The New York Islanders will look to reverse their downward spiral and pick up their first road win Sunday night when they head to Vancouver to take on a Canucks team starting to show signs of life after a disappointing beginning to the season.
The Islanders have lost eight of their past nine games, with Thursday's defeat at Colorado being particularly excruciating. New York hopped out to a 3-0 lead midway through the second period, but the team's defense allowed 51 shots as the Avalanche came back to send the game into overtime, where Islanders goalie Al Montoya's high-sticking penalty led to the game-winning, power-play goal.
The Canucks have had something of an up-and-down campaign after their trip to the Stanley Cup finals this past spring, having yet to win or lose more than two games in a row. Vancouver won the first two games of their three-game road trip before falling to Anaheim, 4-3, Friday night, despite a furious third-period comeback.
The Islanders are expected to have Evgeni Nabokov between the pipes tonight, with the goaltender facing the tough task of putting the clamps on the dangerous Sedin brothers, who combined for 12 points over the Canucks' aforementioned three-game road trip. The Isles will also hope for another strong performance from sensational sophomore Michael Grabner. The Gremlin has scored in each of New York's past two games.