Islanders aim to shake off slump in home test with Capitals

( - New York Islanders captain John Tavares doesn't think his team is making things difficult enough for its opponents right now.

The Islanders will try to give the Washington Capitals a challenge Saturday night as the two clubs clash on Long Island.

New York has been outscored 22-9 over a season-high, five-game slide, with each setback coming in regulation, and was shut out 5-0 on Friday night by Detroit.

Kevin Poulin made 25 saves for the Islanders, who have dropped the first two of a four-game residency.

"We have to try and find some answers," said Tavares, who leads the club with 11 goals and 29 points. "We are obviously an easy team to play against right now. We can't wait for things to happen."

Washington made some things happen when it hosted New York back on Nov. 5, getting five second-period goals and four tallies on the power play in a 6-2 win.

Alex Ovechkin had two goals and an assist, while Nicklas Backstrom assisted on three of Washington's power-play goals. Braden Holtby ended with 34 saves as the Caps bested the Islanders for the 10th time in the previous 14 meetings.

New York has lost seven of its last nine at home versus Washington and got a goal and an assist from both Tavares and Kyle Okposo in defeat.

Evgeni Nabokov, currently out with a strained groin, gave up all six goals on 39 shots.

Poulin has never faced the Capitals before.

Washington will look to win on consecutive days as it snapped a four-game slide with Friday's 3-2 shootout win over the Montreal Canadiens. Mikhail Grabovski and Eric Fehr both had a goal and an assist and Grabovski had the winner in the fourth round of the shootout.

He faked a slap shot before sneaking the puck between the pads of Montreal's Peter Budaj.

Holtby then poke-checked the puck away from Tomas Plekanec to seal the extra point after making 35 saves through overtime.

"It's huge for us right now. Maybe it was not our best game, but we spent lots of time in the offensive zone," Ovechkin said. "Of course we make a couple mistakes, but right now, it's two points and we'll take it."

Holtby got the start after Michal Neuvirth suffered a lower-body injury during warmups and is 3-1-0 with a 1.73 goals against average in his career versus the Islanders.