New York Islanders star John Tavares figures to have a good chance at extending his point streak to seven games Monday night.
That’s because he has nine points in a five-game run against the Calgary Flames, who will give goaltender Joni Ortio his first start of the season at the Barclays Center.
Tavares has 10 points in his six-game overall streak, with a second-period goal in Saturday’s 3-2 overtime victory at St. Louis.
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The center has five goals and four assists in his last five games versus Calgary. He had two goals and one assist in the 2014-15 season series, as New York (5-2-1) posted a pair of 2-1 victories.
Ortio made his third career start March 7, 2014, and earned a 4-3 victory against the Islanders. Tavares did not play due to a torn knee ligament.
Coach Bob Hartley gave Ortio his first action Sunday in relief of Jonas Hiller in a 4-1 loss to the Rangers before confirming that Ortio will start Monday.
Ortio is 8-6-0 with a 2.52 goals-against average in 15 starts. He became Calgary’s backup when Karri Ramo was sent to the minors Thursday.
The Flames (2-6-0) began a three-game trip with their fifth loss in six games. Jiri Hudler gave them the lead in the first period before they went to the third facing a 2-1 deficit. Calgary has yet to lead after two periods.
"We’re talking about secondary scoring, we’re talking about capitalizing on your chances, that’s where the game is," Hartley said. "If you capitalize on those chances, you are giving yourself a chance to build the lead."
Calgary is averaging 2.0 goals, and has yet to score more than three in a game. Winger Johnny Gaudreau has not scored in his last six games, registering six assists in that span while center Matt Stajan has yet to notch a point.
”We’ve got to find a way to win,” Stajan said. ”We’re not scoring enough goals.”
The Flames are 3 for 21 on the power play as they face an Islanders team that has killed off all 18 penalties in its last five games. That doesn’t mean that New York wants to have to continue along being short-handed after the Blues went 0 for 5 on the power play Saturday.
"We’re going real well and then all of a sudden for whatever reason, penalties set in again," coach Jack Capuano said. "We’re going to have some not very good luck if we continue to do what we do with penalties."
Capuano gave winger Steve Bernier his club debut with over 11 minutes of ice time.
"I thought he’s a veteran guy, he was in good position all night, he grinded it out down low offensively, he played quite a few minutes for us, some hard minutes for us," Capuano said.
The Islanders’ Jaroslav Halak has posted a 0.67 GAA in winning his last three starts against Calgary.
These teams excel at blocking shots. New York is second in the league with an average of 16.9 while Calgary averages 16.1.
"Just a structured team, a hard-working team, we play them a couple times," said Capuano about the Flames. "Bob and his staff do a good job."