NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, November 3rd (All times eastern)
Columbus Blue Jackets (4-6-1) at New York Islanders (2-7-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Having admitted they will be without their franchise netminder for the foreseeable future, the New York Islanders will try to halt a six-game losing streak tonight in a home test against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nassau Coliseum.
In the third year of a 15-year contract signed before the 2006-07 season, goaltender Rick DiPietro has played in just three games this season due to what the team was calling a lower body injury.
On Saturday, the same day the club lost to Montreal by a 5-4 count, the Islanders revealed that DiPietro has undergone arthroscopic knee surgery to address a meniscus injury and will be out four-to-six weeks.
The former first-overall selection of the 2000 NHL draft has battled a series of ailments over the past two seasons and underwent season-ending hip surgery last March. He also had surgery to repair a torn labrum on his left hip following the 2007 playoffs.
Joey MacDonald has seen most of the action in DiPietro's absence, but Yann Danis got the start in Saturday's one-goal loss. He was beaten five times on 32 shots, including four times in the third period.
Frans Nielsen had a goal and assist while both Doug Weight and Trent Hunter notched two assists each for the Islanders, who have lost six straight for the first time since March 6-18 of last season and hasn't won since October 16. The club will try to avoid its first seven-game slide since January 24- February 9 of last season.
Mark Streit, Jon Sim and Bill Guerin all scored as well for New York, which is just 1-5-0 at home this season.
The Blue Jackets have also struggled as of late, as the club has lost four of its last five games after Saturday's 4-3 shootout loss to Chicago. The Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews scored in the first round of the extra frame, while Kristian Huselius, Rick Nash and Jakub Voracek all failed to beat Cristobal Huet.
Huselius notched the original game-tying goal for the Blue Jackets with about eight minutes to go in the third, while offseason additions R.J. Umberger and Fedor Tyutin scored for the first time each in a Columbus uniform.
Fredrik Norrena made 21 saves, while Derick Brassard recorded two assists.
Raffi Torres was activated off injured reserve on Saturday after missing the first 10 games of the season due to a shoulder injury suffered the preseason, while Jared Boll served his one-game suspension over the weekend.
Boll received the ban after picking up an instigator penalty late in the third period Thursday against Colorado.
Columbus will try to improve on its 2-4-0 road record tonight before next starting a four-game homestand.
The Islanders had been winless in their last seven games versus the Blue Jackets before a 4-0 home win on December 23, 2006 in the two clubs' last meeting.
Columbus is 6-1 with a tie in eight all-time meetings with New York.
11/03 10:45:38 ET