Flames-Islanders Preview

The Associated Press

As good as the Calgary Flames have been at home lately, they've had plenty of trouble winning on the road.

The New York Islanders are having the opposite problem.

The Flames can avoid a season-high fifth consecutive road loss by extending the Islanders' skid at Nassau Coliseum to four games Thursday night.

Calgary (21-28-7) totaled 21 goals during its recent 5-0-0 homestand but followed with a 2-0 loss at Montreal on Tuesday. The Flames have lost nine of 11 road games, getting shut out three times, and have not scored more than two goals in the last six.

They failed to convert a key 5-on-3 chance in the second period Tuesday. Calgary's power play ranks near the bottom of the league at 14.1 percent and is 0 for 10 in the last four contests.

"We'd obviously like to do things better and make things more challenging," Flames forward and ex-Canadien Michael Cammalleri said after his second game since missing nine in a row with a concussion.

Calgary's Mikael Backlund was cooled off after recording five goals and three assists in the previous four contests. Defenseman Mark Giordano's nine-game point streak (four goals, six assists) also ended.

"It was a tough night, not like the last week at home," Backlund said. "We can't be too high when we win, or too low when we lose."

Rookie Reto Berra made 25 saves Tuesday and could be back in net with Karri Ramo day to day after injuring his knee in Saturday's 4-3 overtime win over Minnesota. Though Berra played well at Montreal, he's dropped seven in a row as a starter.

While the Flames are tied for the second-fewest road wins in the NHL with nine, New York (22-28-8) has the fewest home victories with eight. The Islanders have won 10 of 13 on the road but remain well out of the playoff picture because they've lost 12 of 15 in Long Island.

New York has dropped three straight at home, and technically four in a row considering it was recognized as the host during last Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the Rangers at Yankee Stadium.

The Islanders, though, snapped a five-game losing streak with a 1-0 victory at Washington on Tuesday. Defenseman Andrew MacDonald scored early in the third period and Evgeni Nabokov made 22 saves as the Islanders prevailed despite being held to one goal for a third straight contest.

"We're a desperate team," said coach Jack Capuano, whose club allowed an average of 4.2 non-shootout goals during the five-game slide. "I thought our guys really worked hard right from the start. ... We've been playing hard; we haven't been getting results."

John Tavares' point drought was extended to four games, his worst since a six-game stretch in November 2011. He's second on the team with 23 goals but has none in the last seven.

Tavares has three goals and two assists in his last two games against the Flames, but the teams haven't met since Dec. 29, 2011. Calgary has won the last three meetings overall and in Long Island.

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