2/21: New York vs Tampa Bay 7pm FSN

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/21/2008 04:29:00 PM | |
Islanders website: Has the preview of tonight's game against Tampa Bay.

Newsday: Greg Logan updates Newsday's blog and reports on Tambellini's demotion/Simon back in the lineup. Mr Logan speculates Nolan has been a strong Comeau backer this season, and he has praised the intelligent play of Nielsen as fourth-line center, however he remains lukewarm to Tambellini but notes it might not be long before Tambellini rejoins the Isles if they move a veteran forward at Tuesday's trade deadline.

The Lightning had earned points in five straight games (4-0-1) before losing 4-3 in overtime to Buffalo on Wednesday night. With less than 2 1/2 minutes left in regulation, Tampa Bay's Johan Holmqvist gave up goals 36 seconds apart to Thomas Vanek, who completed the hat trick 2:25 into the extra session.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Updated Player Pos Injury Expected Return
01/17/2008 Ryan Craig C Knee IR. Out for the season
02/20/08 Brad Lukowich D Hernia IR. Out until mid-March
01/31/08 Tim Taylor C Hip Out until at least early March

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Fair to say we are going to see a very desperate Tampa Bay club tonight that has been playing very well and will come in angry after losing a point to Buffalo last night with a lead late in the third period. Were at the point where Tampa has to approach this as their playoffs and there are a lot of elements left here that have won a championship. John Tortarella will no doubt be all over his team and push for their best tonight which can work both ways.

Bolts have too much speed and skill to take lightly and for the Isles to have a chance here they must be far better in terms of offensive jump and taking the pressure off the defense than they have shown in the last two games. They have to put Tampa on the defensive with their skating and grind out chances in the offensive zone and force them into mistakes.

To expect Meyer, Martinek and this group on defense to play those kind of minutes again tonight is asking an awful lot against a team loaded with speed and skill. Isles must outwork Tampa's defense and force mistakes. I suspect both teams will be a bit on the tired side after traveling but Tampa comes in desperate and with four straight wins and position to win against Buffalo have been doing well recently.

We need to see an effort like the Atlanta game here. For the Isles a five game winning streak has elevated them to tenth and a win out of a playoff spot but they have to continue to add points here.

I'm not sure if I will have a recap tonight or tomorrow morning, win or lose.

DiPietro's movement and play has been very strong the last two games. I do not see a change in goal for New York.