NEW YORK ISLANDERS (28-15-4) VS ANAHEIM DUCKS (21-19-9)
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SEASON SERIES: NYI TRAILS 0-1-0
The Ducks beat the Islanders 4-1 on Oct. 17 in Anaheim. Ryan Kesler scored two goals for the Ducks, while John Gibson stopped 34-of-35 shots in the win. Casey Cizikas scored the lone goal for the Islanders, ending Gibson's shutout bid with 35 seconds to play. The Ducks have won the last three meetings between the clubs.
- The Islanders (60 points) moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division with a 2-0 win over the Washington Capitals on Friday night. This is the first time since March 10, 2015 the Islanders have been in first place after the midpoint of the season - and only the second time since the 1990-91 season.
The Islanders lead the Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets (59 points each) by one point. Barry Trotz has emphasized that nothing is assured in January, but that his team's mantra is to keep climbing.
"We talked about climbing and it just happened that the Caps were the next team in front of us," Trotz said. "Two weeks ago we were talking about Buffalo and other teams like Montreal. We said, let's just keep climbing, don't look up, just keep going and the guys have been really good."
- The Islanders have won four straight games and are 14-3-0 in their last 17 contests - the best record in the NHL since Dec. 15. This marks the first time since the 1989-90 season the Islanders had won 14 of 17.
- Per NHL PR: Through 47 games, the Islanders lead the NHL with only 119 goals against (including three shootout-deciding goals). At the same point last season the club had allowed 173 goals against, the most in the League.
- Goaltender Robin Lehner is 10-1-0 in his last 11 games, allowing 15 goals over that span. Lehner is 14-7-3 this season with a league-leading 2.11 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage with two shutouts.
- Thomas Greiss is also heating up, winning his last two starts, including a 19-save shutout over the Washington Capitals on Friday. Greiss is 14-8-1 with a 2.50 GAA, a .920 SV% and two shutouts.
- Josh Bailey, who scored the game-winning goal on Friday, has points in five of his last six games (3G, 2A). Bailey's next assist will move him into sole possession of 13th on the Islanders all-time assists list. He is currently tied with Bobby Nystrom with 278 helpers.
ANAHEIM DUCKS NOTES:
- After enduring a 12-game losing streak, the Ducks have won two straight games, beating Minnesota 3-0 on Thursday and New Jersey 3-2 on Saturday. Sunday's game ends a five-game road trip for the Ducks.
- The Ducks made a series of trades last week. Andrew Cogliano was dealt to Dallas for Devin Shore. Michael Del Zotto was acquired from Vancouver for Luke Schenn. Pontus Aberg was traded to Minnesota for Justin Kloos. Former Duck Derek Grant was re-acquired from Pittsburgh in exchange for Joseph Blandisi.
- Despite the 12-game slide, the Ducks (51 points) are still in the mix for a Western Conference playoff seed, tied with the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card berth. The Wild have played one fewer game.
- Ryan Getzlaf leads the Ducks with 32 points (10G, 22A) in 43 games this season. Jakob Silfverberg leads the Ducks with 12 goals.
- Corey Perry is still recovering from offseason knee surgery and will not play on Sunday.
- Troy Terry scored his first NHL goal on Saturday in New Jersey. The Ducks recalled the 2015 fifth-round pick - and Team USA World Junior standout - on Jan. 16.