Preview: Vancouver at NY Islanders
When: 4:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 17, 2016
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
Brock Nelson and the New York Islanders look to complete a three-game homestand in style on Sunday when they host the Vancouver Canucks. Nelson recorded his first career hat trick and added an assist in the Islanders’ 5-2 win over Columbus on Tuesday and also tallied two nights later in a 3-1 triumph over the New York Rangers.
Nelson has been giving the home fans a thrill, scoring 13 of his team-leading 18 goals at the Barclays Center this season. While the Islanders have won five of their last eight to move into a virtual second-place tie in the Metropolitan Division, Vancouver improved to 7-3-2 in its last 12 after posting a 3-2 overtime victory versus Carolina on Friday. Bo Horvat tallied twice versus the Hurricanes to record his second multi-goal performance during his career-high six-game point streak. The 20-year-old has six goals and three assists during this run after posting just 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his first 39 contests this season.
TV: 4 p.m. ET, Sportsnet Pacific (Vancouver), MSG Plus (New York)
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (18-17-10): After scoring twice versus Florida, Daniel Sedin has been held off the scoresheet in each of the last two contests as he bids to break a tie with Markus Naslund (346) to become Vancouver’s all-time goals leader. The 35-year-old Swede has recorded 13 points in as many career meetings with the Islanders, including an assist in his last encounter. Ryan Miller, who returned from an eight-game absence to make 36 saves in a 4-1 setback to Washington on Thursday, will look to improve upon his already strong 17-9-2 career mark versus the Islanders on Sunday.
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (24-15-5): Defenseman Nick Leddy has scored two goals in the last six contests after failing to tally in his first 38 games. The offense is a welcome addition for coach Jack Capuano, who is trying to put the puzzle together without several key pieces – including blue-liners Travis Hamonic (lower body) and Johnny Boychuk (shoulder). “I thought our defense at times made a couple of mistakes but overall with Hamonic and Boychuk being out, they picked up the slack,” Capuano told reporters. “… Leddy’s goal was a big goal for us.”
1. New York has killed off all 16 short-handed situations over the last four games overall and 35 its last 36 at home.
2. The Canucks swept last season’s series with the Islanders and have won five of the last six encounters.
3. New York is 9-0-1 at home versus Western Conference representatives this season.
PREDICTION: Islanders 5, Canucks 2