The New Jersey Devils have allowed the fewest goals in the East and have the conference's second-best record. But they haven't yet been able to find a way to beat the New York Islanders.
The Devils (21-13-3) will look for their first win against the Islanders in four tries this season when they travel to the Nassau Coliseum on Saturday night.
New Jersey is 0-2-1 against the Islanders in 2007-08, all one-goal decisions including one in overtime. They've lost four straight in the series dating back to last season.
The Devils have won four of their past five overall after a 2-1 shootout win against Buffalo on Friday in their first game back from a three-game trip to Western Canada. New Jersey's last game before that victory was Sunday at Calgary, and first-year coach Brent Sutter gave his team the next three days off.
"We've been home for four days. There'd better not be any jet lag," said forward Patrik Elias, who had a game-high eight shots versus the Sabres. "We had a pretty hard practice (Thursday). Any way we'd be sluggish, we got it out of our system."
It was New Jersey's third straight win even though they've scored only four regulation goals in that span. Martin Brodeur has stopped 76 of the 78 shots he's faced to increase his career victory total to 513, and he's 14-2-1 with a 1.68 goals-against average in his last 17 starts.
Despite losing both times he's been between the pipes against the Islanders this season, he's still dominated them in his career. Brodeur is 38-19-2 with four ties against them with 10 shutouts. He's won four of his last five trips to Long Island.
Zach Parise missed the Devils' win over the Flames with the flu, but was back on Friday and scored the lone shootout tally. His 15 goals and 20 assists lead the team.
The Islanders (18-16-2) had won three in a row before losing 5-2 at Ottawa on Thursday. Wade Dubielewicz got his first start since Dec. 1, one night after he replaced the injured Rick DiPietro in a 4-3 overtime win against Toronto.
Dubielewicz has started only three games this season, and has given up 17 goals.
"I think he understands the position he's in," said forward Bill Guerin, who leads the Isles with 12 goals and has scored in three straight games. "Ricky's going to play 95 percent of the games and that's just where it is but he came in (against Toronto) and played great for us.
"He came in (against Ottawa) and played really solid for us, so we have to be as good in front of Dubie as we are in front of Ricky, and as confident."
DiPietro is day to day and might play against the Devils. He's 10-8-2 with one tie lifetime against New Jersey with a 2.25 goals-against average, and is 3-0-0 this season with a 1.30 GAA.
Guerin has 11 goals in 17 career games against the Devils - the team that drafted him fifth overall in 1989.
Despite Guerin's recent offensive surge - he has seven goals since Dec. 8 - the Islanders have scored just 84 goals.
The Isles haven't scored a power-play goal in five games, going 0-for-16 in that span. New Jersey hasn't scored one in four games, an 0-for-17 stretch.