The New York Islanders were unable to protect a four-goal lead at Ottawa last week. They’ll try to do better on home ice, where they’ve won nine of their last 11 games, when they host the surging Senators.
New York jumped out to a 4-0 lead late in the second period at the Corel Centre on Thursday night, but the Senators rallied back for a 4-4 tie, getting third-period goals from Todd White, Martin Havlat and Zdeno Chara.
Patrick Lalime made 34 saves for the Senators, who followed the rousing comeback up with a 4-0 win over Boston on Saturday, who have just one loss in 16 games (11-1-4).
“It just proves that we have to show up for 60 minutes,” Islanders defenseman Kenny Jonsson said after the loss at Ottawa. “We can’t play well for 40 minutes and then play like we did in the third period.”
Jonsson, who committed a crucial turnover in Thursday’s loss, bounced back on Saturday with a goal and an assist as the Islanders got past the Buffalo Sabres 4-2. Rick DiPietro made 27 saves and New York had three power-play goals, including two in the opening six minutes.
“I didn’t bring it up,” Islanders coach Steve Stirling said of the squandered opportunity in Ottawa. “I thought about it, but I didn’t think we needed any negativity.”
Newly acquired forward Cliff Ronning registered his first goal for the Islanders on Saturday, opening the scoring with a 40-foot slap show on the man advantage.
Martin Havlat led the Senators in Saturday’s win over Boston, scoring two goals and adding two assists. Martin Prusek made 20 saves for Ottawa.
STANDINGS (through Jan. 17): Senators - 58 points, 2nd place, 1 PB, Northeast Division. Islanders - 47 points, 3rd place (tied), 12 PB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Marian Hossa, 22 goals and 48 points; Hossa and Daniel Alfredsson, 26 assists; Chris Neil, 105 PIM. Islanders - Mariusz Czerkawski and Trent Hunter, 15 goals; Adrian Aucoin, 25 assists; Czerkawski, 29 points; Eric Cairns, 111 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Jan. 17): Senators - Power play: 22.7 percent (48 for 211), 2nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 86.2 percent (168 for 195), 7th. Islanders - Power play: 16.1 percent (29 for 180), 11th. Penalty killing: 83.4 percent (171 for 205), 19th.
GOALTENDERS: Senators - Lalime (14-11-6, 3 SO, 2.11 GAA); Prusek (9-3-1, 3, 1.68). Islanders - Garth Snow (12-11-3, 1, 2.76); DiPietro (9-9-1, 1, 2.39).
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1-1.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 15; Tie, 4-4, OT. At Ottawa, Michael Peca scored twice and Mattias Weinhandl and Czerkawski added power-play goals as New York built a 4-0 lead with just under six minutes remaining in the second period. Josh Lanfield scored seconds later to spark the Senators’ rally.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 10-4-3-1 on the road; Islanders - 16-8-0-0 at home.