The Dallas Stars have put together back-to-back strong defensive performances behind new goaltender Richard Bachman to give themselves a chance to come away with a winning record on their longest road trip of the season.
They don't have to look too far back to be reminded of a less-than-stellar effort against their next opponent.
Less than two weeks after losing to New York and allowing the lowest-scoring team in the NHL to match its season high in goals, Dallas looks to win three in a row on its trip Thursday night when it meets the Islanders.
The Stars (17-11-1) were also going for a third straight win when they hosted New York (9-13-6) on Dec. 3, but the Islanders jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period and scored three more times in the second en route to a 5-4 victory.
New York, which got four goals from Matt Moulson in that game, is tied with Los Angeles for the fewest goals in the league with 65.
The Stars followed that meeting by allowing five more goals in a loss to San Jose to open this five-game trip last Thursday, but they've given up one while winning their last two.
Dallas posted a 2-1 victory over the offensively challenged Kings on Saturday and beat the New York Rangers 1-0 on Tuesday night.
Bachman has been a big reason for that success. Since being recalled Nov. 27 from Texas of the AHL with Kari Lehtonen out due to a groin injury, Bachman has played in the last three games - making two starts - and stopped 71 of 72 shots.
"I don't think it really has sunk in quite yet," the 24-year-old Bachman said after making 34 saves against the Rangers. "As the game goes on and stuff, I tried just to settle in and not think too much about what was going on and the score and where I was playing.
"When you look back and think about the game we just had and the win, it's pretty exciting."
Bachman will get the nod again Thursday against the Islanders, who are 0-2-1 in their last three. They have done a better job of scoring lately with 22 goals in the past six games, but they've allowed 24 over that span.
New York rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the third period at Montreal on Tuesday night but let the Canadiens retake the lead just over two minutes later in a 5-3 defeat.
Moulson scored for the ninth time in eight games to give him a team-high 15 goals and John Tavares scored for the second time in four contests after a 13-game drought.
"They battled and that's what you look for," coach Jack Capuano said. "We're down by two goals and we kept coming, we didn't quit. Those guys aren't going to quit. There's no excuses for losing and sometimes you get sick and tired of hearing it but it was a game that I thought we at least come out with a point for sure."
The Stars conclude their trip, which will cover more than 6,500 miles, against New Jersey on Friday night. The last time Dallas went from the Pacific to Eastern time zone on one trip was in December 2009, when it traveled from three games in California to Carolina and Atlanta.
Dallas is 8-2-1 on Long Island since the start of the 1996-97 season.
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