NHL Game Preview: New York Islanders vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Daniel FriedmanCorrespondent IMarch 8, 2011

UNIONDALE, NY - FEBRUARY 08:  James Reimer #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs makes a save during a game against the New York Islanders on February 8, 2011 at Nassau Colsium in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Lou Capozzola/Getty Images)
Lou Capozzola/Getty Images

With their playoff hopes looking rather slim, the New York Islanders are still trying to make some noise for the remainder of this NHL season.

It's been working.

The Isles have been among the league's best since the All-Star break, and have made tremendous strides in their game.

However, New York has not been the only team showing improvement. The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently on a run of their own, and sit very close to a playoff spot.

Tonight, the upstart Leafs will pay a visit to Nassau Coliseum, looking to continue their playoff push.

The New York Islanders will try and play spoiler in this one, and as the team has shown lately, they're more than up to the task.

The Isles are coming off a shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils, in which they came back twice to tie the score, despite playing the league's hottest team.

Al Montoya will start tonight's game, as per Katie Strang of Newsday.

 

X-Factor

The offense just needs to keep it going. The Leafs have some offensive weapons of their own, so the Isles will need to find ways to respond. If John Tavares and Co. can generate some momentum in this game, it'll be rather difficult for Toronto to keep up.

 

Players to Watch

 

Al Montoya

Everything starts with Al. He needs to keep up his strong play in order for the Isles to win tonight.

 

Matt Moulson

He's been on a bit of a mini-drought since catching fire towards the end of February. It's time for him to get back on the board. I say that will happen tonight.

 

Blake Comeau

Comeau's one of the NHL's streakier players, and right now he's streaking. Look for him to keep it going in this game.