The New York Islanders look to continue their success against the New Jersey Devils and avoid extending their season-high losing streak to five games as the Atlantic Division rivals meet Thursday.
The Islanders (19-17-3) have won five of their last six games against the Devils (22-13-4), including three in a row at Continental Airlines Arena. However, the lone loss in that span came in a 2-0 defeat on Saturday - the Isles' second loss of their the current four-game losing streak.
They have not dropped five consecutive contests since a six-game slide from March 28-April 6.
The Islanders 3-2 to Philadelphia on Tuesday, extending their current skid. Jason Blake and Mike Sillinger scored goals 33 seconds apart late in the third period, but the Islanders failed to find the equalizer.
"Last night, we played well in the third period. Tonight, we played well from the middle of the second period on," Blake said. "We need to start games like that. Our goalies are playing right from the start. We have to carry that over to ourselves."
The four-game slide can be partly attributed to New York's lack of offense as the Islanders have been outscored 10-3 during the skid.
They hope captain Alexei Yashin, who has been held without a point the last four games, can provide a lift and avoid his eighth consecutive game without a goal for the first time since Dec. 23, 2003-March 21, 2004.
The Russian center has two goals and four assists in his last two games at New Jersey, including a three-assist effort in a 5-2 win on Nov. 2.
Goaltender Rick DiPietro could use the support Thursday, when he is expected to return in goal after Mike Dunham started Tuesday. Despite losing his last three starts, DiPietro has a 1.68 goals-against average in that span.
He is 5-1-0 with a 1.30 GAA in his last six games against the Devils and has dominated them at Continental Airlines Arena with a 4-0-1 mark and 1.38 GAA in his last five games.
The Devils are hoping to rebound from a 3-2 shootout loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday after rookie Travis Zajac failed to convert his eighth-round tiebreaker attempt against Henrik Lundqvist.
"It was a tough game that could have gone either way," Devils coach Claude Julien said. "We still had an opportunity to win in the shootout. It was a hard-earned point. We'll take it and move on."
New Jersey has lost four of its last six home games - two by shootout - but its 13-3-3 record at home is still the best in the Eastern Conference.
Martin Brodeur, who allowed four shootout goals on Tuesday, has been near-dominant at home with a 13-3-2 record and 1.95 GAA.
The two-time Vezina Trophy winner hopes to duplicate his last performance against the Islanders, when he made 29 saves for his sixth shutout of the season on Saturday. Brodeur had a 3.27 GAA in losing his previous five games to New York.
Jamie Langenbrunner tied Patrick Elias and Brian Gionta for the team lead with his 15th goal on Tuesday. Langenbrunner had just 19 goals in 80 games last season.
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