Preview: Senators at Islanders
A disappointing 1-3-0 start to the season is long forgotten as the New York Islanders go after their 10th straight victory Tuesday night when the improving Ottawa Senators pay a visit to the Barclays Center. The Islanders finished off an impressive back-to-back with a 5-2 home victory over reigning Presidents’ Trophy winner Tampa Bay before blanking Buffalo on Saturday 1-0 as Derick Brassard scored for the fifth consecutive game.
“Everybody is playing for each other,” New York coach Barry Trotz told reporters. “Make it hard on whoever you play. Play the way we need to play against the team we’re playing because everybody is different. Understand the situation and be fully committed to doing your job. They know they have to rely on each other and they do.” The Islanders have allowed a total of 16 goals during their historic streak, which matches the longest since 1989-90, and won at Ottawa 4-2 on Oct. 25 to extend their winning streak in the series to five. The Senators have won two of three since that setback, scoring five times in a win over San Jose on Oct. 27 and knocking off the New York Rangers 6-2 on Monday as they recorded five straight goals after allowing the first of the contest. Left wing Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist in the latest victory and registered five of his eight points this season in the last three games while Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored twice.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, RDS2, TSN5 (Ottawa), MSG Plus (New York)
ABOUT THE SENATORS (4-8-1): Pageau’s performance Monday tied him for the team lead in goals with Anthony Duclair and Vladislav Namestnikov at five while fellow forward Connor Brown had an assist and tops the club with 12 points. Center Artem Anisimov, out since Oct. 21 with a lower-body injury, could return to the lineup as soon as Tuesday and veteran right wing Bobby Ryan had one shot against the Rangers after being a healthy scratch the past two contests. Anders Nilsson turned aside 32 shots for his second victory of the season Monday and Craig Anderson (2-5-0, .900 save percentage) will likely face the Islanders.
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (10-3-0): Center Mathew Barzal combined to post 40 goals and 107 assists over the previous two seasons, but has scored a team-high six times with five helpers early on in 2019-20. “I think I’m still a pass-first guy,” Barzal told Newsday. “Thirty goals. I’ve never been there before. It’s not necessarily a goal of mine. If I can one day reach the mark and solidify myself as a guy that can put the puck in the net and dish the puck, that’s kind of what I want to evolve into.” Forward Josh Bailey has seven points in seven games to tie Barzal for the team lead (11) and is one assist shy of 300 for his career.
1. The Senators were 2-for-6 on the power play Monday after converting 2-of-42 attempts in the season’s first 12 games.
2. New York D Nick Leddy could miss his second straight contest Tuesday with a lower-body injury.
3. Ottawa D Ron Hainsey scored his first goal with the Senators on Monday and boasts a plus-4 rating in the last three games.
PREDICTION: Islanders 4, Senators 1