GAME: New York Islanders (26-21-5-2) at Colorado Avalanche (30-11-9-4).
TIME: Tuesday, 9:30 p.m. EST.
The league-leading Colorado Avalanche will look to continue their quest for
home-ice advantage in the Western Conference playoffs and shake off a bitter
loss in their last game when they open the second half of the season against
the visiting New York Islanders.
Colorado holds a one-point lead over Northwest Division rival Vancouver and
Central-leading Detroit in the race for the top spot in the West with 28 games
However, the Avalanche are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss at home to the Red
Wings on Thursday, which ended with Brett Hull scoring on a 5-on-3 power play.
Detroit started overtime with a two-man advantage after Steve Konowalchuk
and Adam Foote were called for high-sticking penalties that left Steve Yzerman
and Kris Draper bloody.
That gave the Red Wings a two-man advantage in overtime, which is normally
The hometown fans certainly didn't like the call. They booed throughout the
short overtime and tossed bottles and cups on the ice after Hull's shot from
the right circle sailed over David Aebischer's right shoulder.
The Avs weren't too excited about it, either.
"It was a hard-fought game," Konowalchuk said. "It's just frustrating
that it came down to a 5-on-3 to lose it."
Despite the loss, the Avalanche have not been beaten in regulation in their
last nine games (5-0-2-2).
Milan Hejduk has two goals and three assists during a four-game point
While the Avs appear to be in solid shape for the stretch run, the Islanders
would like nothing more than to move up a few slots in the East.
Currently holding a seven-point lead over Buffalo for the final playoff
spot, the Islanders blew a chance to move within one point of seventh-place
Montreal with a 2-1 loss to the Canadiens on Thursday.
"The grind of the season's coming up, and for us, we're trying to move up
the ladder just like Montreal is, Boston is - you know, we're trying to look
up," said goalie Garth Snow, who stopped 36 shots against the Canadiens.
Justin Papineau scored a power-play goal for New York, which lost in
regulation for the first time in seven games (4-1-1-1). The Islanders failed to
register a point for just the second time in their last 11 overall (6-2-2-1).