Update (5:06 PM): Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat confirms that Joey MacDonald will make his return from a minor knee injury tonight. - Matt
Update (2:50 PM): Doug Weight is in tonight after all. - Matt
… This is the only meeting between these two teams this season and the first since January 30, 2007.
… The Islanders are 6-4-1 in March, with four of those wins coming at the start. They’ve lost their last three, including a 6-2 decision against Minnesota on Wednesday.
… They’re dead last in the League with 56 points, but can’t count on the first pick of the draft thanks to the lottery.
… They’ll be without Doug Weight (knee), Andy Sutton (foot), Mike Sillinger (hip), Rick DiPietro (knee), Freddy Meyer (groin), Trent Hunter (ankle), Sean Bergenheim (groin) and Kurtis McLean (leg).
… It looks like we could see former Red Wing Joey MacDonald in net tonight. He was cleared to play earlier this week.
… The Wings are coming off a 3-2 win over Edmonton Tuesday in a game that followed a lackluster performance against Calgary the night before. They’ll look for their 50th win of the season tonight.
… They have a chance to pull ahead of San Jose by two points tonight. Both teams have 107 with 74 games played. The Sharks are idle.
… They’ll be without Andreas Lilja, who continues to deal with a concussion and accompanying headaches.
… They used these units in practice yesterday:
They’re likely to be mixed a bit tonight, however, since the placement of Hudler at center was apparently more to get him skating with Samuelsson than a game plan.
… The one-time Islander Chris Osgood starts tonight after getting pulled Monday night.
… The Wings can’t take the Islanders lightly. Although they’ve been awful this season, they’ve beaten good teams on occassion (see their wins over Boston and Chicago this past weekend) and could take one against a lazy Detroit team. The Wings need to maintain focus and provide support to their goaltender, who will look to rebound from a bad performance rather than let Monday’s game dictate the remainder of his season.