NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, February 6th
(All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (21-28-7) at New York Islanders (22-28-8), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - After ending a five-game losing streak their last time
out the New York Islanders will aim for a second straight win when they host
the Calgary Flames on Thursday at Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders were suffering through an 0-4-1 slide before recording Tuesday's
1-0 victory in Washington. Andrew MacDonald scored the only goal of the game
early in the third period to give the Isles their first win since beating the
rival New York Rangers on Jan. 21.
Evgeni Nabokov stopped all 22 shots he faced for his second shutout of the
season. Nabokov helped the Isles kill off six Washington power-play chances in
the game. New York went 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
"It's a good win for our team," said Islanders coach Jack Capuano. "We're a
desperate team and I thought our guys worked hard tonight right from the
start. I thought we defended real well, we were structured tonight and guys
Despite the win, the Isles still face an uphill battle to make the playoffs.
The club is currently 14th out of 16 teams in the Eastern Conference and 10
points out of a postseason berth.
New York is kicking off a five-game homestand on Thursday, although the club
will only get to play the first two portions of the residency before the NHL
goes on its break for the Winter Olympics.
The Isles, who are 8-12-8 as the host, will welcome Colorado on Saturday in
their final test before the two-week hiatus.
Calgary also has two games left on its pre-Olympics schedule and both are on
the road. After posting a perfect 5-0 mark on a homestand, the Flames began a
three-game road trip on Tuesday in Montreal and lost a 2-0 decision. It was
Calgary's fourth loss in a row on the road, dropping the club to 9-14-4 as the
guest this season.
The Flames, who were coming off sweeping their first five-game homestand since
Feb. 7-15, 1997, were unable to solve Carey Price on Tuesday despite firing 27
shots at the Canadiens goaltender.
After the teams combined for just nine shots in a scoreless first frame, the
Flames found themselves with a 5-on-3 under five minutes into the second, but
Calgary couldn't capitalize, as Price turned away all comers to keep the
visitors off the board. Rene Bourque would later score with 3:45 left in the
second period to give Montreal a 1-0 lead and the game's only other goal was
an empty-netter from David Desharnais in the closing seconds of regulation.
"The turning point in the game was our 5-on-3 power play," Calgary head coach
Bob Hartley said. "If we score, it's a different game. We had a few good
chances, but Price came up with some big saves."
Reto Berra, starting between the pipes for the Flames in place of an injured
Karri Ramo, stopped 25-of-26 shots in the setback. Ramo won't be able to play
again before the Olympic break and Berra expects to get another start tonight.
The Isles have fared very well against the Flames in recent years, winning
three straight and five of the last six encounters in this series. New York
has claimed the last three meetings on Long Island, including the most recent
matchup on Dec. 29, 2011.
02/06 10:56:06 ET