A season-high five-game point streak has the Islanders inching closer to getting out of the basement in the Atlantic Division. If they want to keep the run going, they'll have to solve the only team to give them a loss over the past two weeks.
New York will battle Chicago for the second time in seven days this evening, this time on Long Island after the Blackhawks dealt the Isles a shootout loss in the Windy City last Friday.
The Islanders are in the midst of a 4-0-1 run and have scored 14 goals in their last three games. Four of those came against the Blackhawks on Dec. 2, but it wasn't enough in a 5-4 shootout loss.
Chicago captain Jonathan Toews was one of four different goal scorers for the Blackhawks in regulation. tallying shorthanded, and then notched the lone score of the shootout. It was Chicago's second straight win over the Islanders, who are still 6-1-1 in the past eight meetings.
New York has also won the last three at home in this series by a 15-7 margin.
Matt Moulson had a goal and an assist in last Friday's loss, part of his five- game goal-scoring streak. He has eight goals in that span, notching a career- high four in a victory over Dallas following the loss to Chicago and then lighting the lamp again on Tuesday in a 5-1 triumph over Tampa Bay.
Moulson and John Tavares both had a goal and an assist, while Matt Martin and Milan Jurcina also tallied. Tavares and Martin snapped 13-game goal droughts on the same night David Ullstrom notched his first NHL goal in his eighth game. Tavares, meanwhile, also has six assists in his past three games.
Al Montoya made 23 saves, allowing the game's first goal at 6:55 of the opening frame before the Islanders ripped off five in a row to move to 4-0-1 in their last five.
"We got down early in the game," said Islanders coach Jack Capuano. "We battled back and right now the guys are showing that no matter what the score of the game is or no matter what adversity we face they will continue to work hard."
Toews enters this game on a red-hot streak of his own. He has totaled seven goals and six assists in his last six games, notching three of those points in Monday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Coyotes.
Phoenix scored the game's first three goals, but Toews scored twice in the second frame before setting up Patrick Kane's tying goal with 6:03 left in the second stanza. However, both Toews and Marian Hossa failed to score in the shootout, while Ray Emery was beaten twice.
"Disappointed with our start, but good comeback, good point," said Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville.
Toews, though, wasn't entirely pleased with battling back to get one point, saying his club can't keep playing from behind.
"There's been some games lately where we go down two or three goals in the first or second period and it just seems like it becomes a funk we can't get out of. As a team, I think we did that tonight for the second half of the game," said Toews, who is tied for the NHL lead with 17 goals and is one point shy of 300 for his career.
Emery came in to relieve Corey Crawford after he allowed all three Phoenix goals. Emery stopped 11 shots through overtime and will get the start again tonight as the Blackhawks look to improve on their 2-0-1 point streak.
Hossa will be taking his second crack at becoming the 85th player in league history to reach 400 career goals.