ISLANDERS (4-6-3) at CANUCKS (8-8-1)
TV: MSG PLUS (HD); SNET-Pacific (HD)
Last 10: New York 2-5-3; Vancouver 5-5-0
Season Series: This is the only meeting between the teams this season. They met just once in 2010-11, with the Canucks winning 4-3 in a shootout on Jan. 11 at the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders won the last time they came to Vancouver, beating the Canucks 5-2 on March 16, 2010, as then-rookie John Tavares had a five-point night.
Big Story: The Canucks are back home after a 3-3-0 road trip in which the ups and downs were symbolized by Friday's 4-3 loss at Anaheim. Vancouver allowed the Ducks to score four unanswered goals in the second period, then roared back with three goals on 22 shots in the third, only to come up one goal short in a 4-3 loss. The Islanders, already last in the Eastern Conference, are wrapping up a three-game trip that has seen them go 0-1-1, including a 4-3 OT loss at Colorado on Thursday.
Islanders: The Isles were 21 minutes from their first road win this season when things started to go horribly wrong in Colorado. They led 3-0 until Paul Stastny scored during a 5-on-3 power-play goal in the final minute of the second period. Milan Hejduk and Jan Hejda beat Al Montoya in the third and Kyle Quincey connected for the OT winner on a power play.
The Avs wound up with 51 shots on goal as the Isles spent almost all of the third period trying to fend off waves of Colorado attackers.
“When you get a couple goals scored on you, you tend to seize up and that’s what we did," forward Brian Rolston said. "We weren’t a confident group after they scored their second goal. That’s the time when we need to be confident and make confident plays with the puck. We didn’t do that. That’s something that needs to be stressed.”
Evgeni Nabokov is expected to start for the Islanders, who are still juggling three goaltenders.
Canucks: Vancouver's up-and-down season can be summarized by the loss at Anaheim -- a mediocre period, a horrible period and a brilliant period. Down 4-0 entering the final 20 minutes, the Canucks totally dominated the Ducks but ran out of time.
"In the third period, we played the way we should play and showed how good we can be," said forward Daniel Sedin said. "In the first two periods, we weren't good enough. We should play the whole game like we did in the third period."
Who's Hot: Michael Grabner, a Calder Trophy finalist last season, has goals in both games on the trip. … Daniel Sedin has seven points in Vancouver's last three games; twin brother Henrik has five.
Injury Report: Islanders rookie Nino Niederreiter is almost ready to return from a groin injury that has kept him out since the end of training camp. Otherwise, the Isles are healthy -- a big change from last season when they lost nearly 600 man-games to injury. … Vancouver is still without forward Mason Raymond (back), and forward Andrew Ebbett has a fractured foot.
Stat Pack: The Islanders are 0-3-2 on the road, the second time in three seasons they've gone without a victory in their first five games away from home. New York is 1-5-3 since starting the season 3-1-0.
Puck Drop: “.500 hockey is not good enough for this group. We need to be better, we need to be better 5-on-5, that’s definitely an area right now that we need to address with our group. There are some signs, but we need to get this going here.” -- Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault