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Sens, Islanders aim to get on track in Ottawa
(SportsNetwork.com) - A couple of teams trying to get on the right track meet Friday in Canada's capital city, as the Ottawa Senators welcome the New York Islanders for a clash at Canadian Tire Centre.
The Islanders have lost two straight and four of their last five games, and are 2-5-2 since opening the season with a 2-0-1 mark. To try and shake things up New York pulled off a blockbuster trade to acquire star winger Thomas Vanek from Buffalo on Sunday, but the move couldn't help the Isles beat the rival New York Rangers on Monday.
Vanek, who was acquired for winger Matt Moulson and two draft picks, failed to score in his debut with the club on Monday. The Isles led the contest by a 2-1 score after 40 minutes, but Benoit Pouliot and Ryan McDonagh each tallied third-period goals to lead the visiting Rangers to a 3-2 comeback victory at Nassau Coliseum.
Cal Clutterbuck and Peter Regin scored in the Islanders' fourth consecutive home loss. Vanek, a two-time 40-goal scorer with the Sabres, had a quiet game, recording just one shot on goal while playing on a line with captain John Tavares.
Evgeni Nabokov finished with 21 saves in the setback.
"I thought we played decently, but it's the same mistakes," Islanders head coach Jack Capuano remarked. "We weren't poised enough with the puck; I thought we turned it over too many times there. We fell asleep on a too many men on the ice call. That's a lack of focus for me."
Vanek hopes to have a better second game in an Isles sweater on Friday. The Austrian sniper has registered 19 goals and 35 points in 50 career games against the Senators.
Ottawa, meanwhile, is mired in an 0-3-0 skid and the club is coming off a disappointing 4-6-2 showing in the first month of the season. The Senators called a players-only meeting on Monday to talk out their frustrations, but still lost a 6-5 decision the following night in Chicago.
The Sens held a 4-2 lead briefly in the second period on Tuesday and headed into the final stanza up 4-3. However, Ottawa couldn't overcome a hat trick from Chicago captain Jonathan Toews, who scored twice early in the third period to give the Blackhawks the lead for good.
Kyle Turris and Milan Michalek each posted a goal and an assist for the Senators, while Craig Anderson allowed all six goals on 40 shots in the loss.
"We got five goals on the road against the Stanley Cup champions," said Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean. "We gave them some easy goals that we should have made them work harder for."
Perhaps, a preponderance of home games to begin November can help the Sens get headed in the right direction. Ottawa, which is 1-3-0 as the host so far, will play two straight and seven of eight at home to kick off the new month.
The Islanders are playing five of six on the road to begin November and are 2-2-0 away from Nassau Coliseum this season.
The Sens have claimed five of the past six meetings in this series overall and Ottawa has taken two in a row in Canada's capital. The Senators boast a 6-0-2 record in the past eight encounters at Canadian Tire Centre.
11/01 10:49:13 ET
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