Preview: Lightning host Islanders in clash of 2 of conference’s top teams

TV: FOX Sports Sun

TIME: Pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.

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New York Islanders (31-15-6, third in the Metropolitan Division) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (34-15-5, second in the Atlantic Division)

BOTTOM LINE

The Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Islanders take the ice in a matchup of two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

The Lightning are 22-9-2 against conference opponents. Tampa Bay averages 9.4 penalty minutes per game, the sixth-most in the NHL. Patrick Maroon leads the team serving 62 total minutes.

The Islanders are 22-9-3 in conference play. New York has given up 29 power-play goals, killing 79.6% of opponent chances.

New York knocked off Tampa Bay 5-1 in the last meeting between these teams on Dec. 9. Brock Nelson scored two goals for the Islanders in the win.

TOP PERFORMERS

Nikita Kucherov leads the Lightning with 40 assists and has collected 65 points this season. Steven Stamkos has eight goals and six assists over the last 10 games for Tampa Bay.

Mathew Barzal has collected 44 total points while scoring 18 goals and totaling 26 assists for the Islanders. Ryan Pulock has recorded seven assists over the last 10 games for New York.

LAST 10 GAMES

Islanders: 4-3-3, averaging 3.5 goals, six assists, 3.8 penalties and 10.3 penalty minutes while giving up 3.2 goals per game with a .899 save percentage.

Lightning: 7-2-1, averaging 3.4 goals, six assists, 3.6 penalties and 7.5 penalty minutes while giving up 2.1 goals per game with a .930 save percentage.

INJURIES

Lightning: Jan Rutta: out (lower body), Ryan McDonagh: day to day (lower body).

Islanders: None listed.