(SportsNetwork.com) – The New York Islanders will try to continue their
fantastic start to the season on Thursday when they shoot for a home-and-home
sweep of the Ottawa Senators.
After recording a 3-2 overtime win in Tuesday’s home portion, the Islanders
hope to complete the sweep of the Senators tonight at Canadian Tire Centre.
Tuesday’s victory was New York’s second straight and 12th in 14 games.
The surprising Islanders enter Thursday tied with Pittsburgh for the
Metropolitan Division lead. The Penguins also play tonight in a home test
against the Vancouver Canucks.
While New York attempts to add to its win total, the Senators are hoping to
halt a three-game slide tonight and win for just the second time in seven
Ottawa was able to grind out a point on Tuesday, as Clarke MacArthur sent the
game to OT with a game-tying goal at 11:14 of the third period.
However, luck would be on the Islanders’ side in the extra session, as Thomas
Hickey scored off an opponent’s skate 3:06 into OT to deliver two points for
New York. Hickey’s wrap-around on the left side crossed the crease and
deflected off Ottawa defenseman Cody Ceci’s left skate before going in.
The Isles improved to 8-0 in overtime and shootout games this season and
pushed their home winning streak to seven games.
Jaroslav Halak made 16 saves and extended his personal winning streak to 10
games to tie the franchise record set by Billy Smith in the 1981-82 season.
Halak, who expects to start tonight, also improved to 4-5-2 with a 2.77 in
his career against Ottawa.
Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome added goals for New York.
“I thought we played great,” said Islanders coach Jack Capuano. “That’s a good
hockey team. Their top six is as good as anyone’s.”
Mike Hoffman also scored for the Senators, who fell to 1-4-1 in their last six
games. Craig Anderson gave up three goals on 28 shots.
Ottawa went 1-3-1 on a five-game road trip, so Senators coach Paul MacLean was
happy with the point.
“I think it’s a huge point for us to pick up on the road,” he said. “Any time
you pick up a point on the road it’s a big thing. We end this road trip
getting something out of it.”
The Sens are 5-2-3 as the host this season and have lost two straight and four
of their last six home games against the Islanders. New York has claimed
three of four overall in this series.
Anderson fell to 6-5-3 with a 2.53 GAA in his career against the Isles after
Tuesday’s loss. He will get the start again tonight.
Ottawa’s next game is set for Saturday in Pittsburgh. The Isles also will play
next on Saturday when they host the St. Louis Blues.