NEW YORK ISLANDERS (32-16-6) VS MINNESOTA WILD (27-23-5)
3 PM | BARCLAYS CENTER
Like I have said For a little over a month our little team is growing up very quickly before our eyes. The Islanders won for the 5th time in a row after starting a game down 2-0. They are currently 8-0 in the back end of back to back games. Ryan Pulock was the star yesterday but Matt Martin was the hero. What a play hustling back and blocking the shot to keep the game 2-1. That play epitomizes the effort this team has been making for weeks now. It also shows they understand the system. There is no doubt this team got a lift from that play. Letís see if we can get a carryover for today. This is the 1st time we will see the Wild this year. It always strange to be 2/3 of the season done and you have not seen a team yet. Broke a 10 game drought by our D scoring a goal. Letís see if we can keep that going too. When your D starts scoring makes everything else a lot easier.
- Sunday's game against the Wild marks the second-last home back-to-back set for the Islanders this season. The Islanders are coming off a 4-3 overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday afternoon night. The Isles are 8-0-0 on a second night of back-to-backs this season, tying the franchise record. The Isles have outscored their opponents 31-8 this season on the second night of back to backs this season.
- Defenseman Ryan Pulock scored twice including the game-winning goal in overtime and recorded a season-high eight shots against the Avalanche in Saturday's 4-3 win. Pulock has six points (1G, 5A) in his last four games.
- The Islanders are 5-2-0 this season in afternoon games.
- The Islanders have allowed the fewest goals-per-game in the NHL this season (2.35 per game).
- The Islanders (70 points) lead the Metropolitan Division, while Washington Capitals (67 points) are three points behind. The Columbus Blue Jackets (65 points) are five backs back, while Pittsburgh Penguins (63) trail by seven points.
- Goalie Robin Lehner made 25 saves on 28 shots to help the Islanders top the Avalanche on Saturday. Lehner leads the league in goals against average (2.05) and comes in second with (.930) in save percentage.
- Trotz tends to split his goalies on a back-to-back, so Thomas Greiss is the likely starter for Sunday's game. Greiss is 3-0-1 in his last four starts, stopping 128-of-130 shots in the process.
- Brock Nelson is riding a four-game point streak (1G, 4A).
- The Wild are in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. Minnesota (59 points) are currently in the first wild card, two points ahead of St. Louis and Vancouver Canucks (57 points apiece).
- Wild Head Coach Bruce Boudreau coached his 900th career NHL game on Saturday. He owns a record of 530-266-104 (.646) in 900 games with Washington, Anaheim and Minnesota and has led his teams to eight division titles.
- Zach Parise has tallied 18 points (7G, 11A) in his last 20 games. Parise leads the Wild with 22 goals, 47 points, and six power-play goals this season. Parise is in fourth for the all-time leading scorers in Wild history with 322 points (161G, 161A). Pierre-Marc Bouchard is in third with 347 points.
- Jason Zucker recorded an assist Thursday vs. Edmonton for his 200th career NHL point. He is the 13th player in franchise history to reach this milestone. Zucker also recorded a career-high seven hits Jan. 21 at Vegas and ranks third on team with 69 hits.
- The Wild play in their 10th back-to-back set this season. Minnesota beat the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Saturday in Newark.
The Minnesota Wild could use a victory here after splitting their last 10 games. The Minnesota Wild are averaging 2.8 goals per game and are scoring on 20.8 percent of their power play opportunities. Zach Parise leads Minnesota with 21 goals, Mikael Granlund has 32 assists and Ryan Suter has 92 shots on goal. Defensively, the Minnesota Wild are allowing 2.9 goals per game and are killing 82.2 percent of their opponents power plays. Devan Dubnyk has given up 109 goals on 1,243 shots faced and Alex Stalock has allowed 36 goals on 332 shots. The Minnesota Wild have allowed three or less goals in seven of their last 10 games.
The New York Islanders look for another victory after winning nine of their last 13 games. The New York Islanders are averaging 2.8 goals per game and are scoring on 15.7 percent of their power play opportunities. Anders Lee leads New York with 18 goals, Mathew Barzal has 32 assists and Josh Bailey has 87 shots on goal. Defensively, the New York Islanders are allowing 2.3 goals per game and are killing 80.1 percent of their opponents power plays. Robin Lehner has given up 56 goals on 818 shots faced and Thomas Greiss has allowed 59 goals on 795 shots. The New York Islanders have allowed three or less goals in each of their last 13 games.