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Don’t Believe the Hype: Blackhawks at Islanders Preview

One win down, what does game two have in store?

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New York Islanders v Chicago Blackhawks
Sebastian Aho of the New York Islanders and Philipp Kurashev of the Chicago Blackhawks fight for control of the puck during NHL play
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Following a win over the Rangers on Saturday, the Chicago Blackhawks head to Brooklyn for the second game of a back-to-back set against the New York Islanders.

The Blackhawks snapped their eight-game winless streak with a 5-2 victory, thanks in large part to Patrick Kane and Max Domi, each of whom had three points in the victory. Petr Mrazek was also great in the first two periods, making 21 saves on 22 shots before suffering a groin injury.

Arvid Soderblom came in for relief, stopping five of six shots. Soderblom will likely find himself starting in net on Sunday as well. If Mrazek’s injury is long term, with Alex Stalock also currently out with an injury, Jaxson Stauber may be recalled from Rockford to back up Soderblom.

The Islanders are currently third in the Metropolitan division, with a 15-10-0 record through about a third of the season. Under new head coach Lane Lambert, the Islanders have allowed the second-fewest goals and scored the third-most in their division.

The Isles are led in scoring by Mathew Barzal, who, after signing a new contract in the offseason, has more than a point-per-game through the first 25, with 27 points. While it took Barzal a while to get his first goal of the season, not doing so until Nov. 19, Barzal has nearly an assist-per-game pace.

Brock Nelson and Anders Lee follow Barzal in scoring for New York, as Nelson has 24 points and Lee 19, with Nelson also leading in goal scoring with 11.

The Islanders also have some of the stingiest goaltending in the NHL this season, as Ilya Sorokin, the forgotten Russian goaltender in New York with Shesterkin winning the Vezina last year, at a .932 save percentage and Semyon Varlamov backing him up with a .916.

The Blackhawks will need to keep the offense going in order to beat the Islanders, which may be a harder task than against the Rangers.

Tale of the tape (statistics from this season)

Blackhawks — Statistic — Islanders

41.23% (32nd) — 5-on-5 Corsi For — 48.59% (22nd)

41.09% (30th) — 5-on-5 Expected goals for — 46.22% (25th)

2.65 (30th) — Goals per game — 3.16 (14th)

3.61 (27th) — Goals against per game — 2.64 (6th)

56.2% (1st) — Faceoffs — 49.9% (17th)

25.7% (11th) — Power play — 23.7% (14th)

74.1% (25th) — Penalty kill — 81.3% (6th)

Projected lineups (subject to change)

Blackhawks

Athanasiou — Toews— Kane

Kurashev — Domi — Raddysh

Khaira — Dickinson — Blackwell

Katchouk — Entwistle — R. Johnson

J. Johnson — S. Jones

Roos — Murphy

McCabe — C. Jones

Söderblom

Stauber

Islanders

Bailey — Barzal — Wahlstrom

Lee — Nelson — Beauvillier

Parise — Pageau — Holmstrom

Martin — Cizikas — Johnston

Pelech — Pulock

Romanov — Mayfield

Aho — Dobson

Sorokin/Varlamov

How to watch

When: 6:30 p.m. CT

Where: Barclays Center, New York

TV: NHL Network, NBCSCH

Radio: WGN 720

Live stream: Sling TV