By: David Kolb
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (8-6-1) @ NEW YORK ISLANDERS (5-7-3)
WRAPPING IT UP
Only halfway through the month of November, the New York Islanders and Lightning will wrap up their season series tonight in Brooklyn. The Isles will try and salvage this last tilt against the Bolts as they have lost the previous two meetings this season by a combined 10-2 score.
The Lightning enter the night having won six in a row over the Islanders, dating back to last season’s Eastern Conference Semifinal playoff series. They are also looking to sweep the Isles in this season series for the first time since 2006-07 when they went 4-0-0.
As usual, the Islanders’ defenseman will have to keep a close watch on Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov, who scored three goals against the Isles this season. Kucherov begins the night with 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists).
DESPERATE FOR A “W”
The Islanders have now lost five of their last six games and could play desperate hockey tonight as they look for a “W.” The schedule will not get any easier, however, as the Isles face the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins Friday before heading out for a three-game west coast trip.
Brock Nelson has performed admirably in his first season as the Islanders’ second line center. Nelson scored in Saturday’s loss to the Florida Panthers and has two points in the past three games. He now ranks second on the roster in scoring with 11 points (4 goals, 7 assists).