Anaheim Ducks (25-7-5) at New York Islanders (10-19-7)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 21, 2013, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: New York Islanders +138 / Anaheim Ducks -152 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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Wins have been extremely hard to come by for the New York Islanders but they picked up a big one on Friday night against their biggest rival. The Islanders didn't play a great hockey game in this one but their penalty killing was fantastic and it turned out to be the difference in the hockey game. New York got shorthanded goals in the first period from Cal Clutterbuck and Michael Grabner with Clutterbuck's coming on a penalty shot. Grabner almost added a second shorthanded goal in the second period but hit the cross bar behind Henrik Lundqvist. Despite the goals that gave them a 2-0 first period lead the Islanders watched as the Rangers stormed back with three unanswered to take a 3-2 lead. Brian Strait's goal tied the game at 3-3 and early in the third period with the Islanders on the power play it was Thomas Vanek redirecting a shot from Kyle Okposo to give the Islanders the lead for good. Grabner would seal the 5-3 win with an empty net goal. Evgeni Nabokov wasn't dominant in this one but he made more big saves then his counterpart and that was a big difference in the game. Unfortunately there's no time to enjoy this win as the Islanders get right back on the ice to take on an Anaheim Ducks club that is coming off an overtime victory in New Jersey on Friday night. Cam Fowler and Mathieu Perreault scored for the Ducks in the second and third periods before Kyler Palmieri won it in overtime with his fifth goal of the year. It was a nice win for the Ducks and a memorable goal for Palmieri who grew up in New Jersey and came home to score the deciding goal in the 3-2 win. Jonas Hiller had to stop just 19 shots to improve to 15-4-4 on the year. Now the Ducks head further east to Long Island and despite New York's victory on Friday night they still have a lot of issues. The Rangers were able to take it to the Islanders at five-on-five but there were so many whistles and penalties in the game that it really broke up the flow of the hockey game. The Islanders are still a disaster defensively and there's no word yet on who will be in goal for the Islanders. Nabokov is their only real goaltender but at his age and coming off an injury it might not make sense to play him back-to-back right now. Either way look for the Ducks to find a way to get this done on Saturday night.