Islanders-Stars Preview

The Associated Press

While solid road play has highlighted the New York Islanders' latest surge, the Dallas Stars can't win any place of late.

Looking to win seven straight on the road for the first time in almost 33 years, the Islanders try for their second victory in seven days over a Stars team that hopes to avoid the franchise's longest regulation skid in nearly two decades.

A winner in six of seven, New York (17-22-7) is again in position to win four straight for the first time since Feb. 10-15, 2011. Four victories during this surge have come on the road, where the Islanders have totaled 25 goals during a six-game run that comes after they scored 36 while losing 13 of the first 17 away from home.

"Earlier in the season, we didn't have the groove on the road," goalie Kevin Poulin said. "As the season goes on, you create chemistry."

After Poulin made 30 saves and Michael Grabner scored in overtime of a 2-1 victory at Colorado on Friday, New York has a chance to win seven straight road games for the first time since a franchise-best eight-game run Feb. 27-March 29, 1981.

"We've been a decent road team," coach Jack Capuano said. "Simple hockey maybe, and doing the right things. Goaltending has been pretty good for us. Our special teams on the road over the last two weeks has been good."

After going 5 for 9 on the power play in their previous two road games, the Islanders failed to convert on both chances Friday. However, they went 3 for 5 against Dallas on Monday while setting a season high for goals in a 7-3 home win.

New York star John Tavares recorded his fifth career hat trick and added two assists against the Stars (20-17-7) in the teams' first meeting since Dec. 15, 2011. Tavares, whose seven-game point streak (seven goals, nine assists) ended Friday, had three assists in the Islanders' most recent trip to Dallas, a 5-4 win Dec. 3, 2011.

The Stars return home looking to end a season-high five-game skid after scoring five goals during an 0-3-0 trip through the New York metropolitan area. Dallas hasn't suffered six straight regulation losses since Dec. 5-15, 1995.

"Our backs are kind of up against the wall and there's only one way out and that is hard work," forward Cody Eakin told the Stars' official website after he recorded a goal with an assist during Friday's 3-2 loss to the Rangers.

The Stars couldn't hold a 2-1 second-period lead but appeared set to at least earn a point before Rick Nash's tiebreaking score with 1:58 left sent them to their second straight one-goal defeat.

"I thought we skated better," coach Lindy Ruff said. "I thought we created a little bit more and I thought we were better with the puck. We still have a ways to go, though."

Dallas leading scorer Tyler Seguin has gone without a point in four straight games but has 11 in 10 career matchups with the Islanders.

Teammate Jamie Benn has one point in three games after recording four goals and three assists in the previous five. He has three goals and two assists in five career contests against the Islanders.

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