BY: DAVID KOLB
NEW YORK ISLANDERS (14-14-6) @ MINNESOTA WILD (22-8-4)
AWAY FROM BROOKLYN FOR FOUR
Tonight, the Islanders play the first of four consecutive road games as they visit the red-hot Minnesota Wild, who will be looking to pick up their 12th straight win. Despite the current Wild success, the Isles will be looking to sweep the season series from Minnesota for the second straight year, having defeated the Wild 6-3 on October 23rd. New York takes the ice tonight having defeated the Washington Capitals 4-3 on Tuesday, while the Wild defeated Nashville 3-2 in overtime.
G-LADD HE’S HOT
First-year Islanders’ forward, Andrew Ladd, scored a pair of goals in Tuesday’s win over the Capitals, and now has five goals in his last 10 games and seven points in his past 13. Ladd, who started the season off ice-cold — only scoring twice in the first 24 games of the season — begins the night with three goals in his last two games.
QUINE IN PLAYOFF FORM
Ladd has been playing with center Alan Quine for the past six contests and the duo has created some solid chemistry. The second-year Islander has a goal and four assists during the last 6 games. Additionally, Quine has two goals and six assists for eight points on the season, while five of his eight points have come in Islander wins.
The Isles have scored at least four goals in three consecutive games for the first time this season – and all three ended in an Islander win. New York scored 13 goals over the last three games (season high), and amazingly, captain John Tavares has only factored in one of them. This could be a good sign, however for the Isles to make a playoff run, they need No. 91 and all the supporting players contributing at the same time.
Eric Staal has been excellent all season long for the Wild. Tuesday, he picked up an assist during a 3-2 overtime win against the Predators, extending his scoring streak to 11 games. In his first season in Minnesota, Staal leads the Wild in goals and assists with 11 goals and 18 assists respectively for 29 total points.