California was kind to the New York Islanders last week, who took two of three on their West Coast trip to push their record to 9-6-3 on the season. An offensive surge highlighted the two wins against the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks, with the team scoring four goals in each contest.
Attention now shifts back to Brooklyn with two games against the Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens this week. Monday’s match will be the first of three games against Arizona this season while Friday’s game serves as the first of a crucial home-and-home with Montreal. Both home games serve as formidable matchups as the Coyotes head to Barclays Center with the second spot in the Pacific division while the Canadiens have cruised atop the Atlantic and collected 28 points thus far.
With momentum officially starting to build for the Islanders after a relatively slow start, now is the time to capitalize against two playoff-bound teams on home ice. Islanders tickets at Barclays Center start at $20 through Ticketmaster and average $39 on the secondary market for Monday’s game. To sweeten the deal, the first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive a John Tavares bobblehead. Friday won’t offer any fan promotions but expect Barclays Center to be packed with a playoff-like intensity before the teams travel north of the border Saturday.
The extended plane ride home was certainly cheerful, and no one player was happier than center Frans Nielsen, whose two goals against Anaheim was the difference in a winning weekend across the country. Rookie defenseman Adam Pelech made his NHL debut against the Ducks and played considerably well, logging 13 minutes of ice time and getting a shot off in the process. He’ll be replaced by veteran Marek Zidlicky against the Coyotes Monday despite his solid play, however.
The Coyotes enter Monday night’s game on the heels of a 5-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday. It was the most goals the team has given up since a 6-0 shellacking by the Boston Bruins October 27. Brooklyn will be the second destination on the Coyotes’ four-game road trip, which pens them in Montreal and Winnipeg through the weekend.
The Canadiens set to host the Vancouver Canucks and Arizona before traveling to Barclays Center this Friday. They’ll take on the Canucks after dropping their last two to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado Avalanche. At 13-3-2 the Canadiens own sole possession of the Atlantic division and sit eight points ahead of the second-place Ottawa Senators.