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Game Preview: Islanders at Sharks

The Islanders kick off a three-game California road trip in San Jose (MSG+, 10:30 p.m.)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha / NewYorkIslanders.com

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (16-3-1) AT SAN JOSE SHARKS (11-11-1)

10:30 PM | SAP CENTER 

WATCH: MSG+ | MSG GO

LISTEN: 88.7FM | 103.9FM


The Isles (16-3-1) made franchise history as they extended their point streak to 16 games with a 4-3 OT victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night. They look to extend their streak as they start a three-game California road trip on Saturday night in San Jose. 

The Islanders are 15-0-1 on their 16-game point streak, which began on Oct. 12 against the Florida Panthers. The team hasn't let it go to their heads, as they've maintained a business-like, day-by-day approach. 

"This group just focuses and stays in the moment," Head Coach Barry Trotz said. "They come to work, they come to compete every night and they give you their best effort. That's the Islander way. That's a reflection on the way we play, that's a reflection on the people we have and that's a reflection on the community we live in."


Video: Morning Skate: Isles at Sharks


MORNING SKATE UPDATES:

- Semyon Varlamov was the first goalie off the ice at the team's optional morning skate at SAP Center. Varlamov has won his past two starts and is 7-2-1 this season with a 2.70 GAA, a .912 SV% and one shutout. 

- Head Coach Barry Trotz did not specify any other changes to the Islanders lineup. 

- Tomas Hertl is a game-time decision for the Sharks, according to Head Coach Pete DeBoer. Hertl missed the Sharks' game on Thursday with a lower-body injury. 

- Martin Jones is the expected starter, per The Athletic's Kevin Kurz. 


ISLES NOTES:

-   The Isles have come from behind in their last three games and won the game in either overtime or a shootout. In total, the Islanders have nine comeback wins on their current streak.

- Brock Nelson scored twice against the Pens, including a power-play goal the overtime-winner. Anthony Beauvillier scored on the power play while Scott Mayfield rounded out the scoring. Thomas Greiss made 23 saves. 

- During the Isles 16-game point streak, 17 different players have scored, and the Isles have split goaltending between Greiss and Semyon Varlamov. 

- The Isles 16-game point streak is the longest in franchise history. During the Cup years, the Isles reached 15 games with a point on three different occasions. 

- Nelson scored his seventh and eighth goals of the season on Thursday. Nelson has is riding a five-game point streak and has scored the game-winner in back-to-back contests. Through 20 games this season, Nelson has 19 points, second-most on the team.  

- Beauvillier has scored a goal in four straight games and has 16 points (8G, 8A) points through 20 games this season. 

- Mayfield scored his third goal of the season on Thursday. The blueliner has five points (2G, 3A) points through 20 games. 

- Mathew Barzal recorded a team-high of three assists on Thursday night. Barzal leads the Islanders in points (20), goals (9) and is tied with Nelson for the lead in assists (11). 

- Semyon Varlamov is due up, if the Islanders continue their goalie rotation on Saturday. Varlamov is 7-2-1 this season with a 2.70 GAA, a .912 SV% and one shutout. 

- The Islanders have alternated starts between Varlamov and Thomas Greiss evenly this season, giving each goalie 10 games. The Isles are the first team since the 2006-07 Sharks to evenly alternate the first 20 games of a season. 

- Matt Martin returned to the lineup for the first time since Oct. 25 after sustaining a lower-body injury that placed him on IR. Martin resumed his spot on the Isles' Identity Line alongside Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck.


SHARKS NOTES:

- After a slow start to the season, the Sharks (11-11-1) have won seven of their last eight games. 

- San Jose defeated their Pacific Division rivals, the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 in overtime on Thursday night. Sharks captain Logan Couture scored the game-winner with 1:40 left in OT while Timo Meier put them on the board in the second period. Aaron Dell turned away 37 shots to record his third win of the season. 

- Couture scored his fourth goal of the season and extended his point streak to five games where he has recorded nine points (2G, 7A) in that span. Couture has 23 points (4G, 19A) in 23 games this season. 

- Meier scored his sixth goal of the season. Through 23 games this season, Meier has 14 points (6G, 8A). 

- Dell has a record of 3-3-0, a goals against average of 3.32, and a save percentage of .897.

- The Sharks No. 1 netminder Martin Jones has a record of 8-8-1, a 3.34 goals against average, and a save percentage of .885.

- The Sharks boast the league's leading penalty kill killing at 90.2%. The Sharks have killed 22 of their last 24 penalties.   

- San Jose recalled forward Antti Suomela on Nov. 19 from AHL affiliate San Jose Barracuda.

- Tomas Hertl did not suit up for the Sharks against Vegas on Thursday night. Hertl is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Hertl is second on the team in goals (10) and points (21).


ISLES VS. SHARKS:

The Islanders and Sharks split their season series 1-1-0 last season. 

The Isles blanked the Sharks 4-0 in the first meeting on Oct. 8, 2018. Anders Lee, Casey Cizikas (shorthanded), Scott Mayfield and Matt Martin scored, while former Islander Robin Lehner made 35 saves in his season debut. Twelve days later, the Sharks bested the Isles 4-1. Brock Nelson scored the Isles sole goal of the game in the first period. 

Overall, the Islanders are 3-1-0 in their last four games against the Sharks. 

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