The New York Islanders are finally starting to develop a presence on home ice. That won’t be much of a help over the next week.
New York looks to end a four-game road winless streak when it opens a four-game trip against the Nashville Predators.
The Islanders made the playoffs in 2002-03 despite playing just .500 (18-18-5-0) at home, but they already have seven wins this season at Nassau Coliseum, tying Vancouver for the NHL lead in that category.
“We got away with a lot of sloppiness, but the good news was we still had a lead going into the third period,” Islanders coach Steve Stirling said.
Oleg Kvasha and Jason Blake also scored for New York, 0-2-2 on the road since a 6-0 victory at Buffalo on Oct. 11. This trip also takes the Islanders to Florida and Tampa Bay before concluding Nov. 22 at Columbus.
Nashville will try to maintain its momentum after winning its second straight game Thursday, 4-1 over visiting Calgary.
“It was a key for us to get a win. We came out of the blocks slowly,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “Being off a couple of days, it is hard to come back full of energy.”
The Predators hope to have right wing Scott Walker back in the lineup Saturday. Walker, the team leader in ice time and penalty minutes, was scratched Thursday with an injured groin.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 13): Islanders - 18 points, 3rd place, 4 PB, Atlantic Division. Predators - 13 points, 4th place, 8 PB, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Islanders - Czerkawski, 10 goals and 15 points; Adrian Aucoin, 10 assists; Eric Godard, 38 PIM. Predators - Scott Hartnell, 5 goals; Marek Zidlicky, 9 assists and 13 points; Walker, 37 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 13): Islanders - Power play: 14.1 percent (9 for 64), 22nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 92.3 percent (60 for 65), 1st. Predators - Power play: 17.3 percent (14 for 81), 12th. Penalty killing: 81.5 percent (66 for 81), 24th.
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1-0.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 13; Predators, 2-0. At Nashville, Tenn., Vokoun stopped 36 shots for his seventh career shutout and former Islanders Vladimir Orszagh and Andreas Johansson scored in the first period.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Islanders - 1-3-2-0 on the road; Predators - 5-4-1-0 at home.