The New York Islanders have done a good job of picking up points on their lengthy road trip. Their stops at Xcel Energy Center, though, haven’t been very successful.
New York looks for its second road win all-time against the Minnesota Wild when it continues a seven-game stretch away from home Friday night.
The Islanders have turned things around after a 1-4-5 start, going 7-2-2. They improved to 2-0-2 on this trip with a 4-1 victory over Boston on Monday night.
New York (8-6-7) will try to continue that success in Minnesota, where it is 1-3-1 since the Wild joined the NHL for the 2000-01 season.
The Islanders have scored at least four goals in five straight games for the first time since a seven-game run Dec. 11-26, 1993.
“There’s a confidence in the room now that if we play our game we’re going to have success,” coach Scott Gordon said. “We’ve played four games in six days and from my side it’s good to see, with the little practice time we’ve had, we haven’t gotten off our game plan. It’s very encouraging.”
Moulson leads New York with 10 goals after bouncing back and forth to the minors in the previous two seasons while with Los Angeles. Tavares, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, tops the Islanders with 10 assists and 19 points.
Both players will be making their first appearance against the Wild, who have dropped four in a row (0-2-2) after winning four of five.
“This is probably our poorest, I think, performance of the year,” first-year coach Todd Richards said. “We had spurts in the third period. First period they pretty much controlled and dictated everything going on in the first period, and I would say a good portion of the second.”
Minnesota was outshot 15-5 in the first period, three days after Carolina held a 10-6 advantage in the first en route to a 5-4 overtime victory.
“I have to look at myself for the slow starts,” Richards said. “And the morning skates and what I’m doing in practice to prepare ourselves better.”
The Wild are 7-3-0 against the Islanders, winning the last four meetings. Minnesota outscored New York 10-3 in two matchups last season.
New York meets St. Louis on Saturday and Toronto on Monday to conclude its trip. The Islanders then play two in a row at home before beginning a five-game road stretch.