12/14/13: NYI 0 vs. MTL 1 (OT)
Evgeni Nabokov’s return and Ryan Strome’s NHL debut helped the Islanders earn a point in a 1-0 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens at Nassau Coliseum. Nabokov made 24 saves in his first action since Nov. 16, but Max Pacioretty broke the scoreless deadlock 1:51 into overtime.
The Islanders continue a four-game stretch of games in the New York area tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s the first of three meetings this season between these clubs. The Isles swept the season series last year, winning all three games in regulation. The Isles have also won their last five at home against Tampa Bay.
NHL Scoring Race: John Tavares is tied for fifth in the NHL scoring race with 37 points (13g/24a). He has a point on eight of the last 12 Isles goals.
Home Point Streak: The Islanders have dropped overtime decisions in three straight home games (0-0-3). Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Mac Pacioretty all scored in OT.
Strome’s Debut: Ryan Strome made his NHL debut Saturday against the Canadiens. The 20-year-old leads the AHL in scoring with 33 points (9g/24a) in 23 games. He was named the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for November and was also named CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the past two weeks, becoming the third AHL player in the last 20 years to be named Player of the Week in consecutive weeks (Blake Geoffrion, 2011; Jim Carey, 1994).
Back In Action: Brian Strait was taken off injured reserve Thursday after missing 23 games with an upper-body injury. Evgeni Nabokov was also activated Thursday after missing 11 games with a groin injury.
Josh Bailey – 13 assists shy of 100
John Tavares – 14 points shy of 300
The Islanders and Lightning game is set to air on the MSG Plus network, with face-off scheduled for 7:00 p.m.