By: David Kolb
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (2-3-3) @ NEW YORK ISLANDERS (3-5-0)
GETTING BACK ON TRACK
The Islanders begin their second five-game homestand of the young season tonight, and they must take advantage of the Barclays Centers’ home-ice to get back to .500 and into playoff contention.
MATT MARTIN RETURNS
Fan favorite and fourth-line fixture Matt Martin will return to Brooklyn tonight for the first time since he left the Islanders for Toronto via free agency this past summer. Martin, through eight games this season, is still looking for his first point as a Maple Leaf.
LEAFS FALLING ON THE ROAD
The Maple Leafs have yet to win a game on the road this season (0-2-3). The Islanders would be best served to come out of the gate quickly to get the weekend crowd behind them and force the fragile Leafs on their heels early.
AUSTON IN BROOKLYN
The New York area will get its first taste of 19-year-old sniper Auston Matthews, who has taken the NHL by storm scoring six goals with four assists for 10 points in his first eight games as an NHLer. Matthews centers the Leafs’ top-line, and needs to be matched up against smartly by the Islanders’ coach, Jack Capuano.
JT GETTING GOING
John Tavares has four goals and two assists in eight games this season, with four points coming over the past three games. Tavares needs to take advantage of the matchups he will get on home ice during this five-game homestand to help get the Islanders rolling offensively.