NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, January 6th (All times Eastern)
Dallas Stars (20-14-7) at New York Islanders (14-22-7), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Islanders will try to return to the win column on Monday when they host the Dallas Stars in an interconference battle at Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders earned their longest winning streak of the season recently by winning three straight, but they were denied a fourth consecutive victory in Saturday's 3-2 regulation loss against visiting Carolina.
New York was done in by a poor second period on Saturday. The game was scoreless after 20 minutes but the Hurricanes would hold a 3-1 cushion by the end of the middle stanza.
Thomas Vanek had a goal and an assist and John Tavares also lit the lamp for the Islanders, who were trying for their first four-game winning streak since Feb. 10-15, 2011. Evgeni Nabokov made 27 saves but allowed all three goals in the setback.
"We've played good hockey. These are losses that hurt us. We have to rebound and get ready for Monday," Vanek said.
The Isles are just 6-9-7 as the host this season and are capping a three-game homestand tonight.
The Stars enter Monday's tilt on a two-game slide, but Dallas hopes to get back on track against an Islanders team it has beaten in five of the last six meetings. Dallas also has won four straight at the Coliseum, but the teams haven't met since the Stars notched a 3-2 regulation win on Long Island back on Dec. 15, 2011.
Dallas has surrendered 11 goals over its last two losses, which both came in regulation to drop the club to 2-2-1 on a five-game homestand. The Stars lost a 6-4 decision Thursday against Montreal and were pounded 5-1 on Saturday by the Detroit Red Wings, who played without star forward Pavel Datsyuk.
Rich Peverley had a short-handed goal for Dallas, which is beginning a three- game road trip on Monday. The Stars are 11-8-2 as the guest this season and also will face the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers during this swing.
Dan Ellis allowed three goals on 13 shots in the first period on Saturday before being pulled. Kari Lehtonen gave up two on 14 shots after that. Ellis, who stopped Justin Abdelkader on a penalty shot, absorbed the loss after leaving the game with his team down 3-1 after 20 minutes.
"Those were frustrating," said Peverley about Detroit's three first-period goals. "We could have done things to avoid those goals but we can learn from these games."
In addition to getting routed by Detroit, the Stars also lost defenseman Aaron Rome to an upper-body injury in the setback. Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff said Rome could miss the next week of action.
However, the Stars could have veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar back in the lineup tonight after the Russian blueliner missed the last six games with concussion symptoms. Ruff said he expects Gonchar, who has 12 assists in 35 games this season, to return on Monday.
"I would expect Sergei to be back on the Island," Ruff said on Saturday. "He was actually hoping maybe for tonight. My feelings were hold him out, get him real good skate today, another real good practice and he'll be over it."
The Stars are 9-3-2 in their last 14 road games.
01/06 10:43:28 ET