NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, November 11th (All times eastern)
New York Islanders (4-9-2) at San Jose Sharks (6-5-2), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Islanders try to avoid their longest losing streak in almost two years tonight as they continue their California road trip this evening at HP Pavilion against a San Jose Sharks club that will have captain Joe Thornton back in the lineup.
The Islanders' current skid reached eight games last night with a 1-0 setback to the Ducks. New York lost despite out-shooting Anaheim 27-14 and has been held to two goals or less in each of its last six games. The Isles have been outscored 32-12 over their losing streak.
Dwayne Roloson was tagged with the loss as he gave up a goal in the third period on 14 total shots faced for the Islanders, who are in danger of posting their longest slide since a 10-game losing streak from Dec. 4-23, 2008.
"When it's not going in, especially when we're creating opportunities and out-shooting teams that are playing well right now, like we did tonight, it's not always easy," said Islanders center John Tavares. "But we just need to get ready for another one and we need to get back on track. There are some great opportunities throughout this tough stretch for us."
New York has dropped its last six on the road and is 2-7-1 as the visiting club this year. It will end its current trip on Saturday in Los Angeles.
The Sharks have split the first two contests of their five-game homestand, but are coming off a 3-2 overtime setback to the Ducks on Tuesday. Anaheim's Lubomir Visnovsky scored the game-winner with 32.6 seconds left in overtime on a play in which San Jose felt there should have been an interference minor on a potential icing play.
"I can't touch the puck if I'm laying on my back," San Jose forward Devin Setoguchi said of the non-call. "Maybe they missed one there, but what are you going to do. It's just the way it happens."
Setoguchi scored the game-tying goal in the third period on one of San Jose's 22 shots in the frames, while Torrey Mitchell also scored. Antero Niittymaki allowed three goals on 20 shots in the losing effort as the Sharks fell to 1-2-1 in their last four games.
San Jose is expected to have Thornton back after he served the final contest of his two-game suspension for an illegal hit versus the Blues on Nov. 4. Thornton leads the club with 10 assists and is tied with Dany Heatley with a club-best 15 points.
The Sharks posted a 4-1 win over the Islanders in New York last year and have taken two straight and four of the last five meetings. That includes a 5-3 triumph in the last meeting at HP Pavilion on Jan. 3, 2009 and the Isles have lost three straight and five of their last six trips to San Jose.
New York hasn't won as the visitor in this series since Feb. 19, 2003.
11/11 11:05:18 ET