The Islanders try to bounce back from their latest squandered lead Monday night when they visit the Bruins, who have defeated them seven consecutive times.
New York (7-6-7) has earned at least a point in four straight games (2-0-2), but has failed to protect a lead in all three games of its current seven-game road trip - all of which have gone to overtime. The lone win on the trip came at Carolina on Friday, when the Isles blew a three-goal lead but recovered to win 4-3 in overtime.
They jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period Saturday at Florida, but went on to lose 5-4 in a shootout.
Dwayne Roloson(notes) gave up three goals in the second, and New York trailed 4-2 before John Tavares(notes) and Kyle Okposo(notes) scored to tie the game. Roloson allowed the deciding goal to Nathan Horton(notes) in the fourth round of the tiebreaker.
“Sometimes when you get a lead like that, you get a little lackadaisical,” said Tavares, who added an assist for his third multipoint game in the last four. “You have to bear down and be sharper.”
Despite the problems holding on to leads, New York is now looking to record a point in four consecutive road contests for the first time since a 4-0-1 stretch Jan. 8-22.
Tavares leads all NHL rookies with 18 points and eight goals, including three in the last two games. He had a goal and an assist in New York’s 4-3 shootout loss in Boston on Oct. 10, in which the Islanders failed to hold on to a 3-0, first-period lead. That defeat was New York’s seventh straight to the Bruins.
Though Boston (8-7-4) has dominated the Islanders recently, it’s looking to avoid a third straight loss overall. After falling 1-0 in a shootout to Florida on Thursday, the Bruins lost 6-5 in overtime at Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Boston, which had been held to 11 goals over its previous eight games, took the lead over the Penguins on Marco Sturm’s(notes) goal 17:31 into the third period, but Tim Thomas(notes) allowed a goal to former Bruin Bill Guerin(notes) with 0.4 seconds remaining in regulation, then gave up the game-winner to Pascal Dupuis(notes) 1:24 into overtime.
“We scored goals, yeah,” defenseman Derek Morris(notes) said, “and we got a point, which was nice, but that’s not our system we’re going to play. We did things we don’t normally do and we did them all in one game. We’re lucky to get a point.”
The Bruins have had little trouble scoring against the Islanders at home. They’ve averaged 3.9 goals, going 6-0-1 since the 2006-07 season.
“It’s important that we get over (Saturday’s loss) and move forward and look at how important this week is,” coach Claude Julien told the Bruins’ official Web site. “We’ve got a couple of teams in the Islanders and Atlanta who are in the same pile as us and (we see) the importance of winning those.”
Boston is 3-0-2 in its last five home games.