ANAHEIM -- The New York Islanders are stuck in a nine-game winless skid (0-7-2) and have lost a team-record nine straight on the road. So it certainly got their attention when three-time 50-point scorer Pierre-Marc Bouchard was placed on waivers Monday.
"When you lose as many as we have in a row, I think it's the business we're in," Thomas Vanek said. "Obviously there's a lot of good guys here but sometimes you have to make tough decisions. [Bouchard] was a good guy. I only got to know him for a little bit here. It's definitely not his fault that he's gone. I think it's more ours. I think anytime someone leaves it's on the team."
Islanders coach Jack Capuano wouldn't comment on personnel matters. New York reportedly is making room to recall center Ryan Strome, the leading scorer in the American Hockey League. Strome on Monday became the third player in the past 20 years to be named the AHL's player of the week in consecutive weeks.
Capuano said he wasn't happy with his top line of Vanek, John Tavares and Kyle Okposo in a 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, when the trio produced three shots. Capuano said he'll keep the line together but said, "We've talked to them. We've had meetings with a lot of guys. It's just simplifying their game. When you get those three guys on the ice they try to be a little bit too cute and looking for those short pocket little plays that we talked about. You've got to get pucks to the net."
The Anaheim Ducks are coming off a 2-0-2 run against the San Jose Sharks, Kings, Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues. A game against the Islanders would constitute a challenge to ramp it back up emotionally.
Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau watched the Islanders' loss to the Kings in which New York was in it for most of the game.
"I see a lot of speed and a lot of talent, a team that's snake bit right now," Boudreau said. "They've had four shorthanded breakaways the last three games and they just haven't been able to put it in … when you're snake bit a little bit you need that break. Hopefully it doesn't come [Monday]. But when they do, we know they're good enough to turn it around to go on a streak like they did last year."
Here are the expected lineups for both teams:
Thomas Vanek - John Tavares - Kyle Okposo
Brock Nelson - Frans Nielsen - Josh Bailey
Michael Grabner - Peter Regin - Cal Clutterbuck
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Colin McDonald
Calvin de Haan - Travis Hamonic
Thomas Hickey - Andrew MacDonald
Aaron Ness - Matt Carkner
Scratched: Eric Boulton, Radek Martinek
Injured: Brian Strait (upper body), Evgeni Nabokov (groin), Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion)
Notes: Capuano said he'll leave the third line of Grabner, Regin and Clutterbuck intact. He also said Nilsson will start. The Islanders visit the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.
Dustin Penner - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Emerson Etem - Nick Bonino - Teemu Selanne
Daniel Winnik - Saku Koivu - Andrew Cogliano
Matt Beleskey - David Steckel - Tim Jackman
Cam Fowler - Ben Lovejoy
Hampus Lindholm - Mark Fistric
Bryan Allen - Sami Vatanen
Scratched: Kyle Palmieri, Patrick Maroon, Alex Grant
Injured: Mathieu Perreault (lower body), Francois Beauchemin (upper body), Luca Sbisa (hand), Viktor Fasth (muscle inflammation), Jakob Silfverberg (hand), Sheldon Souray (wrist)
Notes: Etem and Selanne return to the lineup after being scratched Saturday, when Selanne sat out the second game of a back-to-back. Perreault did not skate and Boudreau ruled him out.