Winning on the road regardless of the opposition is difficult enough. Doing it against some of the league’s best teams should have the New York Islanders’ confidence on the rise.
The Islanders look to win five straight away from home for the first time in over six years on Thursday night when they close their season series with the Boston Bruins.
While New York (24-19-6) has lost four straight at home (0-2-2), it extended its road win streak with a 6-3 victory over Carolina on Tuesday.
Mike Sillinger scored two of his team’s franchise record-tying three short-handed goals, and Wade Dubielewicz made a career-high 43 saves as the Islanders improved to 5-1-2 in their last eight road games.
Sillinger was the first Islander to score two short-handed goals in a game since Zigmund Palffy on April 17, 1999.
“We’re not out to score any goals while killing penalties,” Sillinger said. “We knew that they have forwards that play the point, and if we could get a chance to take advantage of it, we would. But we weren’t out there to score goals. We just got some good bounces, some breakaways.”
The Islanders have beaten division leaders Calgary, Ottawa, New Jersey and Carolina during their road win streak. A victory Thursday would give New York its first five-game run away from home since Oct. 5-26, 2001.
Tuesday was a rare start for Dubielewicz, who sees little action backing up All-Star Rick DiPietro. Sent to the minors last week for a brief conditioning stint, Dubielewicz is 3-0-0 with a .943 save percentage in his last three NHL starts.
New York remains one of the league’s lowest-scoring teams, but has put up 17 goals in its last four road games. The six goals Tuesday matched a season high for the Isles, who also scored six in a season-opening victory at Buffalo on Oct. 5.
DiPietro is expected to be back in net against his hometown team. DiPietro, a native of Winthrop, Mass., is 1-2-0 with a 2.02 goals-against average in three games this season against the Bruins.
The Islanders learned Tuesday that defenseman Chris Campoli will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. Campoli, who had four goals and 14 assists in 46 games, was injured in a 3-1 win at New Jersey on Jan. 16.
The Bruins (24-19-5) had a four-game point streak snapped with an 8-2 loss at Montreal on Tuesday.
Boston, 3-0-1 in its previous four contests, suffered its biggest defeat since a 7-0 loss to the New York Rangers on March 17.
“We gave up eight goals on 24 shots, I think that explains a lot,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “You’re not going to win games by giving up those types of goals. It’s just one of those nights where you’ve got to be a little better, more resilient and find ways to be more concentrated on winning hockey games.”
Boston is 2-0-1 in its last three home meetings with the Islanders.