Preview: NY Islanders at Ottawa
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 5, 2015
Where: Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario
The New York Islanders attempt to extend their winning streak to five games when they begin a three-game road trip against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. After ending November with regulation victories over Tampa Bay and Colorado, New York has begun the new month with shootout triumphs over the crosstown-rival Rangers and St. Louis.
The Islanders have earned points in each of their last six contests, going 5-0-1 with each contest being decided by fewer than three goals. Ottawa has split the first two contests of its three-game homestand, dropping a 4-2 decision to Philadelphia on Tuesday before edging Chicago in overtime two nights later. The Senators have won five of their last seven games, scoring four or more goals in four of the victories, and earned points in eight of the last 10 contests (6-2-2). New York won two of its three meetings with Ottawa last season, with all three games being one-goal decisions.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, MSG Plus (New York), CITY (Ottawa)
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (15-8-4): Mikhail Grabovski has not provided much offense for New York this season, but he had the Blues’ number. The 31-year-old German-born Belirusian scored the overtime winner at St. Louis on Oct. 24 before netting his fifth goal of the campaign at 6:39 of the third period Friday to forge a tie. Frans Nielsen’s goal-scoring drought reached five games Friday, but the 31-year-old Dane went on to net the decisive shootout tally.
ABOUT THE SENATORS (13-7-5): Captain Erik Karlsson has been on fire of late, collecting five goals and 12 assists over his last 11 games. The 25-year-old Swedish defenseman is averaging nearly an assist per game as he leads the team with 29 points in 25 contests. Mike Hoffman’s overtime winner was his fifth tally in three games and capped his fourth two-goal effort of the season – third in five contests.
1. Hoffman has registered six multi-point performances in his last 10 games.
2. Nielsen and teammate Kyle Okposo, who converted the Islanders’ second attempt Friday, are each 3-for-4 in shootouts this season.
3. Ottawa RW Bobby Ryan, who notched a goal and two assists against Chicago, has not gone more than one game without a point since a three-game drought from Oct. 15-22.
PREDICTION: Senators 3, Islanders 2