The New York Islanders are averaging the most goals per game in the NHL and that offense has been especially lethal at home, where the team has yet to lose in regulation. The surging Islanders have won four consecutive games and seven of their last eight as they prepare to host the ice-cold Ottawa Senators on Friday night.
New York improved to 8-0-2 at Barclays Center with Tuesday’s 5-2 drubbing of Vancouver, marking the 11th time they have scored at least five goals and the seventh time in the 10 home games. “We’re playing well offensively,” Islanders coach Doug Weight said. “We have guys playing with a lot of confidence who are consistently figuring each other out.” The opposite holds true for the Senators, who enter the second stop of a seven-game road trip mired in a seven-game losing streak, including a 2-1 setback to New York on Saturday night. Ottawa has not won since sweeping a pair of games from Colorado in Sweden on Nov. 10-11 and has scored a paltry nine goals during the 0-6-1 slide.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TSN5, RDS (Ottawa), MSG-Plus (New York), NHL.TV
ABOUT THE SENATORS (8-9-6): Captain Erik Karlsson remains stuck on one goal and has not collected a point in seven games -- the defenseman’s longest drought since an eight-game spell as a rookie. He caused a stir off the ice after Thursday’s practice when he addressed his contract, which runs through the 2018-19 season. “When I go to market, I’m going to get what I’m worth, and it’s going to be no less, no matter where I’m going,” Karlsson said. ”I think it’s time to realize that when we go to the table, it’s business on both parts, not just (owners).”
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (15-7-2): Jordan Eberle has notched all 10 of his goals over the past 14 games after scoring for the third straight game Tuesday, capping a three-goal first period for New York, which is 10-0-0 when netting the opening goal. “When you start like that it’s tough for teams to come back,” Eberle said. “We want to continue to start well and we’ve been good at home so far and we want to keep that going.” Captain John Tavares has 10 points in the last eight games to tie Josh Bailey for the team scoring lead.
1. Islanders C Mathew Barzal leads all rookies with 24 points and owns a seven-game point streak, the longest in the NHL.
2. Ottawa’s power play is in a 3-for-26 rut over the past seven games.
3. Tavares needs one point to tie Pat LaFontaine (566) for sixth place on the franchise’s all-time list.
PREDICTION: Islanders 3, Senators 1