NY Islanders (4-7-1) at Atlanta (3-7-2), 7:00 p.m. EST
ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The New York Islanders and Atlanta Thrashers
are fighting it out to avoid the basement in the Eastern
Conference. But things are starting to look up for at least one
The Islanders will go try to put together their first three-game
winning streak of the season when they face the Thrashers on
After coming up with one point - an overtime loss - during a
six-game stretch, New York has begun to turn things around of
late. Despite squandering a three-goal, third-period lead for a
second straight time, the Islanders posted an overtime victory
over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday and followed with a 2-1
triumph at the rival New York Rangers a day later in which they
scored a pair of shorthanded goals.
The poor stretch mainly was a result of some terrible defense,
as they allowed nearly four goals per game.
Without top goaltender Rick DiPietro due to knee surgery, the
Islanders have let Joey MacDonald handle the bulk of the duties.
The third-year netminder allowed 23 goals over his first seven
starts but has cut that down in the two victories, stopping 66
of 70 shots.
Atlanta snapped an 0-5-1 slide of its own on Sunday, getting a
pair of goals from Ilya Kovalchuk in a 5-3 win over the Florida
Panthers. The outburst snapped a string of three straight games
without a point for the star left wing.
Like the Islanders, the Thrashers have had trouble in the
defensive end, allowing a staggering 29 goals during their
six-game skid. Atlanta has yielded 46 tallies in 12 games
overall this season, tied for the most in the East.
The Thrashers, with eight points, currently are last in the
conference, one point behind the Islanders and Panthers.