(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Islanders have struggled mightily in recent weeks, but they hope to start heading in the right direction on Saturday afternoon when the Anaheim Ducks visit Nassau Coliseum.
New York is in good shape to make the playoffs for the second time in eight seasons, but the club's play lately is still cause for concern. The Islanders, who last qualified for the postseason in 2013, have just three wins over their past 12 outings, going 3-6-3 during that stretch.
Despite the recent struggles, the Isles still have compiled 93 points on the season. That represents the club's highest total since 2001-02, when it logged 96 points.
New York is second in the Metropolitan Division. It sits two points ahead of Pittsburgh and three ahead of Washington, which sits fourth in the division and in the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Boston and Ottawa are eight points behind the Isles and locked in a battle for the East's final postseason berth.
The Penguins host Arizona on Saturday, Washington is at home against Nashville, Ottawa visits Toronto and the Bruins are hosting the Metro-leading Rangers.
Anaheim, meanwhile, is on the verge of clinching a playoff spot out West with 101 points. The Ducks own an 11-point cushion over Vancouver for the top spot in the Pacific Division.
New York has lost two straight at the start of a four-game homestand, dropping a shootout decision Tuesday against Minnesota before falling 3-2 in regulation to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.
The Isles and Kings were knotted at 2-2 after Johnny Boychuk delivered a power-play goal at 3:31 of the third period, but Anze Kopitar potted the game- winner for L.A. in the final minutes of regulation, tipping a shot past Jaroslav Halak with 4:23 remaining.
Frans Nielsen also scored for New York, while Halak absorbed the loss despite making 34 saves.
The Islanders fell to 0-5-1 in their last six games at Nassau Coliseum. New York, which will move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for 2015-16, has three regular-season tests left at the arena.
The Ducks have won five of seven and halted a two-game slide with Thursday's comeback win in Boston. Ryan Getzlaf helped tie the game late in regulation and scored the winning goal in overtime to help Anaheim pick up a 3-2 decision and win for the first time on a five-game road trip.
Getzlaf fired a shot from above the right circle that was tipped in front by Corey Perry with 38.5 seconds remaining in the third period. After the Ducks failed to convert on a power play in overtime, Getzlaf carried the puck across the Boston blue line and beat Tuukka Rask with a wrist shot from the high slot.
Patrick Maroon also scored for Anaheim and Frederik Andersen stopped 27 Boston shots.
"We were better all over the ice," said Getzlaf, who scored his franchise- best seventh career overtime goal. "We played a great team in Boston, and battled them right to the end. Those are things we want to establish down the stretch."
The Ducks are tied with the New York Rangers for the most points in the NHL. The Rangers, who have three games in hand over Anaheim, play this afternoon in Boston.
The Islanders won for just the second time in seven meetings with the Ducks when they notched a 3-2 OT win in Anaheim on Nov. 5. New York has claimed four of the past six encounters on Long Island.