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Islanders, Blues meet for matinee after Saturday wins
NEW YORK -- Two teams hoping Saturday night victories were a sign of things to come will square off Monday afternoon when the New York Islanders host the St. Louis Blues in a Columbus Day matinee at Barclays Center.
The Islanders scored three second-period goals in a span of 1:47 in a 6-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres in Saturday's home opener.
The host Blues, who also played their home opener Saturday, scored the game's first three goals in a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars.
The win by the Islanders (1-1-0) provided a much-needed boost to a team that expects to return to the playoffs after a one-year absence. New York, which missed the postseason by one point last season, fell 5-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets in Friday night's season opener.
"I know it's only game two, but it's a pivotal game, for sure," said Islanders right winger Jordan Eberle, who was acquired by New York from the Edmonton Oilers on June 22. "I've been on teams that have started poorly and confidence-wise, it buries you, that you're not a good team, and obviously puts you in a hole.
"Getting off to a good start is huge in the NHL season. It gives you confidence that you're a good team, you can play and be one of the better teams."
The Blues (2-0-0) displayed a stouter defensive effort Saturday than in Thursday's season opener against the host Pittsburgh Penguins. While St. Louis claimed a 5-4 overtime win over the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions, the back-and-forth victory featured one lead change and three ties.
Eight players, including four defensemen, have scored at least one goal for the Blues.
"Everyone's contributing now," said Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who is the only St. Louis player to score two goals this season. "It's what the team is built on. It's what our system is built on."
Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak, who stopped all 11 shots he faced in relief of Thomas Greiss on Friday night before making 26 saves Saturday, is likely to start against Blues' top netminder Jake Allen.
Halak, who spent 3 1/2 seasons with the Blues from 2010 through 2014, is 0-2-1 in three games against St. Louis, which is the only NHL team he hasn't beaten aside from the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.
Allen, who stopped 67 of the 73 shots he faced in the Blues' first two games, is 1-1-0 in three career appearances against the Islanders.
Islanders right winger Cal Clutterbuck, who sat out Saturday's game with a lower-body injury, practiced with the team Sunday.
The Blues reported no notable injuries Saturday night, though Alexander Steen (broken hand) and Jay Bouwmeester (broken ankle) are expected to be out through at least this week.
The season series between the Blues and Islanders concludes Nov. 11 when New York visits Scottrade Center.
Updated October 8, 2017