New York Islanders vs Ottawa Senators

The fifth-seeded New York Islanders take their game into the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata, ON., Canada where they take on the Canadian tire fire that is the last place Ottawa Senators. This David vs. Goliath matchup kicks off at 7:30 PM EST and will be televised via TSN5 and RDS for Canadian viewers and MSG+ in the US. Radio broadcast provided by TSN1200 and WFAN.

How to Watch

Where: Canadian Tire Centre - Kanata, ON., Canada

When: Thursday, March 7, 7:30PM EST.

How (TV/Radio): TSN5, RDS, MSG+ | TSN1200, WFAN

New York Islanders (Away)

Head Coach: Barry Trotz {All-Time 799-589-60-141 NYI, WSH, NSH}

This will be the first of a back-to-back, home-and-home, meetings between these two clubs.

Forwards Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin are listed as day-to-day and it is uncertain whether they will play in Ottawa Thursday night. This is a shame for the Isles because, although looking at the standings they are the heavy favorites, the Senators actually hold some statistical advantages over them. In fact, the Sens out-rank the Islanders in every major offensive stat other than shooting percentage.

Luckily for New York, their offense looks unbeatable when put up against this Ottawa team’s defense. They are first overall in the league for goals allowed (Ottawa ranks 30th). The Islanders are tenth for shots allowed (Ottawa is 31st). New York also takes fewer penalties than the Sens and kills them off with a lot more success than their opponents.

One final, and quite a significant advantage for the Islanders is their chemistry. They are going up against a team that just traded away their core offense and fired their head coach. The Senators are in shambles right now and as long as the Islanders stay collected, this game should go their way.

Former backup goalie for the Senators, Robin Lehner, is expected to get the start against his former team. Lehner is 20-11-5 on the season with a goals against average of 2.13 and a .929 save percentage. He has four shutouts.

Ottawa Senators (Home)

Head Coach: Marc Crawford {All-Time 550-422-103-78 OTT, DAL, LAK, VAN, COL, QUE}

As mentioned above, the Ottawa Senators, although dead last in the league, are not dead last in anything when it comes to offensive statistics. They are 16th in goals scored compared to New York’s 20th. They are 23rd for shots on goal compared to the Isles’ 30th. They are, incredibly, 14th when on the powerplay compared to New York’s 25th and they are 13th in the faceoff circle compared to their opponent’s 28th.

But, alas, when the Islanders cross that blue line, all signs point to the Sens being manhandled. The Senators allow the most shots against in the league and the second-most goals against. They also struggle to kill penalties with only a 78.5 percent success rate - good enough for 24th in the league. This would be an incredible underdog victory should the Sens pull it off.

Backup goalie Ander Nilsson is expected to get the start in this game. Nilsson has a season record of 11-16-1. His goals-against average is 3.08 and his save percentage is .904. He has one shutout.

The last time these two teams faced off, the New York Islanders came out victorious over the Ottawa Senators with a final score of 6-3.

What's At Stake?

This is ultimately the Islanders game to lose. Currently sitting in fifth place in the East (second in the Metropolitan division), every win counts as we approach the playoffs. The top of the Eastern conference is always a tight race and the Islanders can’t expect to get away with too many slip-ups - especially against a team like the Sens.

The Senators stand no chance of playoff glory this season and can only aim high when it comes to next year’s draft as they acquired many draft picks at the trade deadline.

Questions to answer

Can Ottawa keep it together amongst all the changes going on and give the Islanders a competitive game?

Can Robin Lehner stay composed in the crease going up against his former team in their home arena?

Will Ottawa’s young call-ups continue to show promise for the future amidst this dreadful season?

New York Islanders Injury Report

F Cal Clutterbuck - day-to-day (upper-body)

F Matt Martin - day-to-day (upper-body)

Ottawa Senators Injury Report

F Clarke MacArthur - IR (undisclosed)

F Marian Gaborik - IR (back)

New York Islanders at Ottawa Senators Predictions and Odds

The New York Islanders (-210) close out as the heavy favourites over the Ottawa Senators (+175).

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