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Islanders Face Tough ‘Road’ Ahead; Okposo Diagnosed with Swine Flu

November 11, 2009

The New York Islanders (6-6-5, 17Pts) will play 12 out of their next 14 games away from home, including seven in a row beginning tonight against the Ovechkin-less Capitals (10-3-4, 24 Pts.)  Just four days after learning that defenseman Radek Martinek was lost for the year with an ACL tear, the team announced that star forward Kyle Okposo has been diagnosed with H1N1 virus and will not travel with the team for this upcoming four-game road trip.  To add insult to injury (or sickness) Captain Doug Weight, who also battled swine flu earlier this year, is out 4-6 weeks with an upper body injury.

A daunting road ahead just got even more unnerving. 

The Islanders have already faced some adversity this season, and have rebounded quite nicely.  After losing 9 out of their first 10 games and only registering 6 points, the young Isle team has won 5 out of their last 7 games and is coming off an impressive 6-3 victory over an improved Atlanta Thrashers squad.  Despite currently being last in the Atlantic Division, the Islanders and their 17 points currently rank 9th in the conference, and are just 1 point away from the 8th spot, and a mere 7 points behind the top seeded Capitals.  With Okposo out indefinitely, last year’s top pick John Tavares and this year’s co-leading scorer Matt Moulson must keep the momentum going if the Islanders want to be playing meaningful games late in the season.  Although the year is still young, a bad road trip could leave the Islanders on a steep up-hill climb that may be too tough to overcome. 

The road begins tonight in Washington.

Islanders (6-6-5, 17 Pts)

Vs.

Capitals (10-3-4, 24 Pts)

Game time: 7pm, MSG Plus

Line: Islanders +200; +1.5

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