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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Thursday, December 13th (All times eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (13-15-0) at New York Islanders (14-13-2), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The floundering New York Islanders will try to get headed in the right direction tonight, when they welcome the Phoenix Coyotes to Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders have dropped six of their last seven games (1-5-1) and are coming off a setback Wednesday evening in Buffalo. Ales Kotalik scored a goal and added an assist to lead the Sabres past visiting New York, 5-3.

Rick DiPietro allowed all five goals on 41 shots while Mike Sillinger registered a goal and an assist for the slumping Islanders, who are last in the Atlantic Division, but only five points behind first-place New Jersey.

Tonight marks the opener of a three-game homestand for the Isles, who are 9-5-1 at the Coliseum this season. However, New York has dropped two straight and three of its last four tests on home ice.

The Coyotes have won two of their last three contests after dropping their previous four tests.

Phoenix's latest victory came Saturday evening in Los Angeles. Keith Ballard scored the game-winning goal with under eight minutes to play as the Coyotes downed the Kings, 4-2, at Staples Center.

Shane Doan had a goal and an assist while Fredrik Sjostrom tallied three helpers for the Coyotes.

Ilya Bryzgalov made 22 saves in the win for Phoenix, which has won all four games against Los Angeles this season. Bryzgalov was in net for all of those victories.

The Coyotes, who are 8-7-0 as the visiting team this season, are playing the second test of a six-game road trip.

The Coyotes are 7-1-3 (1 loss, 3 ties) in the last 11 meetings with the Islanders and 2-0-2 in their previous four trips to Long Island.

12/13 10:50:37 ET

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