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New York Islanders vs. Dallas Stars - 10/25/14

Dallas Stars (3-1-2) at New York Islanders (5-2-0)
Date & Time Saturday October 25, 2014, 7:00 PM (EDT)
The Line
The Line: New York Islanders / Dallas Stars --- Over/Under:
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The New York Islanders return home to host the Dallas Stars after a successful trip to Boston on Thursday night. New York got a stellar effort from their backup goaltender Chad Johnson and they outplayed one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference for much of the game. Boston scored a late goal in the first period to even the score at 1-1 after Frans Nielsen had given the Islanders a 1-0 lead. The Islanders recorded 15 shots in the first period and in the second frame they kicked things up a notch defensively and took control of the hockey game. New York allowed just six shots on goal in the second period and skated circles around the Bruins. Kyle Okposo gave the Islanders the lead just 1:30 into the period and Cal Clutterbuck doubled the lead midway through the frame. In the third period the Bruins closed the gap to 3-2 but New York kept things pretty even and Johnson was able to make 15 saves to lock up the victory. There’s enough talent on this Islanders club to be competitive and make a run at a playoff spot this season, but they need to bring this type of work ethic every game. New York doesn’t have enough on the back end at this point so they need their forwards to control the game like they did against the Bruins. When their forwards are hard on the puck and keeping it in the offensive zone it makes them a very dangerous hockey team.

Dallas is on a brief two game road trip that has them playing on back-to-back nights in New Jersey and on Long Island. Friday night they played a solid road period, out shooting the Devils 14-9, but found themselves trailing by a goal. Tyler Seguin then set up Dallas’ first goal with a beautiful feed to Jamie Benn to tie the game. Patrick Eaves later gave the Stars the lead but Dallas wasn’t able to hold it as New Jersey scored a controversial goal in the third. The two teams went to a shootout where Jason Spezza scored an incredible goal and Benn finished things to give Dallas a 3-2 win. With St. Louis and Anaheim on deck when they return home the Stars will really be looking for a win against the Islanders in this one. Seguin has been off to a great start to the season, leading the club with five goals and 10 points through the club’s first six games. Seguin has always had elite talent but Boston grew weary of his off ice habits and it looks like his trade to Dallas has really benefited him. Add Seguin to a forward group that includes Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza, Ales Hemsky, and youngsters Ryan Garbutt and Antoine Roussel, and the Stars are loaded with offensive firepower. Kari Lehtonen also gives them an above average netminder and when you add all of this together the expectations are high in Dallas.

This is going to be a tough spot for the Stars on Saturday night who are going to need to find their legs against an Islanders club that can really skate and has been off since Thursday. Dallas is still the better team at this point but this is a going to be a tough game for them against a pesky Islanders club. If New York can find a way to come out strong early and take a lead they should be in good shape here. 

New York

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