Thursday, April 28, 2016
Islanders/Lightning round 2 preview
After John Taveres' goal in 2OT on Sunday, April 24, the New York Islanders will face off in round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both teams will play without key players. The Lightning will play without former Rocket Richard winner, multi-time all star and captain Steven Stamkos and defenseman Anton Stralmon. Stralmon lost in the Stanley Cup finals to the Los Angeles Kings as a member of the New York Rangers in 2014. The Lightning do have Ryan Callahan and Bryan Boyle who were with Stralmon in 2014 with Callahan being the captain. The Islanders are missing Mikhail Grabovski, Anders Lee, and goalie Jaroslav Halak. With the Stamkos injury, red hot Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson will play an important role. The Islanders will have help from rookies Shane Prince and Alan Quine. Thomas Greiss will be in net for New York. When Islanders captain John Tavares was the first overall pick in 2009, defenseman Victor Hedman was number two for Tampa Bay. To close out the preview are the X factors. They are Brock Nelson for the Islanders and Nikita Kucherov for the Lightning.