Season series -- The Atlantic Division rivals are meeting for the second time this season. The Islanders ended a 14-game losing streak with a 2-0 victory at the Nassau Coliseum on Nov. 26 as Rick DiPietro made 29 saves for the shutout. New Jersey outshot the Islanders 13-1 in the third period but couldn't solve DiPietro, who was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday.
Devils -- New Jersey's 9-22-2 record after 33 games is stunning when you consider the club was 24-8-1 at the same point last season. The Devils have been outscored 15-3 in their last three losses, including a 5-1 loss at Washington on Tuesday.
"It's not getting better," Devils coach John MacLean told The Bergen Record. "It's frustrating. We had some opportunities. We did work hard, but we made the same mistakes against a team that capitalizes on mistakes. I'm frustrated. I'm sure some of the guys are frustrated. Most of the guys should be frustrated. I wish I had more answers for you right now, but I don't."
Islanders -- The Islanders, 3-17-4 in their past 24 games, scored a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday when John Tavares scored his ninth of the season 3:23 into overtime, snapping Tampa's four-game winning streak in the process. Tavares got to a loose puck near the left post and swept a shot past goalie Dan Ellis to give the Islanders their first win in a game they didn't score first this season. PA Parenteau got the Islanders even at 1-1 in the closing seconds of the second period and Dwayne Roloson made 34 saves as the Islanders notched at least one point in their third straight game (2-0-1).
The Islanders recalled center Josh Bailey from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League for the game with Tampa Bay. Bailey, who hadn't played with New York since Nov. 21, had 6 goals and 11 assists in 11 games in the minors. He took two shots in 17:57 of action.
Who's hot -- Devils left wing Ilya Kovalchuk has points in five of his team's last six games -- notching 3 goals and 4 assists over that stretch.
Injury report -- New Jersey has forwards Zach Parise (knee) and Jacob Josefson (hand) and defensemen Bryce Salvador (concussion) and Matt Taormina (ankle) on injured reserve. … In addition to DiPietro, the Islanders are without Mark Streit (shoulder), Kyle Okposo (shoulder), Doug Weight (back) and Trent Hunter (knee). The team also announced Tuesday that defenseman Mike Mottau needs surgery on his right hip and will miss the remainder of the season. The Isles did get veteran defenseman Mark Eaton back on Wednesday after he missed three games with a groin problem.
Stat pack -- The next start for Devils goalie Martin Brodeur will be the 1,100 of his career. The future Hall of Fame goalie is 607-339-30 with 105 ties and 113 shutouts.
Puck drop -- "I think if you replay the quotes from everybody the last three games, they should be the same," Brodeur said following the team's loss to the Capitals on Tuesday. "We got outplayed again, outworked. It's not the big guns that beat us tonight. It's the grinders, the guys that play the game hard. That says a lot about the way we played in that their hard-working guys are beating your hard-working guys. We did a good job (on the top scorers). We scored a big goal early in the (second) on the power play. We had a great kill right after and then we get scored against by the fourth line."