NY Islanders (23-32-8) at Washington (33-20-10)

By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO, STATS Writer Tuesday, Mar 1, 2011 Puck Drop: 7:00 pm EST Tue Mar 1, 2011

The Washington Capitals avoided a scare and continued their dominance of the New York Islanders in their last game. A pair of new additions could make things much easier Tuesday night.

After acquiring Jason Arnott(notes) and Dennis Wideman(notes), the Capitals look to avoid a four-game slide at Verizon Center by sweeping this home-and-home set with the last-place Islanders.

Washington (33-20-10) is 10-0-3 over the last 13 meetings with New York (23-32-8), going 4-0-2 at home.

The Capitals, though, needed to overcome a two-goal deficit to beat the Islanders 3-2 on the road Saturday for their fifth straight overall win in the series.

Now, they’ll try to carry that momentum back to the nation’s capital, where they’ve been outscored 12-1 during a three-game losing streak.

Washington will likely have some help in trying to end that skid, as Arnott and Wideman could be in uniform after being acquired in separate moves prior to Monday’s trade deadline.

The Capitals got Arnott from New Jersey, sending center Dave Steckel(notes) and a 2012 second-round pick to the Devils. Arnott is the No. 2 center they’ve been seeking and a proven playoff performer with 30 goals and 36 assists in 106 postseason games.

The 6-foot-5 Arnott scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal for New Jersey in the second overtime of Game 6 in their series with Dallas in 2000.

“There weren’t many … centers available, and he was one that a lot of people wanted to have,” general manager George McPhee said. “He’s been the captain of an NHL team, he’s won a Cup - and those kinds of intangibles, I think, were something we wanted in the room.”

Wideman, acquired from Florida for prospect Jake Hauswirth(notes) and a 2011 third-round selection, should give Washington’s power play a boost. The unit ranks 25th in the league with a 16.3 success rate after posting 25.2 percent in each of the last two seasons, leading the league in 2009-10.

Of Wideman’s nine goals and 24 assists, he’s logged eight and 11, respectively, on the man advantage.

“My first reaction was excitement. I’ve obviously played against Washington the last few years,” the defenseman said. “I know the type of game they play and the way they play, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Wideman’s presence should soften the blow of Mike Green’s(notes) continued absence due to a head injury. According to McPhee, Green will be out “at least a couple of weeks, maybe longer.”

The Caps may have a third new player if Marco Sturm(notes) is available. The left wing was scratched Saturday after being claimed off waivers from Los Angeles earlier in the day.

Sturm, a 20-goal scorer in seven of the past eight seasons, had four goals and five assists in 17 games for the Kings after recovering from knee surgery.

The Islanders are at the bottom of the Atlantic Division, and trying to take some positives from Saturday’s defeat as their slide reached three.

“We played well in the first period, and about 10 minutes of the second period,” said right wing Kyle Okposo(notes), who ended a 12-game goal drought Saturday. “After that, we stopped playing our game, and gave them a couple of chances and they capitalized.”

Okposo has five goals and one assist in seven meetings with the Capitals.

New York center Justin DiBenedetto(notes) could make his NHL debut after he was recalled from Bridgeport of the AHL. A sixth-round pick in 2008, DiBenedetto led Bridgeport with 15 goals, scoring 10 in his last 17 games.

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Tuesday, Mar 1