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Stars-Islanders Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Sunday, January 3

4:00 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

The Stars (28-8-4) lost 3-2 in overtime at New Jersey Saturday. The Stars rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the third period to force extra playing time, but New Jersey defenseman John Moore scored on the power play to give the Devils the extra point.

“It was a good point,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “You’ve got to find ways to win when you are down, find ways to get points. We found a point.”

The Stars lost their third straight game on the road (0-1-2) and are 1-2-3 in their past six road games.

Sunday’s game is the second of a three-game road trip for Dallas.

Injuries: F Valeri Nichushkin (lower body) is day to day. F Ales Hemsky (lower body) is on injured reserve.

The Islanders (21-13-5) lost 5-2 at Pittsburgh Saturday. The Penguins outshot the Islanders 20-12 in the first period and built a 2-0 lead and then extended the lead to 5-0 in the second period. Pittsburgh scored twice on the power play and once shorthanded.

“They came out with some good jump and got an early goal, but special teams hurt us tonight, and I thought that's what really tilted the game,” Islanders captain John Tavares said. "But we had 40 shots, and I think we only had maybe one or two on our only power play. So, we had chances and certainly got behind the eight-ball.”

The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Islanders.

The Islanders play five of their next six games at home.

Injuries: G Jean-Francois Berube (lower body), G Jaroslav Halak (upper body) and D Johnny Boychuk (upper body) are on injured reserve.

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

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

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

*The Islanders are 3-0-1 in their past four games vs. Dallas.

*The Stars are the only team in the NHL that has not lost consecutive games this season.

*The Stars are 4-1-1 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

*The Stars are 15-5-1 vs. the Eastern Conference, including 8-1-1 vs. the Metropolitan Division.

*The Islanders are 11-4-1 vs. the Western Conference, including 4-2-1 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars rank first in the NHL in scoring at 3.45 goals per game.

*The Islanders are tied for seventh in goals against at 2.36 goals per game.

*The Stars have failed to score on the power play in four of the past five games.

*The Islanders are 1-14 on the power play over the past six games.

*The Islanders rank third in the NHL on the penalty kill at 86.0 percent.

*The Stars rank fourth on the power play at 22.8 percent.

*Stars forward Patrick Sharp is on an eight-game points streak (5 goals, 6 assists).

*Stars captain Jamie Benn leads the NHL with 24 goals and ranks second with 52 points.

*Stars center Tyler Seguin is tied for second in the league with 23 goals and is third with 50 points.

*John Tavares leads the Islanders in goals (15) and points (29).

This story was not subject to the 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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