(SportsNetwork.com) – The New York Islanders will try to secure a winning road
trip on Saturday night as they visit the Arizona Coyotes.
The Islanders lost the first two stops of their five-game swing, pushing their
losing streak to three in a row overall, before topping the Anaheim Ducks in
overtime on Wednesday.
New York then visited the Los Angeles Kings the following night and claimed a
2-1 shootout victory thanks to a solid showing by backup goaltender Chad
Johnson. He made 28 saves through overtime, then stopped Anze Kopitar and Jeff
Carter in the shootout.
Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen scored on their chances in the tiebreaker and
Brock Nelson had a first-period power-play goal.
“I think it’s one of the best games we’ve played all year,” Islanders head
coach Jack Capuano said. “We knew it would be a battle in here tonight. It’s a
big physical team and I thought we responded.”
Jaroslav Halak is likely to start in net tonight for the Islanders and is
4-2-1 with a 2.29 goals against average and .919 save percentage versus the
Arizona is coming off its own victory in Anaheim, having bested the Ducks 3-2
in a shootout last night.
Mikkel Boedker scored the winner in the shootout as he went from the backhand
to the forehand and snapped the puck in past Frederik Andersen.
Ryan Kesler had the last chance for Anaheim, but his shot went wide of the
Shane Doan and Rob Klinkhammer each had a goal for the Coyotes, who have won a
season-high three straight. Mike Smith turned away 37 shots in the win.
“They’re good in this building,” Smith said of the Ducks. “The longer the game
goes on it seems like they come harder and harder.”
Smith is expected to start again tonight and is 4-1-0 in his career against
the Islanders with a 2.36 GAA and .924 save percentage.
The Coyotes have won three of their last four games against the Islanders and
four of the past five encounters in the desert.