John Tavares has ended his slump in emphatic fashion. A matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes isn't likely to slow him down.
Tavares looks to extend his scoring surge and help the New York Islanders match their longest winning streak of the season Saturday night.
Tavares has five goals and seven assists over the past eight games, exactly matching his production over the previous 24.
"I never worried or doubted that the points were going to come," coach Jack Capuano told the team's official website. "He's had a lot of chances and works hard. But it's good to see Johnny get the points. As he goes, we go."
That's certainly been true during a three-game winning streak as Tavares has six points after tallying a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win over Los Angeles on Thursday.
"I just want to keep doing the right things," Tavares said. "I think I've been playing well for a few weeks and I want to be consistent, keep it going and create opportunities."
That shouldn't be a problem since the All-Star center has 28 points over his last 16 meetings with the Hurricanes, including 13 in six visits to Raleigh.
Tavares, though, was kept off the score sheet in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Hurricanes at home Oct. 29.
After averaging 2.5 goals in a 4-5-1 stretch, the Islanders (29-18-6) have scored 16 during three straight wins. They are 4 for 10 on the power play in those games.
"We're getting more of a rhythm coming out of our own end, getting up into the neutral zone," Tavares said. "Guys are making plays and we're starting to put some more pucks in the net."
New York has 14 goals in a three-game win streak at Carolina (24-21-10), and is 5-1-2 in its last eight visits.
Brock Nelson is tied with Tavares for the team lead with 20 goals, but hasn't scored in five consecutive games. However, he has three in his last two road games with the Hurricanes.
Carolina opened this three-game homestand with a 2-1 shootout loss to Pittsburgh on Friday after falling by the same score in a shootout at Montreal on Sunday.
"When it gets late, gets to those dying moments, it always gets nerve-racking," coach Bill Peters said Friday. "I thought the guys did a good job staying with it."
Andrej Nestrasil forced overtime against the Penguins by scoring with 5:28 left in regulation. The center has three goals in three games to match his total from the previous 30.
The Hurricanes are unsure if they'll have Justin Faulk available after a lower-body injury sidelined him Friday. The All-Star defenseman leads Carolina with 34 points and his 15 goals match his career high from last season.
"Day to day means day to day," Peters told the team's official website.
Jeff Skinner, who had his five-game point streak snapped Friday, has six points in as many home matchups with the Islanders.
Cam Ward made 25 saves against the Penguins, giving Carolina at least a point in each of his past eight starts. He is 4-0-4 with a 1.79 goals-against average in those games.
Ward, who could be rested in the second of this back to back, is 18-3-3 with a 2.62 GAA in his last 27 games against New York.