The puck will drop Saturday night at Barclays Center to begin an action-packed stretch of seven games in 11 days for the Islanders before a non-action-packed stretch of 10 days for the All-Star/bye-week break.
“It’s going to be a grind,” Anthony Beauvillier said. “You’re going to be looking forward for the break after. But, yeah, it’s some important games coming up for us, a lot of games in the Metro. It’s going to be fun. … It’s going to be important for us to be dialed in.”
The Islanders practiced Friday in East Meadow for the start of it against Boston. They could use several players to be more dialed in to scoring to bring consistent success in this demanding slice of the schedule.
“A little downer stretch I would say for me and some guys,” Beauvillier said. “But I think we’re working hard, working on doing the right things, and it’s going to come. I had a few chances the last couple of games. It’s going to start to go in if you stick to the process and keep doing the right things.”
Beauvillier hasn't scored in the last 11 games. Josh Bailey is 0-for-13. Derick Brassard has gone 10 straight without a goal. Mathew Barzal has none in the last seven. Michael Dal Colle has a five-game drought and has only scored twice. Jordan Eberle scored in Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime win over the Devils to end a 10-game drought, but he has only four goals.
“You just can’t go into games thinking about points and goals,” Bailey said. “That ends up hurting you more than helping you.”
The Islanders, who entered Friday second in the division, sandwiched two one-goal games around a no-goal game and went 1-2 before beating New Jersey. They finished a seven-game, 12-day stretch at 4-3.
Barry Trotz wants production from all over to help overcome what’s ahead, including three games against the Rangers.
“You can’t rely on one line,” Trotz said. “If you think one line is going to be fabulous for seven games in 11, 12 nights, you’re probably going to be not so successful. But if you can get everybody contributing through that stretch, you might have a chance to be successful.”
Bailey knows there’s a fine line here.
“We all want to produce and get goals and points,” said Bailey, who has produced eight goals and 23 points. “I’m sure we would probably get more if we got away from what gives us success. We’d be giving up more and we wouldn’t be winning games. So it’s finding that happy medium of offense while doing what we need to do to be successful.”
Notes & quotes: Tom Kuhnhackl, currently the third-line right wing and the owner of three goals in the last six games, didn’t practice. “He just had a slight strain (Thursday),” Trotz said. “I expect him to play (Saturday).”