(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Islanders look to tighten things up and rebound from a rough loss last time out when they visit the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.
The Islanders had to settle for a split of a four-game homestand thanks to a 5-3 loss to Carolina on Saturday, with the Hurricanes scoring four times in the second period. Carolina began and ended the scoring in the frame with power- play tallies.
Michael Grabner, Nikolay Kulemin and John Tavares scored New York's goals.
"You can't give up two power-play goals and expect to win," said Islanders coach Jack Capuano.
New York did not win and finds itself tied with the rival New York Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division after the Blueshirts defeated the Nashville Predators on Monday night. The Rangers also have two games in hand over the Isles.
The Islanders will play their next four games on the road and hope that Tavares can stay hot. The talented forward has six goals and 14 points over his past nine games and is tied for the NHL lead with 65 points.
Center Anders Lee also is in great form as he was named the league's top rookie for February. He led all freshman skaters with seven goals and 15 points in 15 games last month.
After getting the game off versus the Hurricanes, Jaroslav Halak figures to get the start tonight and he is 4-5-0 lifetime with a 2.73 goals against average and .896 save percentage in nine career games versus the Stars.
Halak is set to have a new backup for the stretch run in Michal Neuvirth, who the Islanders acquired on Monday from the Buffalo Sabres for goaltender Chad Johnson and a conditional 2016 third-round pick. Johnson allowed five goals on 41 shots in the loss to the Hurricanes and posted a 3.08 GAA and .899 save percentage in 17 starts with New York.
The 26-year-old Neuvirth went 6-17-3 in 27 games with the Sabres, posting a 2.99 GAA and .918 save percentage.
New York also added winger Tyler Kennedy from the San Jose Sharks on Monday for a conditional draft pick. He had four goals and nine points in 25 games with San Jose.
The Stars are in danger of matching their longest losing streak of the season, an 0-5-2 slump from Oct 25-Nov. 8. Dallas is currently 0-4-2 over its last six games, including a 3-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.
"I think you've heard the same speech enough. I don't like some of the mistakes we made on the goals," Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said.
Patrick Eaves scored the only goal of the game for the Stars, who have lost their last six games (0-4-2). Jhonas Enroth stopped 19 shots in the loss.
Dallas, which is nine points back of a wild card spot in the Western Conference, traded forward Erik Cole to the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday for defensive prospect Mattias Backman, forward prospect Mattias Janmark and a second-round pick in 2015. The Stars also sent a conditional third-round pick in 2015 to Detroit, but the pick goes back to Dallas if the Wings advance as far as the Eastern Conference Finals.
Enroth, meanwhile, has not lost all four of his starts since being acquired from the Sabres and is 1-3-0 in his career versus the Islanders with a 2.73 GAA and .923 save percentage.
Fellow Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who has yielded 14 goals over a personal three-game skid, is 5-4-1 in this series with the 4.11 GAA and .889 save percentage.
The Islanders have scored 18 goals over a three-game series win streak that includes a 7-5 home victory on Oct. 25. Frans Nielsen netted a third-period hat trick for New York in that contest.