(SportsNetwork.com) – The New York Islanders try to get another winning streak
going on Saturday night as they return home to take on the Dallas Stars.
The Islanders got off to a surprising 4-0 start to the season before getting
grounded a bit with consecutive losses to Pittsburgh and Toronto. However, New
York avoided a third straight defeat as it bested the Boston Bruins 3-2 on
Former Bruins backstop Chad Johnson made 14 of his 30 saves in the third
period to lead the Islanders, while Johnny Boychuk returned to Boston for the
first time since getting traded to the Islanders on Oct. 4.
Boychuk, who has two goals and six points through seven games, skated in just
over 23 minutes of ice time against his former club and had one shot on net.
“It was a tough game, looking across the ice and playing against your
friends,” Boychuk said. “But when you’re on the ice, it’s business. I’m glad
we got the two points and we’re looking forward to the next game.”
Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen and Cal Clutterbuck scored for the Islanders.
New York saw a swap at defense, with Lubomir Visnovsky making his season debut
after sitting out the first six games due to a back injury. He stepped in for
Travis Hamonic, who did not play because of an upper-body injury.
The defenseman could sit out again tonight and the Islanders also lost forward
Josh Bailey to a broken hand suffered versus the Bruins.
However, forward Mikhail Grabovski practiced on Friday and could return to
action tonight for New York. He has missed the past three games with a
The Stars come to town riding a five-game point streak that was extended with
Friday’s 3-2 shootout victory over the hosting New Jersey Devils. Jamie Benn
and Jason Spezza scored in the tiebreaker and Kari Lehtonen did not allow a
goal in the two rounds.
Benn and Patrick Eaves scored in regulation and Lehtonen finished with 25
saves as Dallas improved to 4-0-1 in its last five games while impressing head
coach Lindy Ruff.
“I thought tonight was by far our best game overall,” Ruff said. “It looked a
lot like how we played last year. We eliminated a lot of the mistakes.”
Benn scored in his fifth straight game, while Tyler Seguin and Spezza extended
point streaks with assists on the tally. Seguin has five goals and six assists
over a five-game run, while Spezza has posted a goal and seven helpers in his
last four games.
The Islanders won both meetings with the Stars a season ago, with their 7-4
victory on Jan. 6 snapping a four-game series home losing streak.