Goalies Semyon Varlamov and Thomas Greiss are two big reasons why the New York Islanders will try to extend the longest winning streak in the NHL this season to 11 games when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Barclays Center on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV).
Varlamov (5-0-0, 1.58 goals-against average, .947 save percentage, one shutout) and Greiss (5-0-0, 1.80 GAA, .942 save percentage) have alternated starts throughout the winning streak. New York is the third team in NHL history to have goalies alternate starts during a winning streak of at least 10 games. The others: the Boston Bruins in 1970-71 (10-0-0; Eddie Johnston and Gerry Cheevers) and the Buffalo Sabres in 1983-84 (10-0-0; Bob Sauve and Tom Barrasso).
The Islanders' 10-game winning streak is their second-longest since entering the NHL in 1972. The longest was 15 games in 1981-82, tied for third-longest in NHL history. That streak was ended by the Penguins.
Thursday is the first game between the Metropolitan Division rivals since the Islanders completed a four-game sweep of the Penguins in the Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Video: Islanders win 10 straight for 1st time since '82
Capitals visit Panthers, seek sixth straight victory
Despite their winning streak, the Islanders (11-3-0) are second in the Metropolitan Division to the Washington Capitals (11-2-3), who will try for their fifth consecutive victory when they visit the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, NBCSWA, NHL.TV).
The Capitals enter the game 7-1-1 on the road and will try to win eight of their first 10 road games in a season for the third time since entering the NHL in 1974. They were 8-2-0 in 1991-92 and 2015-16.
Washington is trying for its first five-game winning streak of the season. The Capitals have had 23 separate winning streaks of at least five games in the past 10 years, the most of any NHL team during that span. Pittsburgh is next with 22 and the San Jose Sharks are third with 21.
Blues defeat Oilers in battle of Western Conference division leaders
The St. Louis Blues extended the second-longest active winning streak in the NHL to six games by defeating the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 at Rogers Place on Wednesday in a showdown between the two division leaders in the Western Conference.
St. Louis is the seventh consecutive Stanley Cup champion to have at least one winning streak of six or more games in the season after winning the championship, joining the Capitals (two in 2018-19), Penguins (2017-18, 2016-17), Chicago Blackhawks (2015-16, 2013-14) and Los Angeles Kings (two in 2014-15).
The Blues (11-3-3) are an NHL-best 41-13-8 since Jan. 1. They are two wins ahead of the next closest teams, Boston (39-12-7) and the Carolina Hurricanes (39-17-3). St. Louis also leads the NHL this season with eight comeback wins.
Tyler Bozak and Ivan Barbashev scored shorthanded goals 26 seconds apart in the final minutes to set a Blues record for the fastest two shorthanded goals in team history.
DeAngelo, Panarin power Rangers past Red Wings
Tony DeAngelo and Artemi Panarin each had a goal and an assist for the New York Rangers in a 5-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden. It's the third time this season the Rangers have scored at least five goals. They scored six against the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 3 and the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 24.
DeAngelo opened the scoring with his fifth goal of the season. It's the ninth time a Rangers defenseman has scored five goals in his first 13 games of a season and first since Brian Leetch scored five in 1988-89. Ron Greschner (six in 1980-81) is the only Rangers defenseman with more goals in that span.
Panarin extended his point streak to six games and leads the Rangers with 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 13 games. He's the fifth Rangers player in the past 10 years to produce at a point-per-game pace through his first 13 games with New York.