Islanders, Stars seeking to rebound
DALLAS -- When the Dallas Stars host the New York Islanders at American Airlines Center on Friday evening, both teams will share a similar goal -- getting a bounce-back win.
The Islanders (8-5-2, 18 points) lost 2-1 in overtime to Edmonton on Tuesday at the Barclays Center. New York will finish the quick two-game road trip Saturday at St. Louis before playing again on Nov. 16 against Carolina.
New York coach Doug Weight said that other than not getting the full two points against one of his former clubs, the Oilers, he was pleased with the Islanders' effort in the overtime loss.
On Wednesday, New York recalled young center Alan Quine from AHL Bridgeport, where he had completed a two-week conditioning assignment. Weight maintains high hopes for Quine, who had 18 points (13 assists) in 61 NHL games last season.
During practice on Thursday in Dallas, Quine centered New York's third line with Andrew Ladd on the left and Anthony Beauvillier on the right.
"Alan's really, really grown as far as getting his strength," Weight said after practice on Wednesday. "His skating is a big asset for him. I think he was just scratching the surface last year. I would definitely plan on seeing Alan on Friday."
The Islanders, who are 3-5-0 on the road, won both meetings against Dallas last season.
Another big positive for Weight right now is that for the most part, his team is healthy.
"The best thing for a coach is to have a healthy hockey team and the worst thing for a coach is to have a healthy hockey team," Weight joked on Wednesday. "It's good. We got eight good D right now. We've got a lot of good forwards and guys that are scratching at trying to come back up and play with us. It's tough, but it's a good thing."
Dallas (8-7-0, 16 points) lost to Winnipeg 4-1 on Monday, its second loss to the Jets in a span of four days.
If the Stars are to return to the win column Friday, they might have to do so without defenseman Marc Methot (upper body). Methot also didn't practice Wednesday, an absence termed a maintenance day by coach Ken Hitchcock.
"Methot didn't skate again (Thursday), so he's probably going to miss the game on Friday," Hitchcock said after practice on Thursday. "That's not 100 percent yet, but there's a chance he might miss."
Dallas currently also has three injured forwards, with Radek Faksa nursing a lower-body injury while both Tyler Pitlick and Brett Ritchie are dealing with upper-body injuries.
Pitlick and Ritchie, who was placed on injured reserve Sunday, both practiced Thursday wearing the red non-contact jerseys, and it appears at least one of them might be able to play against the Islanders.
"Well, we'll take them both into the morning skate tomorrow (Friday)," Hitchcock said of Pitlick and Ritchie. "I would say Ritchie is probably ahead of the curve. He's a little bit ahead of Pitlick right now, so we'll evaluate both guys in the morning and see what goes from there."
Hitchcock said Faksa skated for nearly an hour before practice on Thursday and that the young center also will be evaluated at morning skate on Friday.
Dallas had originally planned to start backup goaltender Kari Lehtonen against the Islanders to give starter Ben Bishop a rest.
However, since Lehtonen has just one practice this week after missing Wednesday due to illness, Hitchcock has opted to stick with Bishop in net on Friday. The Stars had Tuesday off.
"One practice is not enough (for Lehtonen)," Hitchcock said. "It's too bad. That was kind of the schedule we were going to work on, but having only one skate in, I don't think is fair. He was OK today (Thursday). He felt OK today. We've got lots of games next week, so he'll get in one or two of those."
The Stars only see Eastern Conference foes like the Islanders twice each season, but Dallas defenseman John Klingberg still has a good idea about what makes New York tick.
"I know they're a skilled team," Klingberg said. "They've got fast players, obviously that (Mathew) Barzal kid coming up, making their team better, (and John) Tavares. They've got some physical players as well. It should be a good game tomorrow."
Updated November 9, 2017