Islanders, Stars to meet for 1st time this season

The New York Islanders and Dallas Stars will try to build on their momentum when they meet for the first time this season on Saturday night in Dallas.

Both teams are coming off 3-2 overtime wins on Thursday night.

The Stars beat the visiting Winnipeg Jets to end a four-game losing streak (0-3-1), which came on the heels of a seven-game winning streak and a 14-1-1 stretch overall.

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"Our game had gotten away from us a little bit," Dallas center Joe Pavelski told reporters after scoring the overtime goal against the Jets. "We invested a lot through that winning streak. I think the biggest challenge is to invest that every night, and for whatever reason, we got away from it a little bit."

The Islanders are coming off a fast-paced win against the visiting Vegas Golden Knights, which had the feel of a playoff game, several players said.

"We've got to carry that on the road with us," said Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck, who scored the first goal against Vegas.

New York came into the game 2-3-1 in its past six games after posting a franchise-record 17-game point streak (15-0-2) from Oct. 12 to Nov. 23.

Islanders coach Barry Trotz was looking to inject some life into his forward lines, so he made some major chances before Thursday's game, moving Ross Johnston from the fourth line to the top line with Mathew Barzal and Josh Bailey.

Another physical forward, Leo Komarov, joined scorers Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier on the third line, and they helped score the second goal against Vegas.

"Sometimes, you just want to paint the barn," Trotz told reporters after the win. "They sort of want to paint a mural. That gets you in trouble. It takes the predictability out. Sometimes, you've got to reset the brain and reset the lines."

The Islanders practiced with the same lines on Friday.

Johnston, who has combined for five goals in 55 NHL games over the past four seasons, played 12:58 against the Golden Knights, the first time he has played more than 10 minutes this season.

"It's a great opportunity," he said. "Any time you're put with players like Bailey and Barzal, it's an excellent chance to showcase what you can do."

The Stars also tweaked their lines and defensive pairs against the Jets with positive results.

"I thought it worked well to be able to get the matchups we were looking to get," Dallas coach Jim Montgomery said.

Montgomery also scratched forward Alexander Radulov against Winnipeg.

Radulov, who combined for 58 goals the past two seasons in Dallas, has two goals in the past nine games, both coming in a three-point effort against the Golden Knights on Nov. 25.

The Stars did not practice on Friday, so it's unknown if Radulov will return to the lineup against New York.

When he was scratched on March 5 for being late to practice, Radulov returned the next game and scored three goals in a 4-0 win against the visiting Colorado Avalanche.

--Field Level Media

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