New York Islanders Blue v White Game

Niederreiter continues to impress, but won’t start season with Isles


Nino Niederreiter has been tearing it up in the AHL and stood out during recent a scrimmage at Islanders training camp.

But none of that will change his NHL fortunes, apparently.

GM Garth Snow already stated “El Nino” won’t be with the Isles when they open against the Devils on Saturday — even though Niederreiter leads Bridgeport in scoring, sits sixth in the AHL in points (36) and was one of the best players on the ice during Wednesday’s scrimmage.

Though disappointed, the 20-year-old Swiss product is taking it in stride.

“I’ve learned that there are things you cannot control and you can’t worry about those,” Niederreiter told Newsday. “I promised myself I wouldn’t get frustrated about those things this year. All I can control is what I do on the ice.”

Niederreiter biggest highlight of the scrimmage was when he used his size to muscle past Matt Carkner and roof his own rebound past Evgeni Nabokov.

At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Niederreiter has the size to become the type of power forward the Isles haven’t had in years.

“He’s doing all the right things,” coach Jack Capuano said. “Garth’s got a plan for him, on track for his development. He played hard, scored a good goal, went to the net — he’s right on track.”

It’s understandable why the Isles would want to bring Niederreiter along slowly. They’ve been burned in the past by rushing prospects (see: Bailey, Josh) and saw how much Niederreiter struggled last year, scoring just one goal in 55 games.

He says playing in the AHL has been good for him.

“My confidence is back,” he explained. “It was great playing in the AHL to start the season, and I’m going to focus on that.”

Video: Mike Fisher ends Nashville’s nasty goal drought

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No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.

Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.

They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.

On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.

Struggling Sabre Tyler Ennis out with upper-body injury

Tyler Ennis, James Wisniewski
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Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.

Perhaps some of that has to do with health?

Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.

The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.

“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”

He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.

WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)

Ryan White, Matt Martin
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You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.

Here are the handy links for the two contests.

First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.


After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.


Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer