ISLANDERS (17-22-7) AT STARS (20-17-7)
TV: MSG PLUS, FS-SW
Last 10: New York 7-3-0; Dallas 3-5-2
Season series: This is the second and final game between the New York Islanders and the Dallas Stars. The Islanders routed the Stars 7-3 on Monday at Nassau Coliseum thanks to a hat trick and two assists by John Tavares.
Big story: The Islanders continue a six-game trip looking for their seventh consecutive road victory after beating the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 in overtime on Friday. The last time they won seven road games in a row was 1981. The Stars return home with a five-game losing streak after losing all three games on a swing through the New York area.
Islanders: While they still reside in last place in the Metropolitan Division, the Islanders look much more like the team that made a surprising run to a playoff berth last spring. After four wins in 23 games, New York is 7-2-0 in its past nine games, including three wins in a row.
"It's a good road win for us. Poulin played solid behind us and that was the biggest thing for us," Nelson said. "We stuck with the game plan, got pucks in and were able to find a way to win."
The Islanders went 0-for-2 with the man advantage in Denver, but the power play has been a big part of their improvement. They scored three power-play goals against Dallas and are 9-for-19 in their past six games.
Stars: Dallas has lost five games in a row and has been outscored 22-10, including a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Friday. It's the Stars' longest losing streak since dropping six in a row in March 2011.
"I think the last few games, we haven't been at our best. We're at our best when we are all moving our feet and shooting the puck and making it hard on defenses," said forward Cody Eakin, who scored against the Rangers, "It's not good. We were right up there before this little streak and there's only one way out, and that's hard work."
Coach Lindy Ruff said after practice Saturday that he felt his team picked up its level of play following the loss to the Islanders.
"We had a couple games with real low energy where we beat ourselves. We made big mistakes. Typically, when the legs aren’t going the heads aren’t far behind. We made some big mistakes in those games that cost us,” Ruff said. “The game last night looked very similar to the games we’ve been winning. If we put the puck in the net on a couple of the chances late in the third, we’ll walk out with points. We played a real good third period when it comes to giving up anything. It was kind of a fall away shot off a battle that beats you. For me, we’re closer to where we need to be.”
Who's hot: Nelson has two goals in three games for the Islanders. Thomas Vanek's 10-game point streak was snapped Friday, but he has 15 points in his past 11 games. … Stars forward Jamie Benn has five goals in nine games.
Injury report: Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion) and Radek Martinek (back) are on injured reserve. So is goalie Evgeni Nabokov (lower body) who was injured against the Stars and placed on IR after the game. ... Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas is on IR with a broken leg.
|Back to top ↑|