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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 21st (All times Eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (25-7-5) at New York Islanders (10-19-7), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Anaheim Ducks will try to record the longest winning streak in team history, as they shoot for an eighth consecutive victory in Saturday's road test against the New York Islanders.
The Ducks are on their second seven-game winning streak of the 2013-14 season, having matched the club mark from Oct. 5-20. Anaheim also won seven in a row from Feb. 20-March 7, 1999, but has never claimed eight straight victories.
Anaheim also has won four consecutive road games, including the first two tilts of a four-game swing that is set to end Monday in Washington. The Ducks were in New Jersey on Friday and picked up a 3-2 overtime when after Kyle Palmieri potted the game-winner 2:37 into overtime at Prudential Center.
On the decisive play, Palmieri sliced through the right circle while holding off a defender before dipping below the goal line, working around the net, and stuffing in a wraparound from the low left side to send Anaheim to victory.
"It was exciting," Palmieri said of scoring a game-winner in New Jersey, where he grew up. "It definitely added a little something to the game and the experience."
Palmieri, Cam Fowler and Mathieu Perreault each registered a goal and an assist, while Jonas Hiller stopped 19 shots for the Ducks.
In addition to their lengthy winning streak, Anaheim also has recorded at least a point in 10 straight outings, going 8-0-2 since its last regulation loss, a 6-3 setback in Dallas on Nov. 26.
The Ducks enter Saturday with a three-point lead over Los Angeles for first place in the Pacific. Anaheim is also just one point behind Chicago for the top spot in the Western Conference and NHL. The Blackhawks are idle on Saturday.
The Islanders are coming off a rare win, as they were able to notch a 5-3 road bictory Saturday against the rival New York Rangers. Michael Grabner broke out of a scoring slump with a pair of goals to lead the Islanders to the win at Madison Square Garden.
It was only the second win in the last 15 games for the Isles and it was the club's first regulation triumph since beating a visiting Nashville team on Nov. 12.
Grabner, who hadn't tallied in 31 straight games since a two-goal effort in the season opener, and Cal Clutterbuck netted short-handed markers in the first period, while Thomas Vanek snapped a 3-3 tie with a power-play score 1:18 into the third.
Brian Strait added a goal and Evgeni Nabokov made 21 saves to help the Isles pick up their first regulation victory on the road since Oct. 25 in Pittsburgh.
"We got 60 minutes of consistent effort from our guys," said Islanders head coach Jack Capuano. "Our penalty kill came up big when they had to and I thought Nabokov did a great job for us."
After beating the Rangers in Manhattan, the Isles will try to record their first home victory in over a month. New York has dropped six straight on Long Island since beating Detroit 5-4 in a shootout on Nov. 16.
Anaheim has claimed two straight and four of the last five overall meetings against the Islanders, but New York has won two in a row and four of the past five encounters at Nassau Coliseum.
12/21 11:02:10 ET