Season Series: This is the second of four meetings between the teams this season. The Lightning earned a 4-0 win against Isles in Tampa Bay on Dec. 5. Mike Smith stopped all 30 shots he faced for the shutout.
Big Story: After showing signs that they could be in the postseason race for much of the season, both teams have faded in recent weeks. The Islanders followed up an impressive 2-1 win at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday with back-to-back losses on home ice against the Rangers and Canadiens, respectively. Tampa Bay had lost six straight before earning a victory in St. Louis on Friday. Their previous win was the aforementioned one against the Isles.
Lightning: Showing what they're capable when firing on all cylinders, the Lightning cruised to a 6-3 victory against the Blues and were paced by a pair of goals from second-year sensation Steven Stamkos.
"I think everybody struggles in their career but you have to draw on something. It was a good challenge for our team," Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet said. "Everybody has had some point in their career when they've had to be inspired by something, so whatever it is, use it."
Islanders: Perhaps they ran into some goaltending by Henrik Lundqvist and Jaroslav Halak, on Thursday and Saturday, respectively, but the Isles' offense has been dreadful as of late. Calder Trophy candidate John Tavares has been stuck on 15 goals since Dec. 9, and his team hasn't scored more than three goals in a game since Dec. 3 at Atlanta.
"We certainly haven't gotten any bad performances in net from the opposition," Isles coach Scott Gordon said. "That's making it a little tougher. Maybe part of it is us, but a lot of it is their goalies. Halak has played outstanding against us all year long."
Who's Hot: Vincent Lecavalier had a pair of assists on Friday, giving him 700 points in the NHL. Jeff Halpern had two goals in the victory, as did Stamkos, who now has 20 tallies this season. … Nobody on the Islanders is hot. They went 0-for-6 on the power play Saturday night, while Montreal scored three times via the man advantage.
Injury Report: Tampa Bay forward Steve Downie (upper body) is day-to-day, while defenseman Matt Walker (lower body) is questionable after getting hurt during Friday's win. … Isles goalie Rick DiPietro (knee) is out indefinitely but is returning to practice on Monday. Radek Martinek (torn ACL) is out for the season, while captain Doug Weight (upper body) hopes to return by the end of the month. Tim Jackman (hip) is day-to-day and Sean Bergenheim (rib) is expected to miss another week.
Stat Pack: Tampa Bay had killed off 27 of 28 power plays against coming into the game against St. Louis before the Blues scored twice with the man advantage. However, the victory improved the Lightning's record to 4-0-1 in the second half of back-to-back games.
Puck Drop: "There's a lot of good goalies in this League. There's got to be a hunger to be on the puck around the net and I'm not sure we have that right now." -- Matt Moulson after Saturday's 3-0 loss