ISLANDERS (4-12-3) at THRASHERS (8-9-3)
New York 0-9-1; Atlanta 3-5-2
This is the first of four meetings between the teams. The Islanders went 3-1-0 against the Thrashers in 2009-10.
The Islanders tied a franchise record Saturday night when they suffered their 12th straight loss in a 4-1 defeat against the Florida Panthers at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. New York seemed lifeless during the latter stages of the game, much to the dismay of interim coach Jack Capuano, who is now 0-2 behind the bench.
"I thought we had a couple of passengers," Capuano said. "As we move forward, guys need to be held accountable."
Islanders: Matt Moulson
gave New York a 1-0 lead with his team-leading eighth goal of the season 13:07 into the game, but the Isles were badly outplayed in the final 40 minutes against the Panthers. The momentum shifted once the Isles came up empty on a 1:46 two-man advantage that carried over into the second period.
"Our minds have to be on winning the game," Moulson said. "I don't think we can worry about that (the consequences of losing) as professional athletes. We can't be worrying about that every single day. First thing is getting that win and playing with a little more passion and heart."
Atlanta emphatically ended a three-game skid on Friday night in a 5-0 win against the Washington Capitals at Philips Arena. It was the second of a six-game homestand for the Thrashers, who named Andrew Ladd captain on Thursday.
"It was a team effort. We played all 60 minutes," said goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who notched his first shutout of the season against the Caps. "The way we played in the third period was unreal. That's the way want to play. Washington is a good team, but they had two or three power plays and I don't think they had a shot. That was the key to our win tonight. The guys helped to block the shots in front of me and I always saw the first shot and they had the rebound. Overall, it was a great team effort."
Thrashers forward Niclas Bergfors has 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) in his last 12 games, while rookie Alexander Burmistrov is averaging a point per game over the last five (1 goal, 4 assists).
The Islanders are without defensemen Mark Streit
(shoulder) and Andrew MacDonald
(hand), as well as forward Kyle Okposo
(shoulder). Doug Weight is also questionable after missing Saturday's game due to back spasms. … Thrashers center Patrice Cormier is on injured reserve due to a broken right foot.
The Islanders enter Sunday's action with just 11 points, the fewest in the League, and have scored only nine goals in eight games this month. … Atlanta has scored first in each of its last five home games. However, the Thrashers are just 3-4-3 when they tally the game's first goal.
"I think as a team we need to take it upon ourselves to look in the mirror and look at ourselves and see if we have done enough to win a hockey game. (We need to) be on and be ready to go for the guys standing beside you and do whatever it takes to win a hockey game, whether it's blocking shots or getting sticks in lanes or stopping a puck that is going wide." -- Islanders goalie Dwayne Roloson