National Hockey League
Canucks-Islanders Preview
National Hockey League

Canucks-Islanders Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 3:19 p.m. ET

Bo Horvat is in the midst of the most successful offensive stretch of his young career with the Vancouver Canucks.

Brock Nelson hasn't had trouble scoring for the New York Islanders of late, either.

Both young forwards look to stay hot Sunday when the visiting Canucks try to continue their success against the Islanders.

Horvat has recorded nine of his 19 points with six goals and three assists during a six-game point streak. His second goal Friday in overtime helped Vancouver (18-17-10) improve to 1-1-0 on its six-game trip with a 3-2 victory at Carolina.


"To get on a streak in the New Year, it helps my confidence a lot," he told the NHL's official website. "You enjoy coming to the rink. You enjoy the next shift, the next period, everything. It lifts you.

"It's something I wasn't feeling at the beginning of the year."

The ninth overall pick in 2013, Horvat had 25 points in 68 games as a rookie last season but has struggled to elevate his game with a minus-20 rating in 2015-16. Horvat, though, was a plus-2 on Friday and has earned the praise of coach Willie Desjardins.

"Bo has started taking a lot of faceoffs and doing extra things and he has seemed to flourish," said Desjardins, whose team is 7-3-2 since losing three straight Dec. 13-17. "When he got more given to him, he seemed to find his game. He has been good the last six games, not only offensively but defensively."

Horvat had a goal in a 4-0 win at New York last season. Vancouver has averaged 3.8 goals while taking five of its last six against the Islanders (24-15-5) and has won three road meetings in a row and earned at least a point in six straight at New York.

Nelson has one goal in four games against the Canucks but five in his last four overall. His team-leading 18 goals are two shy of a career high set last season.

Two nights after the third-year center recorded his first hat trick, Nelson scored the equalizer to open a three-goal third period in Thursday's 3-1 win over the Rangers.

"Starting to get into a little bit of a rhythm," said Nelson, who has scored all but five of his goals in Brooklyn and has seven with three assists in the last eight at Barclays Center.

Second in the league with an 87.3 percentage on the penalty kill at home, the Islanders have thwarted 31 of 32 opportunities while winning eight 11 there.

Vancouver has scored a power-play goal in five consecutive games in which it's skated with the man-advantage, but never got the chance to extend that streak Friday.

Daniel Sedin will again try to become Vancouver's all-time goals leader after matching Markus Naslund at 346 with two in Monday's 3-2 overtime win over Florida. Sedin has two goals with eight assists during a six-game road point streak against the Isles.

Vancouver's Jacob Markstrom made 38 saves Friday and has a 1.73 goals-against average in his last four road starts. However, No. 1 starter Ryan Miller could play for the second time in three games since missing almost a month with muscle issues.


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