New York Islanders (16-22-7) at Colorado Avalanche (27-12-4)
|Date & Time||Friday January 10, 2014, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Colorado Avalanche -173 / New York Islanders +157 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The New York Islanders travel to the Pepsi Center on Friday night and enter their contest with the Avalanche as one of the hottest teams in the NHL. New York has won six of their last eight games and John Tavares is showing everyone that he's one of the best players in the world. At 16-22-7 the Islanders still have a huge hole to climb out of but when you see a stretch of hockey like this from them it makes their lackluster play early in the season that much more frustrating. When the Islanders are playing their best they're really using their speed and forcing the issue against their opponent and we've seen a lot of that during this stretch. New York has scored 12 goals over their last two games, three of which came in the third period on Tuesday night in Toronton. Frans Nielsen broke a 2-2 tie with a power play goal early in the frame and Calvin de Haan made it a two goal lead before Cal Clutterbuck iced it with an empty net goal in the 5-2 win. Kevin Poulin picked up his seventh win of the season as he filled in for the yet again injured Evgeni Nabokov. It's an unfortunate turn of events for the Islanders because this run really coincided with the return of their veteran netminder and now they're going to have to make do without him again. If Poulin can avoid allowing soft goals the Islanders should be in good shape because of the way their offense is playing. There coul be a lot of fireworks on Friday night against the Avalanche. After a four game losing streak the Avalanche have bounced back to win four of their last five. Paul Stastny scored a late third period goal that tied Colorado's game with the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night and Tyson Barrie would win it in overtime with his third goal of the season coming just 33 seconds in. Jamie McGinn and Jan Hejda scored first period goals for the Avalanche who blew a 2-0 lead before rallying back for the victory. Semyon Varlamov picked up his 20th win of the season in this one making 29 saves on the night. There will be a ton of young talent on display, especially on the offensive side of the puck and that could lead to plenty of goals. This won't be an easy one for the Islanders to steal on the road but the way they've been playing right now the value is very good.