Dallas Stars vs. New York Islanders Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 26th 2024


The Dallas Stars are about to begin a stretch of games that could determine whether they finish first, second or third in the Central Division.

The New York Islanders already are in a stretch that likely will decide if they enter March with any playoff hopes at all.

The Stars will look to maintain their lead atop the Central Division standings and the Islanders will attempt to begin climbing back into the postseason race when Dallas hosts New York on Monday.

Both teams were off after playing Saturday. The Stars salvaged the finale of a four-game road trip and snapped a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Islanders continued their untimely skid by falling to the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-2.

The Stars’ recent offensive woes continued Saturday even as they lengthened their lead in the Central Division ahead of a pivotal back-to-back against their closest rivals.

With Saturday’s win, Dallas moved three points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets, who were slated to host the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday night, and the Colorado Avalanche, who fell 4-3 to the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

The Stars are scheduled to visit the Avalanche on Tuesday before hosting the Jets on Thursday.

The Stars, who were 0-2-2 in their previous four games, won Saturday despite collecting just 16 shots — including nine after Wyatt Johnston scored the game-winner 8:15 into the second. Dallas tied a season-low with 15 shots in Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators and has scored 10 goals in five games following a 9-2 rout of the Nashville Predators on Feb. 15.

“It was a gutsy effort by us, coming off a tough game the other night,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. “I thought we had a real commitment to defend and play hard.”

Effort hasn’t been a problem for the Islanders, but an inability to put together 60 consistent minutes has left them on the verge of falling out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. New York is eight points behind the Detroit Red Wings, who were slated to visit the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday night, and nine points behind the Lightning in the wild-card race.

After visiting the Stars, the Islanders are scheduled to play the Red Wings in Detroit on Thursday.

The Islanders fell to 4-5-3 under new head coach Patrick Roy in familiar fashion Saturday, when the Lightning took control by scoring twice in the first six minutes of the opening period. New York has fallen behind by multiple goals in all five of the regulation losses overseen by Roy.

The Islanders rallied late in the third period Saturday, when Anders Lee scored with 6:16 left and Brock Nelson followed fewer than four minutes later before Luke Glendening scored an empty-netter for the Lightning in the final minute.

“You look at the last few games, you don’t get the results,” Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson told Newsday. “But the guys are going out every night and leaving it out there. We just have to find ways to execute and not have those lapses in games. We just have to put it all together for a full 60 minutes.”

–Field Level Media

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