Preview: Senators Visit the Islanders as Hammond Starts

The Ottawa Senators were able to end their losing streak last night against the New Jersey Devils in a tight-scoring game. Now they will look to begin a streak of the winning variety as they visit the Islanders for the first time this season. Like against the Devils last night, the Senators will once again be facing a team that is on its own losing streak, as the Islanders have lost four straight.

Ottawa Senators at New York Islanders

Barclays Center – 7 p.m. EST

Broadcast channels – SN & MSG+

2016-17 Season Series: first match-up of the season

Ottawa Senators – 17-11-3 – 37 Points

Second in the Atlantic Division

Road Record: 7-6-0

Hot Players: Bobby Ryan, Zack Smith

Key absences: Fredrik Claesson (hip), Clarke MacArthur (concussion), Craig Anderson (personal leave), Mike Hoffman (suspension)

Projected lines:


Zack Smith – Derick Brassard – Mark Stone

Ryan Dzingel – Kyle Turris – Bobby Ryan

Tom Pyatt – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Curtis Lazar

Casey Bailey – Chris Kelly – Chris Neil


Marc Methot – Erik Karlsson

Dion Phaneuf – Cody Ceci

Mark Borowiecki – Chris Wideman

Starting goaltender

Andrew Hammond


New York Islanders – 11-13-6 – 28 Points

Last in the Eastern Conference

Home Record: 9-6-4

Hot Players: Anders Lee, John Tavares

Key Injuries: Casey Cizikas (upper body), Adam Pelech (upper body)

Projected lines:


Anders Lee – John Tavares – Josh Bailey

Andrew Ladd – Alan Quine – Jason Chimera

Shane Prince – Brock Nelson – Anthony Beauvillier

Nikolay Kulemin – Ryan Strome – Cal Clutterbuck


Nick Leddy – Travis Hamonic

Thomas Hickey – Johnny Boychuk

Calvin de Haan – Dennis Seidenberg

Starting goaltender

Jean-Francois Berube

Game Notes

(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] Bobby Ryan has been picking it up of late for the Senators. After going goalless for 16 games, he has scored two goals in his last two games, helping the team get three out of a possible four points. If the Senators are to stay in the playoff picture, they will need Ryan to continue producing.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] Although the Islanders sit last in the Eastern Conference standings, the Senators will still have to be careful going into this game. John Tavares is always a threat when he is on the ice and makes whomever he plays with better. The Islanders have actually been one of the top scoring teams during their past 10 games, so Ottawa’s defensive system will need to be strong to contain them.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap] In terms of production, Erik Karlsson has slowed down during the past few games. He has one assist in his last four games, but he continues to do the things he does well to help win games. He has had very strong possession numbers, and that has spread out to the rest of the team. He continues to constantly provide clean zone exits, and the forwards have benefited. It may not be showing on the stats sheet recently, but Karlsson’s impact is still evident.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap] Ottawa will have a large advantage in the special teams battle, as the Islanders are among the league’s worst teams in both power-play (13.4%) and penalty-kill (78.6%). The Senators may feel that they can be a little more physical this game, as if they take penalties that they will have an easier time killing off the Islanders’ power-play and perhaps steal momentum.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap] New York’s main goaltender in Jaroslav Halak has not been able to deliver the numbers expected out of a good starter. Thomas Greiss has been playing better, but head coach Jack Capuano has decided to go with Jean-François Berube. This will be only his second start this season, though it will be his second straight, with his last game coming in an overtime loss against the Buffalo Sabres where he made 34 saves on 37 shots. Many Islanders observers believe that his time is now, so he will be looking to earn another start after tonight.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]6)[/miptheme_dropcap] Andrew Hammond will get his first start since October, as Mike Condon will get the night off from playing the night prior. This game will be a statement game from Hammond to demonstrate that he is worthy of staying in the NHL and not spending the most of his career in the minors.

As the Senators face another team that is hovering at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, they will look to start strong to try and take the wind out of New York’s sails. Like the Devils yesterday, the Islanders do not have much in secondary scoring, therefore shutting down John Tavares’ line will go a long way to winning the game.