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Sharks, Islanders aim to end losing streaks

by Brian Compton

ISLANDERS (8-18-5) at SHARKS (19-6-5)


Last 10: New York 0-8-2; San Jose 6-4-0

Season series: This is the first of two games between the New York Islanders and San Jose Sharks. They will face each other again on March 14 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Big story: New York finds itself in a free fall. The Islanders are winless in their past 10 games (0-8-2) and have lost 10 straight on the road, all in regulation. The skid continued Monday in a 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.

San Jose is also in the midst of a skid. The Sharks have lost three in a row, all in regulation, with each loss taking place on the road. San Jose is hoping to rebound at SAP Center, where it is 10-1-2 this season.

Team Scope:

Islanders: New York played a solid first period Monday, but things unraveled in the second. The Islanders gave up goals to Cam Fowler and Corey Perry in the final 33 seconds, and a 2-1 lead quickly became a 3-2 deficit after 40 minutes.

New York has not scored more than two goals in eight straight games and has 11 goals total in that span.

"When we make our mistakes, they're costing us," captain John Tavares said. "We can't seem to figure out some of our breakdowns. Even times when you hope that things can kind of your way, they're just not. We did some good things, but like I said in the last few weeks, good things aren't what we want. We want wins, points and to move up in the standings. That's what matters. It's disappointing once again."

New York placed Pierre-Marc Bouchard on waivers Monday, a move many believe was made to make room for Ryan Strome, a first-round pick (No. 5) in 2011. Strome leads the American Hockey League with 33 points (nine goals, 24 assists) in 23 games and coach Jack Capuano said Tuesday that Strome "will likely" join the Islanders in Phoenix on Wednesday.

Sharks: San Jose peppered Minnesota goalie Josh Harding with 38 shots, but the Sharks headed home with a third straight loss. Patrick Marleau made it a 2-1 game with 1:41 left in regulation, but Zach Parise put the game away in the final seconds with an empty-net goal.

The Sharks went 0-for-4 on the power play, which left coach Todd McLellan furious.

"The power play was awful," McLellan said. "I don't know if, in six years that I've been as disappointed with the power play as I am right now, and it's not even about me. I'm sure they're disappointed their power play. They are an elite group that has come out and been a threat for a long time. I'd like to see two or three guys take charge of it and let's get going, because right now they go out and it's killing the momentum that we gain."

Who's hot: Tavares and Thomas Vanek each had a goal and an assist for the Islanders on Monday. … Marleau has two goals and two assists in his past five games.

Injury report: The Islanders will be without defensemen Brian Strait (upper body) and Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion). Goalie Evgeni Nabokov (groin) practiced Monday morning and is close to returning. … Raffi Torres (knee) and Adam Bush (lower body) are on injured reserve for the Sharks.

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