The New York Islanders (36-27-8) are the happy recipients of multiple Eastern Conference meltdowns. Despite middling over the past few weeks, including a 2-2-1 in their last five games, the Islanders are not only in a playoff spot but are now in the driver’s seat for a wild card. Tuesday, they host the always dangerous and uber-talented Toronto Maple Leafs (42-18-9) at UBS Arena.
The puck drop happens just after 7:30 p.m.
It’s also Butch Goring Legends night at the barn.
The Islanders have 11 games left, six at home, including their tilt against the Maple Leafs. They lead the Florida Panthers by one point for the top wild card spot and suddenly outside-looking-in Pittsburgh Penguins by two points.
The boys filled the net against San Jose on Saturday in a 4-1 win. Jean-Gabriel Pageau netted a shortie, while Zach Parise, Kyle Palmieri, and Ryan Pulock also lit the lamp.
The Islanders took four of six points on their west coast swing and are a season-high nine games over .500.
New Islanders winger Pierre Engvall has been a magical missing piece. He has five points (3-2-5) in his last four games and has added several missing elements in the top six playing with Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri.
Engvall was acquired from Toronto before the NHL trade deadline. The 2014 seventh-round pick will face his former team for the first time.
Samuel Bolduc was recalled to replace the injured Sebastian Aho.
Ilya Sorokin will toe the rubber for the Islanders. Ilya Samsonov will start for the Maple Leafs.
Expected New York Islanders Lines:
Expected Toronto Maple Leafs Lines, per PuckPedia.com:
Islanders Game Notes:
It’s the first time Toronto has visited UBS Arena since Jan. 22, 2022.
Pierre Engvall has his second four-game point streak of the season. He has notched three goals and one assist since March 11 against the Washington Capitals.
Bolduc made his NHL debut vs. Maple Leafs on Jan. 23 in Toronto.
Noah Dobson’s assist on Saturday was his 40th point, the second consecutive season he’s reached the plateau.
Brock Nelson recorded his sixth two-goal game of the season on Wednesday in Anaheim and reached the 30-goal mark for the second straight season and the second time in his career.
Bo Horvat has set career-highs in points (63) and goals (36) in 68 games this season.
Islanders Power Play: 16.5%, 30th
Islanders Penalty Kill: 82.1%, 10th
Maple Leafs Power Play: 25.9%, 2nd
Maple Leafs Penalty Kill: 80.8%, 12th
How to Watch:
Watch: ESPN+ / HULU
Listen: 88.7FM, 103.9FM, 1050AM
On paper, this is all Toronto. The Islanders are fresh from a west coast trip, and the first game back is traditionally a slog. However, Toronto is tuning up for the playoffs while the Islanders are battling for their playoff lives. One win, one loss in the wrong direction, and they are outside looking in.
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Take the Islanders, leave the puckline because this will be a one-goal game if the Islanders win, but take the moneyline and better odds (+100).
Engvall is also +295 to score a goal. We’ll take that action, too.