Anaheim Ducks vs. New York Islanders Pick & Prediction MARCH 10th 2024

The New York Islanders did nothing at the trade deadline — except convince general manager Lou Lamoriello that one of the oldest teams in the league deserved to stay together for one more playoff run.

The Islanders aim to continue their surge Sunday night, when they continue a four-game cross-country road trip by visiting the Anaheim Ducks.

The Islanders have been off since Thursday, when they extended their winning streak to a season-high five games by routing the San Jose Sharks 7-2. The Ducks, who will be concluding a five-game homestand on Sunday, fell to the Dallas Stars 6-2 on Friday.

New York’s win hours before Friday’s trade deadline further cemented Lamoriello’s belief in the Islanders, who entered the season with the third-oldest roster in the NHL with an average age of 29.2. Only the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins employed older groups.

But the Islanders are a close-knit bunch that seemingly has responded to new coach Patrick Roy, who took over for Lane Lambert on Jan. 20.

“And what you have to consider, too, is the chemistry of the team,” Lamoriello said Friday. “That’s extremely important.”

New York has outscored the opposition 24-10 over the past five games and enter Sunday four points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning and two behind the Detroit Red Wings, who are leading the Eastern Conference wild-card standings.

The Islanders haven’t won more than five consecutive games since a nine-game run from Feb. 28-March 14, 2021.

“Our players and our team determine what would happen on a day like this,” Lamoriello said at the deadline. “There’s no question that I feel good about who we are and where we are certainly at this point.”

The Ducks’ loss to the Stars offered a discouraging reminder why Anaheim — which has the third-fewest points in the NHL and is on pace to miss the playoffs for a franchise-record sixth straight season — spent the deadline in the familiar place of retooling for the future.

The Ducks, who entered Friday with three wins in their previous four games, gave up a goal just 74 seconds after the opening faceoff and fell behind 4-0 after the Stars scored three unanswered goals in a span of eight-plus minutes bridging the first two periods.

“Every team that’s successful wins battles,” Ducks coach Greg Cronin said. “They outrace teams for pucks, they win the battles and they generate chances, and we didn’t do that (Friday). It doesn’t matter who we play. If we don’t do that, we don’t give ourselves a good chance at winning.”

Ben Meyers, a 25-year-old forward who was acquired from the Colorado Avalanche on Friday in exchange for a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft, made his Ducks debut hours after the trade and was a minus-1 in 13:39 of ice time.

The Ducks made three other trades in the week leading up to the deadline, acquiring three draft picks as well as center prospect Jan Mysak in the deals that sent Jacob Perreault to the Montreal Canadiens, Ilya Lyubushkin to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick to the Edmonton Oilers.

–Field Level Media

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