Coming off perhaps their most listless effort of the season, the Carolina Hurricanes hope to regroup quickly as they continue a three-game holiday road swing Wednesday against the New York Islanders.
The Hurricanes (12-8-3) did little right in their 4-0 loss Tuesday to the New York Rangers that ended a three-game winning streak. Despite outshooting New York 22-13 in the final two periods, Carolina could not solve Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and squandered a two-man advantage - and a chance to narrow a two-goal deficit - for 80 seconds early in the second period.
"I thought we played a lazy game," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. "They had a step on us in the skating and the battles."
Laviolette, who coached the Islanders from 2001-03 and led them to their last two playoff appearances, is 4-3-1 against New York since taking over as Hurricanes coach Dec. 15, 2003.
Veteran center Rod Brind'Amour had his eight-game points streak end with Tuesday's shutout loss, Carolina's third of the season. Brind'Amour has 36 goals and 79 points in 76 lifetime games against the Islanders.
The Hurricanes will conclude their trip Friday afternoon at Boston.
The Islanders (9-7-3) are starting a three-game, four-day homestand after a successful road swing in which they gained seven of a possible 10 points by going 3-1-1. New York, though, missed a chance for two additional points in Monday's 4-2 loss at Toronto in which it fell behind 3-0 in the first period.
"Any time you play on the road and allow three early it's tough to come back," Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro said. "We never quit, but I don't think anyone is satisfied with that effort. This was a big game for us. We could have made it a great road trip. We failed to capitalize on another two points."
Jason Blake scored a goal for the second straight game, and Alexei Yashin has a team-high 23 points after assisting on that tally. Yashin, who has three goals and eight assists in New York's nine home games, assisted on all four goals in the first meeting between these teams, a 4-3 Islanders overtime victory on Oct. 21.
Yashin has just one goal in his last eight games against the Hurricanes, and has totaled 13 goals and 38 points in 44 all-time contests against the Carolina/Hartford franchise.
After this game, the Islanders begin a six-game stretch that features five matchups with Atlantic Division rivals, including three against the Pittsburgh Penguins.