The Dallas Stars have one more chance at a road win before an extended six-game homestand. They need a win badly, and it’s going to have to come against a team that they have not acquired much success against over the past few years.
All in all, it’s an exciting time when the Stars take their annual three-game road trip to the Big Apple.
Dallas departed for New York this past Sunday and stopped first in Buffalo to take on the Sabres on Monday afternoon. It was an affair that will hopefully be forgotten quickly. The Stars played a very lazy and effortless game and ended up on the wrong side of a 4-1 decision against one of the worst teams in the NHL.
Fast forward to 24 hours later on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. The Dallas Stars squared off against the New York Rangers for the second and final time this season and things became very intense. The two teams combined for 13 total goals as Dallas squeaked by with a 7-6 victory and two much-needed points.
After picking up a determined win on the second half of a back-to-back, Wednesday served as a well-deserved rest for the Stars.
But tonight they will hop right back into the thick of it as they search for just their third win streak of the year. They will head to the Barclays Center to face off with the New York Islanders for the first time this season.
A lot is riding on this game. The Stars need all the points they can get right now as they continue to try and claw their way back into the playoff picture in the Western Conference. A win would also be a great way to cap off the road trip and boost the Stars above .500 once again.
But if the recent past has any effect on the present, a win is going to be rather difficult for Dallas to find. And that’s not because the Islanders are a dominant team or anything.
New York currently boasts a record of 17-17-8 with 42 points and sit dead last in the Eastern Conference. They just recently fired head coach Jack Capuano earlier in the week and tonight will be their first game under interim coach Doug Weight. So everything isn’t all sunshine and rainbows over in Brooklyn right now. But that doesn’t mean that the Islanders can’t begin their season turnaround with Dallas.
Over the past three seasons, the Islanders seem to have had very little trouble against the Stars. Dallas is 2-4-0 against NYI through that span, with neither of their two wins coming on the road. That being said, the Dallas Stars have never walked out of the Barclays Center hoisting a victory over their heads.
In that six game stretch, the Stars have been outscored 26-21. That gives the Islanders an average of 4.33 goals per game, while Dallas sits at an also impressive 3.50 goals per game. Things always seem to get a little out of hand on the offensive side of the puck when these two teams meet up, especially when they are in Brooklyn.
In the past two meetings between these teams that have taken place in NY, the Stars have lost both by a final score of 6-5 (2015-16) and 7-5 (2014-15). While the offense is absolutely ravaging, the defense and goaltending really seem to struggle with shutting down the opposition.
The Dallas Stars are coming off of a game against the Rangers where their defense and goaltending were practically nonexistent. That cannot happen again, as we’ve already said many times over.
This is a big game for Dallas, and it will be interesting to see if they can answer the bell. The Islanders will more than likely entered the game with a heightened emotional state, so the Stars will need to be on full watch.
If they aren’t, they once again might not make it out of Brooklyn alive.