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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 20th (All times eastern)

New York Islanders (10-19-3) at Nashville Predators (15-13-3), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The New York Islanders still haven't won a game in December, something they will try to fix tonight in a road test versus the Nashville Predators at the Sommet Center.

New York has gone 0-7-1 since defeating Ottawa to close out November. Following that victory, the Islanders lost six in a row in regulation before an overtime setback to Washington on Tuesday.

New York then visited Minnesota last night and dropped a 4-1 contest. Richard Park had the lone goal for the Islanders, who have been outscored 39-16 over their skid. Joey MacDonald stopped 35-of-39 shots faced.

The Isles will attempt to avoid losing nine straight games for the first time since 10 consecutive defeats from December 22, 1997-January 12, 1998.

Doug Weight had an assist to leave him two points shy of 1,000 for his career. Weight has a point in seven of his last eight games (2 goals, 5 assists) and has three goals and 17 assists in 40 career games versus the Predators.

Defenseman Andy Sutton leads New York with a plus-3 rating in addition to having two goals and eight assists this year, but left last night's loss with a broken foot.

The Islanders have also lost seven straight on the road, where they are 5-11-1 this season.

Not only will New York be aiming to halt its eight-game slide tonight, but the club hasn't defeated Nashville since a home win on October 15, 2002. The Islanders have lost four straight to the Predators since then, including three in a row in Nashville.

The Predators will try to take advantage of an Islanders' club that is allowing an NHL-high 3.69 goals per game, as Nashville is netting just 2.61 GPG and has lost four of its last five games. It has managed to score just one goal in each of its last three setbacks, including Thursday in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Phoenix.

Vernon Fiddler had the lone tally and Dan Ellis turned in a solid performance for Nashville by making 25 saves. Rich Peverley and Shea Weber notched assists.

Weber is one of the few Predators skaters who have stepped it up this season. His 11 goals are the most of any NHL defenseman this year while his 26 points are tied with San Jose's Dan Boyle for the most in the league by a blueliner.

Jason Arnott leads the team with 13 goals but hasn't found the back of the net in seven straight games. J.P. Dumont, meanwhile, hasn't scored in any of his last four games, while Martin Erat has lit the lamp just once in his past 15 contests.

Nashville has won three of its last four as the host and is 8-4-1 overall at home.

12/20 10:35:36 ET

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