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Pre-game: Islanders host Maple Leafs; Tavares sidelined

John Tavares celebrates after a goal against Aves.
Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

Tonight the New York Islanders host the Toronto Maple Leafs after a short break due to the Winter Olympics in Sochi. An event that gives players an opportunity to represent their countries on a world stage has dealt a pretty big blow to the Islanders organization from thousands of miles away.

The Islanders will be going into tonight’s matchup without their leading goal scorer, John Tavares, after a knee injury he suffered during the Olympic Games. With only 22 games left in the season, the Islanders need to dig down deep if they want to make a valiant effort at a wild card spot.

New York will be without John Tavares (Knee injury), Frans Nielsen (Broken hand) and Matt Martin (Lower-body injury). Ryan Strome, Anders Lee and Mike Halmo will have to step up and fill in some pretty big holes in the roster. Evgeni Nabokov will also start in goal and this will be his first game against the Leafs this season.

Puck will drop at 7:00 p.m. EST.

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