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Tampa Bay
Lightning
31-42-9
New York
Islanders
35-38-9

28 SOG
32 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
TBL
NYI
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Lightning-Islanders Preview

Thursday, 11.01.2007 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

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Lightning-Islanders Preview
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Islanders

The Tampa Bay Lightning's poor play during their current trip through the New York metropolitan area has added to their road struggles so far this season.

The Lightning (5-5-1) look to avoid a fourth straight loss and they again try for their first win away from home on Thursday night when they visit the New York Islanders, who they haven't lost to since before the 2004-05 lockout.

Tampa Bay fell 6-1 at New Jersey on Wednesday, two nights after losing 3-1 to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden to open the franchise's first road swing against the three New York area teams.

The Lightning, who went 22-15-4 away from home last season, will try to avoid losing their sixth straight road game to open the season. It is the club's worst starting road stretch since dropping eight and tying two in 1993-94.

"It's really frustrating," said Lightning forward Martin St. Louis, who assisted on Vincent Lecavalier's seventh goal Wednesday. "It deflates you. We're saying the same things over and over. We've got to be sharper. We're trying to find a way to win a game on the road."

Though Tampa Bay has been outscored 9-2 on its current trip and 24-10 in five road games, it will try for a ninth straight victory over the Islanders since losing 3-0 on March 21, 2004.

"While we're trying to generate offense, we're forgetting about defense," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "It's got to be the other way around. We've got to just play a good, solid defensive game and then, I think our offense will come back to us."

Lecavalier will look to extend his goal-scoring streak to four games Thursday. He had two goals and four assists in four games versus the Islanders last season.

Goaltender Johan Holmqvist allowed five goals against the Devils and has given up 12 in his last three games. Holmqvist could be back in goal Thursday, though, since he is 4-0-0 with a 2.20 goals-against average against the Islanders in his career.

New York (5-4-0) will play just its second game in 12 days and first since losing 8-3 to Carolina on Saturday.

The loss marked the second time the Islanders have allowed eight goals this season. New York - which is 0-5-3 the last two seasons against Tampa Bay - lost 8-1 at Toronto on Oct. 11.

Rick DiPietro, who's 5-3-0 with a 2.93 GAA, is likely to be in goal Thursday. He didn't play against Toronto, but allowed six goals in less than two periods before being pulled against the Hurricanes.

"I don't want to sit here and make excuses," said DiPietro, who is 2-5-0 with three ties and a 3.01 GAA in 10 starts versus Tampa Bay. "Whatever it was, hopefully we got it out of our system, and we can get back to the way we were playing."

Mike Sillinger scored his first goal of the season on Saturday for the Islanders. Sillinger, who has skated with 12 teams, will play his 1,000th NHL game Thursday.

Leading scorer Mike Comrie added an assist versus Carolina and has a goal and three assists in his last three contests.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 11 '08NYI 4 at TBL 8V. Lecavalier
Feb 21 '08TBL 0 at NYI 1M. Satan
Dec 08 '07NYI 3 at TBL 2 - OTM. Sillinger
Nov 01 '07TBL 0 at NYI 4B. Guerin
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%