The New York Islanders may be slumping offensively of late, but the Boston Bruins have struggled to win at Nassau Coliseum far longer.
The Bruins try to end a 10-game winless streak at New York on Monday when they play the Islanders.
Boston (13-9-2) and New York (13-10-1) split a home-and-home series two weeks ago, with each team winning 2-1 at home. The Nov. 24 victory by the Islanders was their fifth straight over the Bruins at home, where they are 6-0-0 with four ties since a 4-2 loss on Dec. 22, 2001.
"My philosophy has always been if we score one more than them, we have a good chance of winning," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said that night after Rick DiPietro made 20 saves.
New York has lost consecutive games and looked sluggish early in a 4-0 loss to Atlanta on Saturday, yielding all four goals in the first period and getting outshot 23-14 through the first two periods before taking 19 in the third.
"I thought we would be ready to play," Nolan said. "I was wrong. We just weren't prepared right from the beginning."
The Islanders are last in the Eastern Conference with 56 goals and have failed to score more than two goals in a non-shootout game since Nov. 6, a span of 12 games.
Despite the lack of offense, the Islanders are only 5-6-1 in that span thanks to DiPietro, who is expected to start this contest after getting his first day off in 19 games. The native of Winthrop, Mass., has a 2.18 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in New York's last 12 games and is 6-3-2 with one tie and 2.03 GAA lifetime versus the Bruins.
Since failing to sweep the home-and-home series, the Bruins have won two of three, but fell 4-1 at Tampa Bay on Saturday. Goalie Tim Thomas allowed four goals on 28 shots, but still leads the NHL with a .936 save percentage.
"Our best players weren't our best players tonight," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "It's pretty simple. When you lose games like that, that's normally what happens."
Boston - currently 2-2-0 on a six-game road trip - has not lost consecutive games since going 0-2-2 from Nov. 3-8, winning six of its last nine overall. The Bruins are averaging just 2.58 goals, but they've scored four or more goals in five of their last eight games.
The outburst has been keyed by Marc Savard, who leads the NHL with 25 assists. Savard assisted on the Bruins' lone goal Saturday, extending his points streak to nine games. He has two goals and 14 assists in that span.
Boston defenseman Aaron Ward suffered an undisclosed injury Saturday, and his status is unknown.
The Islanders are 9-4-1 at Nassau Coliseum this season, while the Bruins are just 6-7-1 on the road.