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New York Islanders

Playoff Gameday: Islanders Game 4 Lines and Notes vs. Capitals



The New York Islanders will try to repeat history tonight when they look to complete the sweep of the Washington Capitals in the First Round of the playoffs.

The Islanders haven’t waivered from their message about just how tough a task that will be. Andy Greene was the latest member of the team to highlight that point when he spoke to reporters this afternoon over Zoom.

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“We’re going to get their best game tonight,” Greene said. “We have to be able to match it and be a determined group out there. It is always the toughest game and we have to make sure we’re ready right from the start. We know they’re going to be ready and we have to go from there.”

Greene and Leo Komarov were made available to the media this afternoon so it’s safe to assume the two will remain in the lineup for Game 4. Thus, the Islanders lineup will remain unchanged from the previous game.

The Islanders have iced the same lineup since Game 4 of the Qualifying Round against the Florida Panthers.

Semyon Varlamov will return to guard the net as well after a stellar performance in game 3. Varlamov made 22 saves and had his most notably strong effort of the playoffs.

Ahead of Game 4, the Islanders message has remained consistent and simple: Stick to the gameplan. The Islanders have continued to be dominant when they stick to their style of play and keep the game at five on five.

That hasn’t changed.

“Play our game. Do what we do,” Trotz said about the messaging to his team. “Get to our game. Get to it quickly and stay with it.”

Tonight marks the second time this postseason that the Islanders have been in a position to sweep a team. The Islanders had a 2-0 series lead in the Qualifying Round heading into Game 3, which the Islanders lost 3-2 to Florida.

Trotz doesn’t want to see the Islanders do a whole lot differently from Game 3 against the Panthers, but mentioned he’d like to see them play a little less loose than they did then.

“I thought we actually played pretty well in that game,” Trotz said. “The number one thing is get to our identity quick. Get to our game quick and have a good start. See if we can continue on. I thought we were a little bit loose in that game. I just don’t want us to be loose.

“I think we understand what’s at stake. We understand our opponent. I didn’t like our game in some areas last game. Hopefully, we tighten that up and we’re better today.”

The Islanders bench boss was likely referring to the team’s power play, which struggled last game and went 0-for-5.


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


Semyon Varlamov

Thomas Greiss

Washington Capitals

We’ll know at game time if Nicklas Backstrom is back in the Capitals lineup tonight. Washington head coach Todd Reirden said that he would be a game-time decision.

Backstrom has missed the last two games of the series following a hit by Anders Lee in the first period of Game 1.

“Nick was on the ice with us for the entire practice,” Reirden said after the Capitals morning skate. “Like him and a few other guys it’s a game-time decision for what our lineup is come 8 O’clock tonight.”

Martin Fehervary did not skate this morning with the Capitals, however, and he will not play in Game 4, Reirden said. Fehervary saw 11:31 of ice time during Game 3 against the New York Islanders.

The Capitals will try to bring the physicality right off the bat to throw the Islanders off their game. Reirden is preaching the mentality of just focusing at the task at hand.

“Right now all we’re focusing on is winning one hockey game,” Reirden said. “That starts with beating the guy across from you and doing it continually. Shift after shift and that’s where our mindset is right now.”

Banner Time! Islanders Fan Sending Aerial Support to Team in Toronto

Game Notes

The Islanders have had 3-0 series leads 10 previous times in franchise history. They closed out all 10 series, with sweeps occurring in seven of them. … The Islanders extended their stretch of allowing fewer than 30 shots to eight games. This is the first time they’ve done since a stretch in April-May of 1984. … Anders Lee enters tonight’s game with a three-game point streak (three goals). It is the longest point streak among Islanders players during this postseason. … The Capitals are 23-21 all-time in Game 4 situations. … Alex Ovechkin has 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 20 career game 4s. … Braden Holtby is one win away from becoming the 21st goaltender in league history to record 50 wins in the playoffs.


Locally the game will air on MSG+ and MSG GO, and nationally on NBCSN. For those outside the New York market, the game can also be streamed on NHL.TV. 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+



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



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



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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