NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, April 8th (All times Eastern)
Ottawa Senators (33-31-14) at New York Islanders (31-36-11), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of teams winding down their 2013-14 schedule will meet Tuesday in South Florida, as the Ottawa Senators visit the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders have been officially eliminated from postseason contention, while the Senators, who are seven points out of a playoff spot with only four games left, have nearly arrived at the same fate.
Ottawa is coming off a win over a potential playoff club, as it beat the New York Rangers in Saturday's battle at Madison Square Garden. The Senators halted a two-game slide with the 3-2 road victory, as Ottawa goaltender Robin Lehner turned in a strong performance between the pipes.
Lehner stopped 41 shots, including 13 in the third period, and Jason Spezza notched the deciding goal early in the second period to help the Sens down the Rangers.
Mark Stone and Mika Zibanejad also tallied for the Senators, who shook off the memory of Friday's 7-4 home loss to Montreal.
"This was a good response from the group. Robin played really well. It was a difficult one for us to lose the way we did last night," Spezza noted. "We know this has been a disappointing year and haven't played to expectations but we have four games left and still want to win them."
Ottawa improved to 17-14-8 as the road team after Saturday's win. Next up for the Sens is a two-game homestand against New Jersey and Toronto before capping their season Sunday in Pittsburgh.
The Islanders are coming off Sunday's 4-0 setback in Columbus, losing their second straight contest following a three-game winning streak. The Blue Jackets converted on 3-of-6 power-play opportunities in the win and Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves to earn the shutout.
Anders Nilsson surrendered four goals on 33 shots as New York saw its point streak end at seven games (5-0-2).
"It's tough when you're in the box all night," Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said. "(The penalty kill) wasn't very good. For whatever reason they picked us apart a little bit."
Tuesday's test is the final home game of the season for the Isles, who are just 13-18-9 at the Coliseum this season. New York will face Montreal, New Jersey and Buffalo during its season-ending three-game road trip.
The Islanders can sweep the season series with Ottawa tonight after picking up two road wins over the Senators earlier in 2013-14. New York has claimed three of four overall in this matchup, but Ottawa has won three of four on Long Island.
04/08 10:48:05 ET