NHL: Islanders seek better start vs. potent Stars


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Following a successful road stretch, the high-scoring Dallas Stars try to hand the visiting New York Islanders a second straight defeat on Saturday night.

Given the Stars’ potent offense, the Islanders can’t afford another rough opening period.

Sitting atop the Central Division with 22 points, Dallas ranks among the NHL leaders with 66 goals. The Stars have totaled 38 of those goals while going 5-2-1 in November, and scored at least four in each of the last four games.

Roope Hintz scored twice while Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin each had a goal with an assist during Thursday’s 6-4 win at Florida to cap a 2-0-1 road trip.

“It was a good road trip for us,” said Hintz, who has six goals with nine assists during a 10-game point streak. “Now, we just got to go back home, and keep working, and try to get wins there.”

Dallas is 4-2-0 at home, where it will play nine of the next 11.

The Islanders, who also have 22 points, are 5-4-0 on the road, and look to rebound from Thursday’s 5-4 loss at Nashville.

They fell behind 3-1 after the first period, and trailed 4-1 before making it a one-goal game late.

New York has been outscored 12-9 in the first period this season, but has compensated that by owning a 30-16 goal-advantage in the third.

“We just have to be ready to go from the start in Dallas, and build on the last 30 minutes against the Predators,” Islanders forward Noah Dobson said.

New York is 9-3-0 since Oct. 26 and has not dropped back-to-back games since losing three in a row from Oct. 20-23.

“We believe in one another here, so we just keep pushing,” forward Casey Cizikas said. “We keep moving forward and we keep getting better as the game goes on.”

New York is in a good position to rebound from Thursday’s loss since Dallas has yielded 20 goals in the last five contests. Since missing four games with a lower-body injury, the Stars’ Jake Oettinger has a 3.80 goals-against average in his last four outings.

Oettinger stopped 19-of-21 shots in relief of Scott Wedgewood, who was stretchered off the ice on Thursday with a lower-body injury. Wedgewood’s status for the weekend remains unknown, according to Stars coach Peter DeBoer.

Meanwhile, New York’s Ilya Sorokin has made 26 saves in each of his last three starts, but allowed eight goals in splitting the two most recent. Teammate Semyon Varlamov is 4-2-0 with a 2.77 goals-against average this season.

Though the Islanders’ Mathew Barzal has not scored in 2022-23, he’s the team leader in points with his 19 assists through 18 games. He had a five-game point streak against Dallas snapped during New York’s 3-2 road defeat from April.

The Stars’ Jason Robertson has nine goals and 10 assists during his own 10-game point streak, but was held without a point in both meetings with the Islanders last season. Hintz has two points in five career games versus New York.

–Field Level Media


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