Can the Islanders make it three wins in a row?
They will try on Saturday when they take on the Ottawa Senators at 1 p.m. in the Canadian capital. It will be the second of three meetings between the Islanders and Senators. The first game occurred on December 18 and ended with a 6-2 Islanders loss.
However, the Islanders are in a much different place than they were during that first meeting. They are two now two points out of a playoff spot and are 8-1-2 in their last 11 games.
The Islanders are also 4-0-1 in their last five games at Canadian Tire Center.
They will be going up against a Senators team that is second in the Atlantic Division and is coming off a 3-2 win over Dallas on Thursday. The Senators will also have Craig Anderson back in net on Saturday.
Anderson has been dealing with personal issues this season, helping his wife Nicole battle throat, and took some time off after his December 5 start against the Pittsburgh Penguins. It looked as though Anderson was going to return on Saturday and it was decided he would start for sure following Friday’s practice.
“He had done enough in practice to feel like he had enough game situations,” Senators coach Guy Boucher said, according to NHL.com. “We practiced power play (Friday) which is one thing we hadn’t done yet with him. After the practice, he told the goalie coach he was feeling good and we’d talk again after he got undressed. We got together and it was clear, ‘yup, I’m ready, let’s go.’”
The Islanders will play the same lineup as they did in Thursday’s win over Philadelphia. Thomas Greiss will return to the net, which could mean JF Beurbe will get the nod on Sunday in the second game of a back-to-back set.
The Islanders are 4-4-1 in the first game of a back-to-back set this season.
The game with Ottawa is a critical one with the Islanders now a point behind the Philadelphia and two behind Boston. Both teams are in action as well on Saturday afternoon, with the Flyers playing San Jose and the Bruins hosting Vancouver.