ISLANDERS (26-27-8) at SENATORS (32-23-8)
TV: MSG PLUS, SNET-East
LAST 10: New York 5-5-0; Ottawa 5-3-2.
Season Series: This is the third of four meetings between the teams. The Senators crushed the Isles last Monday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in a 6-0 blowout.
Big Story: The Islanders did not play Saturday, but they did manage to make their way into the headlines.
After months of very little production, veteran forward Brian Rolston was placed on waivers. Rolston, who was acquired last summer to provide both offense and leadership, has just 4 goals and 5 assists in 49 games. The 39-year-old will likely be assigned to AHL Bridgeport if he clears waivers.
"I haven't had the chance to talk to Brian," Isles coach Jack Capuano told the team's website. "He's had a tremendous career and I respect him a great deal. He's shown tremendous leadership for us. I know he wasn't where he wanted to be statistically, but at the same time as a coach, you can't lose sight of the career that he's had and what he's helped us through this year."
Islanders: After suffering back-to-back losses early last week to Ottawa and Buffalo, the Islanders bounce back with a 4-3 shootout victory against the New York Rangers at the Coliseum on Friday night. After battling a severe case of the flu, Evgeni Nabokov made his first start in 10 days and made 33 saves to help the Isles move back to within a game of the .500 mark.
"Nabby played great for us in net," Isles forward Matt Moulson said. "We knew we had to get him the win and we found a way. When you have a game like that, of that importance, it's a little more icing on the cake."
Senators: Ottawa failed to earn any points in the standings Saturday night, as it suffered a 5-3 loss on home ice against the Boston Bruins. Erik Karlsson, a potential candidate for the Norris Trophy, had a goal and two assists and Daniel Alfredsson scored a pair of goals, but it wasn't enough to hold off the defending Stanley Cup champs.
"I thought our team didn't play very well," Sens coach Paul MacLean said. "They scored two goals off of rebounds that were second opportunities, and we weren't good at clearing. We can't blame the goalie for a game that the team didn't play well, and the team only played 12 minutes of the game. You're not going to win any games playing 12 minutes."
Who's Hot: Karlsson has 15 points (6 goals, 9 assists) in his last six games.
Injury Report: New York will be without Rick DiPietro (sports hernia, knee swelling), Mike Mottau (concussion) and Dylan Reese (leg). Josh Bailey is day-to-day with back spasms. … Ottawa is missing Craig Anderson (hand), Peter Regin (shoulder) and Jesse Winchester (concussion).
Stat Pack: The Islanders are 6-5-1 this month, but have yet to record back-to-back victories. … Nabokov is 7-0-0 in games that go past regulation this season.
Puck Drop: "We have a good feeling and a lot of confidence. We had a rough beginning of the week with those two losses. It was great and really important to bounce back. Winning against the Rangers was even sweeter for us because it's a huge rivalry for us. I think this is the biggest road trip of the year with a lot of key games. We have to do it now, every game." -- Islanders captain Mark Streit