NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, January 12th
(All times Eastern)
New York Islanders (17-22-7) at Dallas Stars (20-17-7), 6 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - While the Dallas Stars stumbled on their most recent
road trip, the New York Islanders have been racking up victories away from
The Isles try to secure a seventh straight road win on Sunday night when they
battle the Stars for the second time in a week.
New York has claimed the first two of a six-game road trip and has not lost as
the road team since Dec. 12 in Phoenix. That's not bad for an Islanders team
that dropped 10 in a row as the guest during a span that lasted most of
November and into early December.
The Isles won for the sixth time in seven games overall with Friday's 2-1
overtime victory versus the Colorado Avalanche. Brock Nelson scored a tying
goal with 4:28 to play in regulation and Michael Grabner netted a goal 1:46
The speedy forward raced down the left side to corral a puck sent off the
boards by Brian Strait and skated in close on Colorado's Semyon Varlamov, who
withstood the initial chance. Grabner quickly pounced on the loose disc,
however, and worked to get a good look before ripping a well-placed shot that
found its way through traffic in front.
"I just got on the ice," said Grabner. "Got the puck off the glass and won the
race to get open in the slot. First one I tried to go backhand, got it the
second time, shot it high glove-side and it went in."
Kevin Poulin contributed with 30 saves as the Isles have won six straight on
the road for the first time since Oct. 5-26, 2001.
New York won despite Thomas Vanek having a career-high 10-game point streak
snapped and John Tavares failing to log a point for the first time in eight
Tavares helped kick start New York's current three-game win streak with a hat
trick and five points in a 7-3 home win over Dallas last Monday. Vanek had two
Evgeni Nabokov left in the first period with a lower-body injury and has since
been placed on injured reserve. Poulin made 13 saves on 15 shots faced in
The Islanders' victory was just their second in the past seven meetings with
the Stars and they claimed a 5-4 win in their last trip to Dallas on Dec. 3,
Kari Lehtonen allowed all seven goals on 43 shots in the setback, but was much
more solid in a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Friday. He came up with 31
saves, but Dallas still lost a season-high fifth game in a row.
The Stars were outscored 11-5 on a three-game swing that featured games versus
the Islanders, New Jersey Devils and Rangers.
"It's a great way to judge a person's character when you're dealing with
adversity. We're dealing with it right now," said Stars head coach Lindy Ruff.
"That's painful when you battle all game long and one goes in with two minutes
left. But you've got to get over it. We've got to move on."
Cody Eakin and Ryan Garbutt each had a goal and an assist for the Stars, while
Tyler Seguin, who leads the club with 21 goals and 41 points, went without a
point for a fourth game in a row.
The Stars will try to rebound during a span that sees them play three straight
and eight of their next 10 at home.
Lehtonen is 5-4-1 with a 4.11 goals against average in 11 career starts versus
01/12 10:28:36 ET