Islanders-Sharks Preview

The Associated Press

The New York Islanders' road futility is approaching historic levels and already their worst stretch in over 40 years.

Their overall play lately isn't any better.

The Islanders attempt to snap a pair of 10-game losing streaks Tuesday night against the San Jose Sharks - one of the best home teams in the NHL.

New York (8-18-5) hasn't won on the road since beating Ottawa 5-4 in a shootout on Nov. 1. The Islanders have been outscored 43-16 while losing 10 straight on the road, and they've all come during regulation.

It's just the third road losing streak of that duration, and the other two came during their inaugural 1972-73 season. Those stretches of 15 and 13 games, respectively, contributed to a 2-35-2 road record.

New York has dropped 12 of 15 as the visitor this season.

The Islanders' woeful season hasn't been limited to the road, as evident by their 10-game overall losing streak - their longest since a franchise-record 14 straight from Oct. 23-Nov. 24, 2010.

Both of their current slides reached double-digits with Monday's 5-2 loss at Anaheim. New York held a 37-31 shot advantage and a pair of leads before giving up four unanswered goals.

"We generate a lot, but we can't score," coach Jack Capuano said. "I don't know what to tell you. We get chances that other teams score on when they get them. Right now, the Johnny Tavares line is the only line that's finding the back of the net, and then everything gets magnified."

Tavares did his part again Monday, scoring a goal and assisting on Thomas Vanek's early in the second period.

Tavares has one goal and two assists in three career meetings with the Sharks (19-6-5), while Vanek has five goals in his past five.

The Islanders, though, are 2-8-2 with one tie over their past 13 meetings with San Jose, losing four in a row on the road and six of seven overall (1-4-2).

The Sharks are also among the best home teams in the league at 10-1-2, scoring 4.2 goals per game.

They're surely looking forward to returning to San Jose for a pair of games after a 1-3-0 trip ended with Sunday's 3-1 loss at Minnesota. San Jose hosts the Wild on Thursday, but the team will try to enter that matchup with a six-game home winning streak.

Showing improvement on the power play could help.

The unit has converted just 3 of 35 opportunities over the past 10 games, and Sunday's 0-for-4 effort extended the drought to nine chances the past three contests.

"The power play was awful," coach Todd McLellan told the team's official website. "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 in 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."

McLellan may be thrilled to see the Islanders' penalty kill, which has surrendered power-play goals on 16 of 39 chances during their road losing streak.

Patrick Marleau has 13 goals, and a team-high five on the power play. However, he hasn't managed one on the man-advantage in 12 games.

The left wing scored San Jose's lone goal Sunday, and he has two goals and four assists over his past five meetings with New York.