Mathew Barzal New York Islanders
Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The Islanders look to get their first win at UBS Arena on Thursday night.

Leen Amin

The New York Islanders have finally won a game and the fans can breathe a sigh of relief. The work isn’t over yet, though. The team is still in a bad state, sitting in last place in their division.

The playoffs are a ways away, but getting there is still definitely possibly, especially for a team that just played in the Eastern Conference Final.

The journey continues on Thursday against the Nashville Predators, when the Islanders will hope to earn their first-ever win at UBS Arena.

The Nashville Predators are having a good season and have really improved offensively, something that’s been a problem for them over the past few seasons.

They’re still a below-average offensive team, but are much better in that regard than the league-worst Islanders. They also have a good power play. New York is one of the worst teams in the league on the man-advantage.

The Islanders have the Predators beat defensively. They’re one of the best defensive teams in the league and are very good while short-handed. The Predators are a good defensive team, but not as good as New York.

They’re also below-average on the penalty kill. The Islanders are also the better team in terms of goaltending.

This game is going to be particularly interesting and fun to watch because both teams are really heating up offensively.

During the Islanders’ terrible losing streak, they weren’t scoring more than a goal a game. They’re now only scoring more than a goal a game and it’s a reason why they have a point-streak going.

They’re going to matchup nicely against a Predators team that’s seeing its top forwards score at a very high rate.

Expected goaltending matchup: TBD

Predators skaters to watch:

LHD Roman Josi

This season: 25 GP, 8 G, 24 PTS

C Ryan Johansen

Last 5 games: 1 G, 6 PTS
This season: 25 GP, 7 G, 22 PTS

RW Nick Cousins

Career vs. NYI: 11 GP, 4 G, 9 PTS

RW Matt Duchene

This season: 25 GP, 13 G, 25 PTS

LW Filip Forsberg

Last 5 games: 5 G, 6 PTS
This season: 16 GP, 11 G, 16 PTS
Career vs. NYI: 13 GP, 6 G, 11 PTS

C Mikael Granlund

Last 5 games: 6 A
This season: 25 GP, 5 G, 26 PTS

Islanders skater to watch:

C Mathew Barzal

Last 5 games: 1 G, 6 PTS
Career vs. NSH: 7 GP, 1 G, 5 PTS

Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.