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Stars-Islanders Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Dallas Stars at New York Islanders
Thursday, January 19
6:00 p.m.  
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (19-19-8) won 7-6 over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night. The Stars fell behind 1-0 just 27 seconds into the game but bounced back to build a 3-1 lead after one period and a 7-3 advantage after two. They then held off a furious Rangers rally in the third to snap a two-game losing streak.

"It's nice to put some pucks in the net," said Stars forward Patrick Sharp, who scored two goals. "It's the third game in a row we've given up a quick one. Credit the power play for getting it right back and then we were able to score quickly after. It's frustrating that we need to score seven goals to win the game, but right now we'll take a win whatever way we can."

The Stars, who had lost 4-1 at Buffalo Monday, improved to 2-3-1 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

Defenseman Johnny Oduya left Tuesday's game midway through the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return. He is out for Thursday's game.

The NHL Department of Player Safety fined Rangers forward Chris Kreider $5,000 - the maximum allowable under the CBA - for hitting Stars forward Cody Eakin with his helmet during a fight.

Thursday's game wraps up a three-game road trip for the Stars.

Injuries: D Johnny Oduya (lower body) is out. D Jamie Oleksiak (hand), C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) and RW Ales Hemsky (hip) are on injured reserve.

About the Islanders

The Islanders (17-17-8) made big news Tuesday, firing head coach Jack Capuano who had been behind the New York bench since Nov. 2010 and led the Islanders to their first playoff series win in 23 years last season. Assistant GM Doug Weight will serve as interim head coach for the Islanders, who currently sit in last place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points.

"Obviously we're not in a position where we want to be standing wise," Islanders GM Garth Snow told reporters on a conference call Tuesday. "At the end of the day organizationally, I don't think Jack was probably going to be a coach that we were going to bring back."

The Islanders last played Monday, winning 4-0 at Boston. The Islanders are 2-2-2 in their past six games.

Thursday's game opens a six-game homestand for the Islanders.

Injuries: F Cal Clutterbuck (lower body) and F Andrew Ladd (upper body) are day to day. D Travis Hamonic (lower body) is on injured reserve.

Season Series

*This is the first of two meetings between the Stars and Islanders.

*The Stars were 1-1-0 vs. the Islanders last season.

*The Stars have lost their past three road games vs. the Islanders.

*Over their past six meetings, the Stars and Islanders have combined for 47 goals (7.83 per game).

Statistical Tidbits

*The Stars are 7-12-4 on the road.

*The Islanders are 11-8-4 at home.

*The Stars are 3-7-3 vs. the Eastern Conference including 2-4-2 against the Metropolitan Division.

*The Islanders are 8-5-3 vs. the Western Conference including 3-2-1 against the Central Division.

*The Stars are 3-11-4 following a win this season.

*The Stars have scored four goals or more in four of their past six games.

*The Islanders have scored four goals or more in eight of their past eleven games.

*The Islanders are 0-14 on the power play over their past five games and have not had a power-play opportunity in two of those games.

*The Stars have allowed 13 power-play goals over the past nine games and are 16-29 (55.2 percent) on the penalty kill during that stretch.

*Tyler Seguin and Patrick Eaves co-lead the Stars with 16 goals.

*John Tavares leads the Islanders with 16 goals.

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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