DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy once described Kevin Poulin as the best goalie in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Roy will see first-hand how much progress Poulin has made when he starts Friday for the New York Islanders at Pepsi Center.
Roy was coaching the Quebec Remparts when Poulin was playing for the Victoriaville Tigres. Now 23, Poulin was a fifth-round pick (No. 126) of the Islanders in the 2008 NHL Draft and is in his fourth season with the team.
"He played well in junior," Roy said. "We played him one year in the playoffs and he was outstanding. I thought he was the reason why their team beat us. I'm happy to see him have a bit of success. Unfortunately, we don't see too much about the Islanders, but he seems to be taking advantage of that opportunity.
"It's a team that's playing with a lot of confidence right now. In order to have a winning streak, you need to have good goaltending. I'm sure Kevin is doing that for them."
Poulin is coming off back-to-back wins against the Dallas Stars and Toronto Maple Leafs and will make his third consecutive start Friday for an Islanders team that has won five consecutive road games.
Led by John Tavares and Thomas Vanek, the Islanders have been on an offensive tear, scoring 27 goals during a 5-1-0 run. Tavares has seven goals and eight assists in a six-game point streak, while Vanek has five goals and 10 assists in a 10-game streak.
"They're a team that can strike against you, they're a good offensive team," Avalanche center Matt Duchene said. "We want to play hard against them defensively. They're feeling it right now. They're a team that can score a lot of goals. They have a lot of talent offensively."
This will be the second game of a six-game road trip for the Islanders. The Avalanche have gone 4-1-1 in the first six games of their season-long homestand that ends Friday.
Here are the projected lineups for the Islanders and Avalanche: