TV: CBC/Sportsnet One
RADIO: Sportsnet 590 The FAN
Two players who were the best of friends during John Tavares’ nine years with the Islanders will face off for the first time since Tavares signed with the Leafs. Winger Josh Bailey sat second on the Islanders in points with 28 through Thursday, while Tavares led the Leafs in goals with 24 before Friday’s date with the Blue Jackets.
NEED TO KNOW
The Islanders had won four of their last five games before hosting Ottawa on Friday night. They went 3-1-0 on a recent road trip, outscoring opponents 12-5 … Goaltending was a big reason for the Islanders’ surge. Robin Lehner was on a five-game tear: 2-1-2, 1.37 GAA, .948 save mark … Former Leafs fan faves Leo Komarov and Matt Martin return. Komarov is a third-line winger with Tom Kuhnhackl and Val Filppula, while Martin skates on the fourth line with Casey Cizikas and Ross Johnston … The Islanders have four key regulars on the injured list: Thomas Hickey, Cal Clutterbuck, Jordan Eberle and Andrew Ladd.
Wednesday vs. Minnesota Wild, 2 p.m.
Mark Zwolinski is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @markzwol