The Islanders are averaging 3.67 goals per game this summer, which ranks third. Combine that with New York’s trademark stingy defense, and Barry Trotz has his former team playing what it’s calling the most important game of the season. Nicklas Backstrom (concussion protocol) practiced Saturday, but his status for Game 3 is unclear. The Caps have been outscored 7-2 in the third period through five games. An honest assessment from Washington’s Carl Hagelin: “We’ve only scored, what is it? Four goals so far. Sometimes that is all it takes in the playoffs if you are playing smart enough defensively, but we haven’t done that, either.”
Game 4: No. 3 Dallas Stars vs. No. 8 Calgary Flames (CGY leads 2-1) | 2 p.m.
Dallas needs somebody to step up offensively. Defenseman Miro Heiskanen leads the team with seven points, but no other player has more than three. The Stars will still be without defenseman Stephen Johns on Sunday, and they’re reeling after a ton of missed opportunities in Game 3 — including 19 shots that missed the net. If Dallas suffers an early exit, it’s their own undoing. For the Flames, feisty winger Matthew Tkachuk is going to be a game-time decision after missing Game 4. The Flames were a bit too reliant on Cam Talbot (35-save shutout) in Game 3, but they’re feeling OK. Forward Tobias Rieder summed it up: “I don’t think we have to be worried — we haven’t played our best in the series.”