(SportsNetwork.com) – After rebounding to post a winning road trip, the New
York Islanders return home to next try and avenge the loss that got their trip
off to a horrid start.
The Islanders seek a fourth straight victory on Tuesday night as they welcome
the Colorado Avalanche to the Coliseum.
New York wrapped a five-game swing on Saturday with a 1-0 victory over the
Arizona Coyotes, giving the Isles a 3-2-0 record in their trip. They’ll take
the six points seeing as the swing out west began with a 5-0 loss to Colorado
and a 3-1 setback in San Jose.
Jaroslav Halak recorded his first shutout with the Islanders, stopping 19
shots versus the Coyotes. Frans Nielsen made sure the effort didn’t go to
waste by scoring the game’s only goal with 2:31 left in regulation.
“It was a tough swing for us,” Islanders center Brock Nelson said. “But
getting the last three was definitely a momentum builder.”
Mikhail Grabovski and Thomas Hickey assisted on Nielsen’s tally to help Halak
register his 31st career shutout.
New York played Saturday without defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who sustained a
lower-body injury on Thursday. Though he was unable to practice on Monday, the
blueliner has not been ruled out for tonight.
Halak should start tonight for the Islanders and is 4-2-2 lifetime versus the
Avalanche with a 2.46 goals against average and .915 save percentage in eight
He did not start when the Avalanche recorded a 5-0 home win over the Isles on
Oct. 30, with backup Chad Johnson giving up all five goals on 23 shots.
Nathan McKinnon scored twice in Colorado’s third victory in its last four over
Semyon Varlamov got credit for the shutout with 40 saves and he’ll start
tonight after sitting out the past two games in favor of Reto Berra in an
attempt to get some rest. He’ll look to lead Colorado to a second straight
victory on Long Island after the Avs snapped a six-game series road losing
streak with a 5-2 win on Feb. 8.
Varlamov is 2-0-1 lifetime versus the Islanders with a 1.00 GAA and .967 save
Berra backstopped Colorado to a shootout win over Toronto on Thursday, but
yielded four goals on 27 shots in Saturday’s 4-3 setback in Philadelphia.
The Avalanche trailed 4-0 before getting third-period goals from Max Talbot,
Alex Tanguay and Zach Redmond, but lost for the fourth time in their last five
while dropping the opener of a four-game swing.
Philadelphia netted three power-play goals, scoring twice on McKinnon’s five-
minute boarding infraction on defenseman Luke Schenn late in the first period.
“It was a dumb play by me. I was just trying to turn him the other way with my
hand,” MacKinnon said. “I definitely take responsibility for the hit; I didn’t
mean to hurt him.”
Though Schenn left the game with a shoulder injury, MacKinnon will not
receiver further discipline from the league. That will make him available
tonight when the Avs try to snap a six-game road skid with their first win as
the road team since Oct. 13 in Boston.