NYI Fan Central Comments:
I would expect aside from maybe Joey MacDonald dressing few changes to the Islander lineup because they have been winning.
Do not be fooled by Tampa's goaltending problems, other teams have put in backups or minor league goaltenders who could have sat down on the ice and won handily against this Islander offense. That game the Islanders were doing well John Curry came in for Pittsburgh and was barely tested in relief.
It's all about the quality chances the Islander offense can create. The record says Tampa Bay give up chances and have a spotty defense with players who are working their way back from injury. Like Atlanta do not be fooled because they can score in bunches.
The recent games do not lie. Five against Montreal, five against Buffalo.
How many five goal games have the Islander had?
01/30/2009 PHI 6 @ TBL 1
01/29/2009 TBL 2 @ CAR 3
01/27/2009 MTL 3 @ TBL 5
01/21/2009 BUF 3 @ TBL 5
01/19/2009 DAL 2 @ TBL 4
Flyers 6, Lightning 1: Two Tampa Bay goals were disallowed on Friday, the Lightning also missed a penalty shot and failed to convert on two-man advantage for 1:47 early in the second period when the game was still tied. Fifty-three seconds after an apparent Steven Stamkos goal was waived off for a high stick, Philadelphia took a 4-1 lead before tacking on two more goals.
Seems that early game in Tampa where Nielsen found Hunter in overtime was in another season but like Atlanta this team can score in bunches. Barry Melrose has finally quieted down after being fired (at least for now) so we get our first look at Rick Tocchet beind the bench.
Paul Ranger, who has had an undisclosed upper body injury and missed a handful of games this month, and Matt Smaby return to the lineup, giving the team six NHL defensemen after a patchwork defense for a while skated for Tampa with —Andrej Meszaros, Lukas Krajicek and Steve Eminge playing between 25 and 30 minutes a night for good stretches in January.
Tampa leads Islanders by nine points entering this game, they will play again Saturday in Tampa.
My schedule may mean no post-game or articles after this game. I will watch recording at some point. Not completely sure at this time but feeders will be working here.