Day 2: Morning Skate Updates
The Islanders are in the Mile High City and face the Colorado Avalanche for the first time in over two years. Both teams enter the contest with 4-1 records in their last five games, but the Islanders have won five straight on the road.
Ahead of tonight's game, the Islanders held an optional morning skate in Denver. Here are some news, notes and quotes from today's skate at Pepsi Center and a look at the Avalanche.
Lineup Notes/Changes: Colin McDonald draws in on the fourth line for Eric Boulton, while Matt Donovan steps in for Matt Carkner on the back end. Kevin Poulin will start in goal.
Road Streak: The Islanders have won five straight on the road and six of their last seven away from Nassau Coliseum.
Power Play: The Islanders power play went 4-for-6 against Dallas and Toronto and is 9-for-18 over the team’s last five games. The 50 percent conversion rate catapulted the Islanders' power play from 23rd in the league to 12th.
Andrew MacDonald on the PP: Right now we are all on the same page and you can really see that guys are anticipating well where other guys are going to be. We’re getting pucks to the net and are converging on the net and that’s what needs to happen to have a successful power play.
Point Streaks: Thomas Vanek is on a career-high, 10-game point streak (5g/10a). John Tavares has points in his last seven games (7g/9a) and the team’s last six (7g/8a). Tavares has eight points (3g/5a) in his last two games. Calvin de Haan has three points (1g/2a) in his last two games.
Poulin: Kevin Poulin has won two straight games for the Islanders since Evgeni Nabokov suffered a lower-body injury.
Donovan in Denver: Matt Donovan played two seasons for the University of Denver, recording 16 goals and 37 assists in 78 games.
From the Coach: We need Donovan to play his game. Just keep moving the puck, make a good first pass, play high-percentage hockey and we want him to move his feet, that’s the biggest thing.
Avalanche Warning: The Avalanche got off to a blistering start this season, going 19-6 in their first 25 games. The team cooled off in December, skating to a 5-5-4 record, but has rebounded for a 3-1-0 start to January.
Team Leaders: Matt Duchene leads the Avalanche in goals (16), points (38) and is tied for the team lead in assists (22). However, the Islanders top priority may be the duo of Gabriel Landeskog and Paul Stastny, who are currently the two hottest players on the Avs. Landeskog is riding a career-high, eight-game point streak (3g/8a) while Stastny has eight points (2g/6a) in his last three games.MacKinnon: Tonight is the Islanders first look at Nathan MacKinnon, the first overall pick in the 2013 draft. MacKinnon leads all NHL rookies in scoring with 28 points (14g/14a).
Avs PP: The Avs have scored a power-play goal in three straight games (4-for-9) and have gone 7-for-15 in their last six games.