Isles shoot for 7th straight road win vs. struggling Stars
(SportsNetwork.com) - While the Dallas Stars stumbled on their most recent road trip, the New York Islanders have been racking up victories away from Long Island.
The Isles try to secure a seventh straight road win on Sunday night when they battle the Stars for the second time in a week.
New York has claimed the first two of a six-game road trip and has not lost as the road team since Dec. 12 in Phoenix. That's not bad for an Islanders team that dropped 10 in a row as the guest during a span that lasted most of November and into early December.
The Isles won for the sixth time in seven games overall with Friday's 2-1 overtime victory versus the Colorado Avalanche. Brock Nelson scored a tying goal with 4:28 to play in regulation and Michael Grabner netted a goal 1:46 into overtime.
The speedy forward raced down the left side to corral a puck sent off the boards by Brian Strait and skated in close on Colorado's Semyon Varlamov, who withstood the initial chance. Grabner quickly pounced on the loose disc, however, and worked to get a good look before ripping a well-placed shot that found its way through traffic in front.
"I just got on the ice," said Grabner. "Got the puck off the glass and won the race to get open in the slot. First one I tried to go backhand, got it the second time, shot it high glove-side and it went in."
Kevin Poulin contributed with 30 saves as the Isles have won six straight on the road for the first time since Oct. 5-26, 2001.
New York won despite Thomas Vanek having a career-high 10-game point streak snapped and John Tavares failing to log a point for the first time in eight games.
Tavares helped kick start New York's current three-game win streak with a hat trick and five points in a 7-3 home win over Dallas last Monday. Vanek had two assists.
Evgeni Nabokov left in the first period with a lower-body injury and has since been placed on injured reserve. Poulin made 13 saves on 15 shots faced in relief.
The Islanders' victory was just their second in the past seven meetings with the Stars and they claimed a 5-4 win in their last trip to Dallas on Dec. 3, 2011.
Kari Lehtonen allowed all seven goals on 43 shots in the setback, but was much more solid in a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Friday. He came up with 31 saves, but Dallas still lost a season-high fifth game in a row.
The Stars were outscored 11-5 on a three-game swing that featured games versus the Islanders, New Jersey Devils and Rangers.
"It's a great way to judge a person's character when you're dealing with adversity. We're dealing with it right now," said Stars head coach Lindy Ruff. "That's painful when you battle all game long and one goes in with two minutes left. But you've got to get over it. We've got to move on."
Cody Eakin and Ryan Garbutt each had a goal and an assist for the Stars, while Tyler Seguin, who leads the club with 21 goals and 41 points, went without a point for a fourth game in a row.
The Stars will try to rebound during a span that sees them play three straight and eight of their next 10 at home.
Lehtonen is 5-4-1 with a 4.11 goals against average in 11 career starts versus the Isles.
01/12 08:39:54 ET