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Game Preview: Islanders at Stars

The Islanders kick off a three-game road trip in Dallas (9 p.m., MSG+2)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha /




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After a rousing 3-2 OT win over the Vegas on Thursday, the New York Islanders are embarking on a tough three-game road trip through Texas and Florida, starting on Saturday night against the Dallas Stars. 

The Islanders and Stars own the distinction of being two teams who have posted lengthy point streaks early this season. The Islanders franchise-record 17-game point streak was the longest in the NHL this season, while the Stars rattled of a 12-game point streak of their own from Oct. 29 to Nov. 25.

Each team has a chance to begin a new streak, as both teams are coming in off a win in their previous game. 


- The Isles returned to NYCB Live Nassau Coliseum for the first time since Nov. 13 on Thursday and defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 in overtime. Cal Clutterbuck and Brock Nelson scored in regulation, while Ryan Pulock potted the overtime-winner on a power play with 1:40 remaining. Semyon Varlamov turned away 31 shots to claim his ninth win of the season. 

- Clutterbuck scored his third goal of the season. Clutterbuck suffered a cross check to the mouth against Montreal on Tuesday night and did not return after the first period, but said he felt better ahead of Thursday's game against Vegas. Clutterbuck logged 12:31 time on ice, threw five hits, and had one shot.  

- Nelson scored his ninth goal of the season. Nelson has 21 points through 27 games this season and is second on the Isles leaderboard in goals and points behind Mathew Barzal who has a team-high 24 points (11G, 13A).  

- Pulock scored his fourth goal of the season and second game-winning goal. The overtime conversion was Pulock's second OT marker of his career. Through 27 games this season, Pulock leads all Isles blueliners with 14 points (4G, 10A).  

- The power-play goal in overtime was just the 16th in Isles history and first since Josh Bailey did so against Carolina during Coach Trotz's first game as Islander head coach on Oct. 4, 2018.  

- Josh Bailey assisted on Pulock's OT goal and advanced his point streak to four games (0G, 5A). In the process, Bailey passed Bob Bourne for 10th place on the all-time Isles assist list. Bailey has 19 points (7G, 12A) through 27 games this season.  

- Varlamov improved his record to 9-3-2. Varlamov has a goals against average of 2.35 and a save percentage of .923.  

- The Islanders are first team since the Sharks in 2006-07 to alternate starting goalies for each of the first 27 games of the season. Thomas Greiss has split the pipes with Varlamov. Greiss has a record 10-3-0, a 2.18 goals against average and a save percentage of .931. 

- The Isles are 5-2-0 in overtime this season - or as Trotz says, comfortable in uncomfortable situations.  

- The Isles have won seven-straight games at the Coliseum and are 8-2-0 overall at the Coli this season. 

- Tom Kuhnhackl was placed on LTIR on Thursday, as he is recovering from a lower-body injury that he sustained on Oct. 25 against Ottawa. Kuhnhackl will join the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for games on Dec. 6 against Utica on Dec. 7 against Syracuse.  

- Otto Koivula was returned to Bridgeport on Friday. Koivula was recalled on Nov. 12 and appeared in six games - including his NHL debut on Nov. 16 - during his recall. 

Video: Practice Update 12/6: Barry Trotz


- The Stars open a four-game homestand against the Islanders on Saturday night. Dallas is coming off of a 3-2 overtime win over Winnipeg on Thursday. Jamie Benn and Denis Gurianov scored in regulation, while Joe Pavelski scored the overtime winner on the power play at 2:02. Ben Bishop made 36 saves.  

- Benn scored his sixth goal of the season. Through 30 games this season, Benn has 15 points (6G, 9A).  

- Gurianov scored his fifth goal of the season. Through 25 games this season Gurianov has nine points (5G, 4A).  

- Pavelski scored his sixth goal of the season to break a nine-game scoreless drought. The goal was his second game-winning goal of the season. Through 30 games with his new club, Pavelski has 13 points. Pavelski played the previous 13 seasons with the San Jose Sharks.  

- Miro Heiskanen recorded two assists against Winnipeg. Through 30 games this season, the sophomore blueliner has 20 points (7G, 13A). Heiskanen has three points (1G, 2A) in his last two games.  

- Tyler Seguin recorded two assists against Winnipeg. Seguin leads the Stars in assists (17) and points (23) through 30 games played.  

- Bishop earned his 10th win of the season to improve his record to 10-6-2. Bishop, who was nominated for the Vezina Trophy last year, has a goals against average of 2.19 and a save percentage of .929. 

- Stars forward Alexander Radulov was scratched for Thursday's win. Radulov has 15 points (8G, 7A) in 29 games this season. 

- After winning seven games straight, the Stars fell into a four-game skid, up until edging Winnipeg in OT on Thursday. The Stars are ranked fourth in the Central Division with 35 points, just won point behind Winnipeg (36) and have posted a record of 16-11-3.  

Video: Lee, Islanders top Stars, 3-1


The Isles split their season series with the Stars last season, with the road team taking each contest.

The Islanders rallied from a 1-0 deficit to take a 3-1 decision against the Stars on Dec. 23 at American Airlines Center. Anders Lee scored on the power play while Casey Cizikas and Leo Komarov also found the back of the net. Devon Toews made his NHL debut in the contest. 

Dallas beat the Islanders 6-2 on Nov. 18, 2018 at Barclays Center. The Radulov-Benn-Seguin line combined for three goals and nine points in the win. 

The Islanders are 4-2-1 in their last seven trips to Dallas. 

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