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PREVIEW- Game 20: Canucks @ New York Islanders

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The Canucks take a cab ride to Brooklyn in their first back to back of the season as they take on Matthew Barzal and the Islanders.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at New York Islanders Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks (10-6-2) @ New York Islanders (8-6-2)

Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

When: 4:00 pm PST

Where to Watch: SNP

SB Nation Opposition Blog: Lighthouse Hockey

What You Need To Know: The big question heading into this afternoon’s game is who gets the nod in goal for the Canucks. With Anders Nilsson out thanks to a broken finger, Jacob Markstrom’s been in every night, with Richard Bachman, called up from Utica, sitting in the backup role. With this game being a back to back, it would be reasonable to expect that Markstrom be given the night off and allow Bachman the shot. And if the Canucks had been able to pull off the win last night, it probably would be Bachman. Instead we’re hearing they’re leaning towards starting Marky again. And I get that. He’s a competitive guy, and deserved a better result last night. He will have been asking for a chance to battle back, and Travis Green is probably going to give it to him. Fatigue, especially down the road, will be a factor. A burnt-out Markstrom is of no use to a team that may find itself scrapping for a playoff spot in the springtime.

One thing that’s got to change if the Canucks hope to get back on track is getting more out of their special teams play. Both the PP and the PK have been flat of late, making their record even more remarkable that they’ve been able to win without it. Says a lot about Markstrom, too. Also, I certainly wouldn’t mind if someone sorted out Cal Clutterbuck tonight. Seems like every time the Canucks play the Islanders someone gets run, and maybe Guddy or Archibald need to step up and ensure that isn’t happening again.

Via the Province, here’s your projected lineups:

CANUCKS

Forwards

Antoine Roussel — Bo Horvat — Loui Eriksson

Nikolay Goldobin — Elias Pettersson — Jake Virtanen

Tim Schaller — Markus Granlund — Tyler Motte

Darren Archibald — Adam Gaudette — Brendan Leipsic

Defence

Ben Hutton — Erik Gudbranson

Derrick Pouliot — Chris Tanev

Michael Del Zotto — Troy Stecher

Goal

Jacob Markstrom or Richard Bachman

ISLANDERS

Forwards

Anders Lee — Mathew Barzal — Josh Bailey

Andrew Ladd — Brock Nelson — Jordan Eberle

Tom Kuhnhackl — Valtteri Filppula — Leo Komarov

Anthony Beauvillier — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck

Defence

Nick Leddy — Ryan Pulock

Thomas Hickey — Scott Mayfield

Adam Pelech — Johnny Boychuk

Goal

Robin Lehner — Thomas Greiss

INJURIES

Canucks: Brock Boeser (groin, week-to-week), Brandon Sutter (separated shoulder, IR), Anders Nilsson (finger fracture, day-to-day). Sven Baertschi (concussion, IR), Alex Edler (knee sprain, IR), Jay Beagle (forearm fracture, IR).

Islanders: Matt Martin (upper body, day-to-day).

Matt Martin could be in the lineup tonight, as he skated today. No changes to the lineup for the Canucks, including Antoine Roussel on the top line with Bo Horvat and Loui Eriksson. Full credit to Jim Benning here, I was very much against the signing of Roussel, but he’s been a very pleasant surprise, and deserving of the promotion into the top 6.

Overall, as IMac points out here, this road trip (save for the game in Boston) has been a series of missed opportunities that could come back to hamper their hopes of making the post-season dance. Here’s the game day info from our pals over at Lighthouse Hockey, and some cool news from the Isles as MSG Network has added 3 time Olympic Gold Medalist Jennifer Botterill to their Isles game broadcasts. She’ll make her debut tonight.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Sticking with the theme from yesterday’s GDBH, today features a track off another recent purchase I made. Fates Warning are a band I have featured before, and I recently snagged their excellent ‘No Exit’ album, but for this one we’re going back to the late 80’s and the early days of Metal Blade Records. I picked up the cassette of their Best of Metal Blade Vol 2 when I was in high school, and it radically altered my musical taste, starting the change from mainstream hard rock over to the emerging metal underground. And 31 years later this is still one of the best compilation albums I have ever come across, a great look at what the premiere label of the time had to offer. Some of the bands went on to metal fame and glory (Slayer, Destruction, Flotsam & Jetsam, Sodom), some remain revered underground legends (Detente, Hirax, Detente), and there’s some great forgotten gems here, too. There’s even some CanCon (Deaf Dealer’s ‘The Fugitive’). The Fates Warning track comes off their 3rd album ‘Awaken The Guardian’. It was the last to feature vocalist John Arch, who was replaced by Ray Alder before the recording of ‘No Exit’. An interesting note, current Fates Warning drummer Bobby Jarzombek was the drummer for Juggernaut, whose track ‘Slow Death’ was also on the Best of Metal Blade Vol 2 comp, so we’ll throw that in for the back to back double shot.