(SportsNetwork.com) – The New York Islanders will try to get back in the win
column on Tuesday when they welcome the inconsistent Toronto Maple Leafs in a
battle at Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders matched their best start to a season in franchise history with a
4-0 mark, but were dealt their first loss in Saturday’s road game against the
New York scored the first goal on Saturday, but still dropped a 3-1 decision
to the Penguins. Evgeni Malkin tied the score late in the second period and
Patric Hornqvist tallied twice to arrive at the final margin.
Thomas Hickey scored the lone goal for the Islanders and Jaroslav Halak
allowed two goals on 37 shots in defeat. New York failed to score on all seven
of its power-play chances in the loss, while the Penguins scored twice on four
“We had opportunities too and we didn’t capitalize,” Islanders head coach Jack
Capuano said. “They did and that’s the difference in the game.”
Halak expects to start again in net and is 7-2-3 with a 2.79 goals against
average in 13 career games against Toronto.
The Isles played Saturday without former Maple Leafs forward Mikhail
Grabovski, who has been diagnosed with a concussion. The Russian veteran
suffered the head injury Thursday against San Jose and is out indefinitely.
The Maple Leafs have been up-and-down so far this season and hope to end a
two-game slide tonight, Toronto lost two straight in regulation to begin
2014-15 and then won two in a row before getting swept in a home-and-home
series against Detroit.
Toronto lost 4-1 in Friday’s home test against the Red Wings and dropped a 1-0
overtime decision in Saturday’s rematch. Henrik Zetterberg scored the game-
winning goal with 10 seconds left in overtime to give Detroit the home
Zetterberg, who had four assists in the previous night’s meeting, took a crisp
cross-ice pass from Niklas Kronwall in the slot and slapped a shot off the
right post past Jonathan Bernier to give Detroit its second win over Toronto
in as many nights.
Bernier made 31 stops for the Maple Leafs, who lost their fourth straight game
against the Red Wings.
“I thought he made some outstanding saves when we made mistakes,” Toronto head
coach Randy Carlyle said. “(Bernier) stood tall.”
Bernier is 1-1-1 with a 3.65 GAA in three career games against the Isles,
while backup James Reimer is 4-2-1 with a 3.42 GAA in this matchup.
New York went 2-1-0 against the Leafs last season, winning the final two
meetings of 2013-14. The Isles have claimed five of seven in the series
overall, but Toronto has three wins in the past four meetings at the Coliseum.
In other news for Toronto, rookie forward Brandon Kozun will be sidelined a
minimum of six weeks with a high ankle sprain suffered in Friday’s game
against Detroit. The 24-year-old has one assist through five games this