvillier went for a shot inside the faceoff circle, but had it redirect off the skate of Adam Fox and went right to Nelson in the slot. Nelson quickly put it past Igor Shesterkin for the Isles’ first power-play goal of the year.

Just over a minute later, the Isles struck paydirt again. After Lee took a stick up high he stayed on the ice and after a Rangers turnover was able to create a two-on-one. The Islanders captain fired a shot of the New York goalie’s arm and in for his first of two goals on Thursday.

“I was a little upset. Took one to the teeth and I was making my way back,” Lee said about the goal. “I kind of got lucky that the puck got to Ledds and I could kind of take a chance on hoping that that one got out. He made a great play getting the puck down and it came right to me.”

Barzal capped off a strong first for the Isles with an impressive goal to make it 3-0 after weaving by three Rangers.

Despite a Rangers push in the second, the Islanders were the ones to add a goal in the third. Jordan Eberle threw the puck towards the net and Lee redirected the puck in the slot for his second of the night.

The goal was officially credited to Eberle, but video evidence clearly shows the puck was tipped by Lee.

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New York Islanders

County Exec Laura Curran Cheering on New York Islanders from Quarantine

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Nassau County Exec Laura Curran

As the New York Islanders open their season this evening many Islanders fans will be watching the game from home, which includes Nassau County’s most influential fan of the team county executive Laura Curran.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran will be watching the Islanders battle the New York Rangers from quarantine after she was recently exposed to someone with COVID-19. Curran tweeted out a video this afternoon about her excitement for being able to watch the season opener in its entirety.

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“I guess the small silver lining of quarantine is that I get I watch TV tonight,” Curran said in the video. “And that means I get to watch the entire Islanders game.  Game one,  taking on the Rangers, 7 p.m. puck drops. I am ready.”

Curran’s office announced that the county executive had been exposed to COVID-19 on Wednesday night and she is at the beginning of a 10-day quarantine. Officials from the county executive’s office declined to disclose to Newsday where Curran had been exposed to the virus for privacy reasons.

Curran has been an unabashed fan of the Islanders and today was the second time in five days the Nassau County politician tweeted about the Islanders. The county executive tweeted “YES! YES! YES!” along with a GIF of Mathew Barzal following news that the Islanders star had re-signed for three years with the team on Saturday.

Curran has been a vocal supporter of the UBS Arena project at Belmont Park and of getting the Islanders back on Long Island before the opening of UBS Arena in the fall. Curran twice lobbied NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to allow the Islanders to play at Nassau Coliseum before their new home opens.

In 2019, Curran wrote to Bettman to help persuade him to allow the Islanders to play home playoff games on Long Island. The NHL eventually came to an agreement that allowed the Islanders to play their first-round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nassau Coliseum and then after that all home postseason games would move to Barclays Center.

Last year, she called on Bettman again to allow the Islanders to play their final full season before UBS Arena at the Coliseum. The NHL eventually allowed the Islanders to do so after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo stepped in.

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