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Game Preview: Islanders vs Stars

The Islanders and Stars meet in Brooklyn (7 p.m., MSG+)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha / NewYorkIslanders.com

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (29-15-6) VS DALLAS STARS (30-18-4)

7 PM | BARCLAYS CENTER | BUY TICKETS

WATCH: MSG+ | MSG GO

LISTEN: 88.7FM | 103.9FM | 1050AM


In their first game back from their 10-day break, the New York Islanders picked up one point in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday afternoon. Brock Nelson sent the game into overtime with 25.1 seconds left in regulation, while Michael Dal Colle and Jordan Eberle also scored. Thomas Greiss made 20 saves in his third-straight start. 

In the middle of their Metro road swing, Dallas defeated the Rangers 5-3 on Monday night in the first leg of their back-to-back with New York teams. Joe Pavelski scored two power-play goals on the same power play, while Stephen Johns, Blake Comeau and Corey Perry also scored. Anton Khudobin made 29 saves. 


MORNING SKATE UPDATES: 

- Semyon Varlamov was the first goaltender off at morning skate is and is the projected starter to face the Stars. Varlamov has made 27 starts this season and has a record of 15-8-4. With the 10-day breaak and Thomas Greiss stringing together three straight starts, Varlamov last started between the pipes on Jan. 18. 

- Kieffer Bellows will make his NHL debut tonight, Head Coach Barry Trotz confirmed to the media on Tuesday morning.

Bellows, the 19th-overall pick in 2016 leads Bridgeport in goals (16) and points (24) this season and is slated to play with Derick Brassard and Michael Dal Colle. Bellows will make his NHL debut against the team that his father and former NHLer Brian Bellows spent 10 years playing for from 1982-92 (the Minnesota North Stars) back before the franchise moved to Dallas.

 "[I've been looking forward to this day] ever since I was a kid," Bellows said. "You dream of playing in your first NHL game. I'm just going to go out there, work hard, learn from my linemates, listen to the coaches and play reliable in all three zones."



ISLANDERS NOTES:

-   Nelson scored his team-leading 21st goal of the season and had one assist. The center has goals in back-to-back games with three points (2G, 1A) during that span. Nelson has 40 points (21G, 19A) through 50 games, which ranks second on the Islanders. 

-   Dal Colle scored his third goal of the season. The winger has eight points (3G, 5A) through 36 games this season. 

-   Eberle found the back of the net for the eighth time this season and has points (1G, 1A) in back-to-back games. Eberle has scored five times in the last nine games bringing the winger's totals to 25 points (8G, 17A) through 40 games this season. 

-   Greiss made his 23rd start of the season. The German netminder has a record of 14-7-2, a 2.50 goals against average and a .922 save percentage. 

-   For the third time this season, the Isles did not take a penalty. The Isles did draw two penalties, but their power play went 0-for-2 against the Canucks. In the NHL, the Isles power play is ranked 19th overall at 19.1%. 

-   Through 50 games this season, the Isles have a record of 29-15-6 which is identical to their record through 50 games last season. 

-   Kieffer Bellows was recalled from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Monday morning. The recall is the first of his career. Bellows leads the Sound Tigers in goals (16) and points (24) and was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for December as he scored 10 goals in 11 games during the month. Bellows was selected by the Islanders in the first round (19th overall) of 2016.

-   Bellows practiced on a line with Derick Brassard, with Dal Colle and Tom Kuhnhackl rotating in on the right wing. Head Coach Barry Trotz did not specify if Bellows would be in the lineup for Tuesday's game. 

"It's such an honor and a privilege to be here," Bellows said. "It's super exciting. I'm just trying to come here work hard, play my game and do the little things in practice. Whenever my opportunity is available, I'll be ready."


Video: Practice 2/3: Barry Trotz
STARS NOTES: 

-   Pavelski scored his 10th and 11th goals of the season 16 seconds apart in the second period, both on the power play. Pavelski now has five power-play goals this season. Pavelski has goals in back-to-back games; scoring three times in that span. The center has 22 points through 52 games with his new club. 

-   Comeau scored his seventh goal of the season. The former Islander has 13 points (7G, 6A) through 38 games. 

-   Perry scored his fourth goal of the season. Through 40 games, Perry has 15 points (4G, 11A) in his first year in Dallas.  

-   Khudobin made his 18th start and improved his record to 12-7-1. The netminder has a 2.33 goals against average and a save percentage of .927%. 

-   Roope Hintz drew back into the lineup for the first time since Jan. 27. The 23-year-old Swedish winger was sidelined with an upper-body-injury. Through 43 games this season, Hintz has 24 points (15G, 9A) and is tied for Dallas' lead in goals.

-   Tyler Seguin leads the Stars with 39 points (11G, 28A) in 52 games. Alexander Radulov and Hintz lead Dallas with 15 goals. 

-   Ben Bishop is 18-11-3 this season with a 2.31 GAA, a .925 SV% and two shutouts. 

-   After a 2-7-1 start to the season, the Stars have gone 28-11-3 and currently sit second in the Central Division.

-   Justin Dowling was placed on IR on Jan. 31 with an undisclosed injury. The center had six points (3G, 3A) through 27 games. 

-   In the NHL, the Stars have the second-lowest goals against average at 2.49 per game. 

-   Dallas also has the sixth-best penalty kill unit in the NHL at 83.3%. Against the Rangers, the Stars PK unit went 2-for-4. 

-   Dallas is fourth-best in the NHL at the faceoff circle with a faceoff win percentage of 52.5%. However, against the Rangers, the Stars were 45%. 

-   Dallas has won three of its last four games. 


ISLES VS. STARS:

The Stars claimed the first meeting of the season series over the Isles with a 3-1 result at American Airlines Center on Dec. 7. Mathew Barzal scored the Isles sole goal of the game while Thomas Greiss made 34 saves. 

Dallas has won four of the past five meetings between the teams.

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