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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, March 8th (All times eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (28-32-5) at New York Islanders (21-37-7), 3 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of last-place clubs will meet today on Long Island, as the Phoenix Coyotes visit the New York Islanders for an interconference matchup at Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders are last in the NHL with just 49 points on the season and have all but been eliminated from the postseason. Phoenix is last in the Pacific Division and second from the bottom in the Western Conference, but is still only nine points out of a postseason berth.

New York has won three of its last four games and is coming off Saturday's lopsided victory over the first-place New Jersey Devils. Sean Bergenheim posted his first career hat trick as the Islanders pounded the visiting Devils, 7-3, at the Coliseum.

Jeff Tambellini, Kyle Okposo, Radek Martinek and Blake Comeau also lit the lamp for the Islanders, who set a season-high in goals scored.

Joey MacDonald stopped 35 shots for the win, improving his record to 13-24-5 on the season.

Today's test marks the end of a season-high six-game homestand for the Islanders, who are 3-1-1 on the residency and 15-14-5 as the host club this season. Next up for New York is a six-game road trip, which is scheduled to begin Tuesday in Toronto.

The Coyotes have dropped four of five, seven of 10 and 13 of their last 17 games. Phoenix was routed its last time on the ice as Tim Connolly registered two goals and two assists to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-1 win over the Coyotes at HSBC Arena.

Matthew Lombardi notched a power-play goal for the Coyotes, while Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 26-of-31 shots in defeat.

Lombardi was acquired from Calgary at Wednesday's trade deadline, coming over in the deal that sent Olli Jokinen to the Flames.

Today's test marks the third stop on a five-game road trip for the Coyotes, who are just 11-19-3 as the visiting team this season. Phoenix, which will also visit Detroit and New Jersey on this swing, has lost three of its last four road games.

Phoenix has won two of the last three meetings with the Islanders, including a 5-4 regulation victory when New York visited Jobing.com Arena on January 2.

03/08 10:33:43 ET

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