As the Ottawa Senators look to build on a rare decisive victory, the New York Islanders hope to have gleaned a lesson from a third-period meltdown that almost cost them a win in their latest contest.
Each team tries for a third consecutive victory when the Senators visit the Islanders on Tuesday night.
Ottawa (15-8-6) went 5-2-4 during a stretch of 11 consecutive one-goal games before a 4-1 home win over Winnipeg on Saturday. Jakob Silfverberg had two goals, Daniel Alfredsson and Sergei Gonchar each added two assists and Robin Lehner made 25 saves for the Senators, 3-0-2 since a season-high four-game slide.
"It was nice not being a one-goal game for once,'' said forward Kyle Turris, who has half of his team-leading eight goals in four games following a 21-game drought. "We played our game and finished strong.''
The Senators scored twice on the power play and have gone 5 for 10 in the last three, thriving with the man advantage against a Winnipeg team that went 28 of 28 on the penalty kill in its previous 11 contests.
Six of Gonchar's 10 assists during a seven-game assist streak have come on the power play.
Lehner has gone 2-0-4 with a 1.90 goals-against average since being recalled after Craig Anderson went on injured reserve with a sprained ankle Feb. 22.
Lehner made 33 saves but the Senators' four-game winning streak versus New York ended with a 3-2 road shootout loss March 3. The Senators have gone 4-0-3 in their last seven against the Islanders, who fell 3-1 at Ottawa on Feb. 19.
New York (13-12-3) has gone 3-0-2 in its past five at home and opens a four-game stretch there after winning the final two of a three-game trip. The Islanders are 5-1-1 in March.
"We've just got to continue that at home now," forward Casey Cizikas told the team's official website. "We're fighting for that seventh and eighth spot (in the Eastern Conference), so we definitely can't be giving up points. We have a big homestand coming up, and it's something we're looking forward to."
The Islanders built a 3-0 lead against Florida on Saturday before the Panthers rallied to tie it with three goals in less than two minutes of the third period. Cizikas, however, delivered his second goal in four games to give New York a 4-3 victory.
"We take five, 10 minutes off and you kind of lose focus. That's what happens,'' Cizikas said. "It's just a perfect example of how you have to play a full 60 minutes. It's something that we can learn from.''
Brad Boyes scored in his third consecutive contest while Colin McDonald recorded his fourth assist in five games to cap an interesting week.
In the midst of his first full season, McDonald missed Thursday's 2-0 win over Tampa Bay with the flu before signing a two-year, $1.275 million extension the next day.
"It was a bit of a whirlwind, but it was just a great end to a week that I'll definitely never forget,'' he said.
Boyes has four goals and five assists in a month that began with a goal versus Ottawa.
New York's Evgeni Nabokov has won three of four at Nassau Coliseum.