The New York Islanders will try to stop the bleeding and avoid a fifth straight loss when they host the Carolina Hurricanes in Monday's clash at Nassau Coliseum.
The Isles turned a few heads with a solid 4-2-1 start to the season, but the club has fallen off considerably with four straight regulation losses to begin February.
New York hopes it can end the slide on Monday by conjuring up the success it had against Carolina in 2011-12. The Isles won all four meetings against the Hurricanes last season and scored 15 times during the series.
All told, the clubs have split the past 12 tilts in this matchup and Carolina has seven wins in its last 10 trips to Long Island.
The Islanders played Saturday against visiting Buffalo and were dealt a 3-2 setback. The score was tied at 2-2 heading into the third period, but Alexander Sulzer scored the go-ahead goal with 12:25 remaining.
Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller frustrated New York all game, stopping 41-of-43 shots to anchor Buffalo's victory and he notched a game-saving stop of John Tavares on a penalty shot with 3:53 left to play.
New York lost despite outshooting the Sabres by a wide 43-15 margin.
Tavares did register a goal in the first period, but Evgeni Nabokov managed just 12 saves. Colin McDonald netted New York's other goal, with Brian Strait notching two assists in the setback.
"We came close and we had a bunch of opportunities," said Tavares. "Sometimes it's bad luck, but I think as many opportunities as we had, we've got to put them in when we can."
The setback dropped the Islanders to 1-4-0 as the host this season. New York has lost three straight on home ice since posting its last win at the Coliseum on Jan. 21 against Tampa Bay.
Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky and forward Josh Bailey both made their season debuts for the Islanders on Saturday. Visnovsky finally reported to the team earlier in the week after attempting to remain in the Russian Kontinental Hockey League following the resolution of the lockout, while Bailey had been sidelined with a knee injury sustained while playing in Germany during the work stoppage .
Visnovsky finished the game with a plus-2 rating, making him the Islanders' only plus player on the season.
The Hurricanes had a two-game win streak snapped Saturday in Philadelphia, but managed to get a point thanks to a third-period goal from Joe Corvo.
Carolina trailed 3-2 heading into the final 20 minutes before Corvo tied it with 12:02 left in the third period. The score remained that way until Philadelphia's Danny Briere scored at the 1:47 mark of overtime to give the Flyers the 4-3 win.
"I think we did a good job battling back there in the third," said Carolina forward Jeff Skinner. "It was a big goal by [Joe Corvo]. We carried the momentum into the overtime, I think. But in overtime anything can happen. So, I think it was a good job battling back."
Corvo also posted an assist in the loss and Jiri Tlusty and Jeff Skinner each lit the lamp for the Hurricanes. Cam Ward posted 28 saves.
Carolina is 2-1-1 on its current six-game road trip and both of the losses on the swing were against the Flyers. The 'Canes are scheduled to complete the trek Tuesday evening at New Jersey.