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Stars-Islanders Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars at New York Islanders

Saturday, October 25, 2014
6:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (4-1-2) ran their points streak to five games (4-0-1) and their road winning streak to three games with a 3-2 shootout win in New Jersey Friday. The Stars, who had allowed 83 shots in their previous two games, held New Jersey to 27 shots.

“Tonight was our best game overall,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “It looked a lot like how we played last year. We eliminated a lot of the mistakes. We got puck out and put some pressure on in the neutral zone. We were a lot more diligent with assignments.”

The Stars shook off a controversial goal by New Jersey that tied the game in the third period. It was the second this season they have overcome a tough call. Last week they bounced back to beat Pittsburgh with two late goals after having a game-tying goal waved off.

“We have faced some adversity in games and we’ve been able to keep our composure,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “That Pittsburgh game was a good example. And then tonight, as a coach, it is something you like to see. We just went back to work.”

Saturday’s game concludes a two-game road trip for the Stars.

Injuries: RW Valeri Nichushkin (groin/hip), D Sergei Gonchar (ankle) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm laceration) are out.

About the Islanders

The Islanders (5-2-0) won 3-2 at Boston Thursday, snapping a two-game losing streak. Kyle Okposo and Cal Clutterbuck scored second period goals to give the Islanders a 3-1 lead over the Bruins.

"It's just one of those things that we had a discussion about. We don't want to lose two in a row and we ended up losing two in a row," Clutterbuck said. "It was important for us to get back on the right track and dig in here, come out with a good effort.”

The Islanders lost forward Josh Bailey to a broken hand during the game. He’s expected to miss several weeks. Forward Michael Grabovski, who has been out with a concussion, skated on a line and a power play unit during Friday’s practice. He is questionable for Saturday.

Saturday’s game begins a two-game homestand for the Islanders.

Injuries: F Michael Grabovski (concussion) is questionable. D Travis Hamonic (upper body) is day to day. F Josh Bailey (hand), F Michael Grabner (lower body) and D Matt Carkner (back) are out.

Series Notes

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

*The Stars were 0-2-0 (0 points) vs. the Islanders last season.

*The Islanders were 2-0-0 (4 points) vs. the Stars last season.

*The Stars are 37-49-18 all-time vs. the Islanders.

Statistical tidbits

*The Islanders rank third in the NHL in scoring at 3.43 per game.

*The Stars rank fifth in the NHL in scoring at 3.29 per game.

*Stars forward Tyler Seguin and Islanders center John Tavares are tied for second in the league in scoring with 11 points. Seguin has 5 goals and 6 assists. Tavares has 3 goals and 8 assists.

*Seguin has points in five straight games (5 goals, 6 assists).

*Stars captain Jamie Benn has goals in five straight games.

*Stars center Jason Spezza has points in four straight games (1 goal, 7 assists).

*The Stars are 6-23 (26.1 percent) on the power play, have scored with the man-advantage in four straight games and in five of seven games this season.

*The Islanders are 7-28 (25.0 percent) on the power play and have scored with the man-advantage in five of their seven games.

*Heading into Friday’s games, the Islanders ranked last in the league on the penalty kill at 68.2 percent (15-22).

*The Stars are 19-25 (76.0 percent) on the penalty kill.

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