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Senators-Islanders Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Senators-Islanders Preview
Ottawa Senators vs. New York Islanders

The New York Islanders, led by the efforts of Viktor Kozlov, have been solid offensively over the last two games. The Ottawa Senators, meanwhile, have been shutting down opponents lately.

The Islanders look for their season high-tying third straight win and hope to end a four-game skid against the Senators when the teams meet at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday.

The Islanders (14-9-3) have 12 goals in winning their previous two games, with six coming from Kozlov. He had two goals in a win at Pittsburgh on Saturday and followed that performance with a career-high four scores in a 7-4 road victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday.

Kozlov extended his points streak to four games, a span in which he has seven goals and two assists.

"It was a special night," he said. "I was starting to feel it with my linemates. Whether I was with (Chris) Simon, (Richard) Park or (Andy) Hilbert, it was working."

New York, which held a 4-0 lead in the first period Sunday, led by just one in the third before Kozlov added his final two scores.

"All of a sudden, a light went on in our brains, and we started getting our composure back," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said.

Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro has allowed seven goals during the two wins, but made 39 saves against the Rangers to register his fifth victory in six starts.

"We bent, but fortunately, we didn't break," he said.

DiPietro appeared in all four losses to Ottawa last season, going 0-3-0 with a 5.50 goals-against average as the Senators outscored the Islanders 20-7. He is 2-4-0 with a 4.15 GAA in seven games against Ottawa.

Sunday's win moved the Islanders one point ahead of both the Rangers and the New Jersey Devils and into first place in the Atlantic Division.

Ottawa (14-12-1) continued to play strong defense in winning its third straight, 5-2 over Tampa Bay on Saturday. The Senators have allowed just 16 goals in winning seven of their last eight contests, scoring 34 over that span.

Ray Emery delivered another solid performance to earn his sixth win in seven starts Saturday, making 34 saves against the Lightning. Emery is 10-4-0 with a 2.08 GAA in 15 appearances this season.

"They had their chances, but Ray played really well," Senators forward Mike Fisher said.

Aside from its defensive strengths, Ottawa is one of the top scoring teams in the league. The Senators are tied with Southeast Division-leading Atlanta for the second-most goals in the Eastern Conference with 96.

Antoine Vermette scored a pair of goals for the Senators on Saturday, and has three scores in his last two games.

Ottawa is 30-10-0 with 11 ties against the Islanders since joining the NHL in 1992-93.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 31 '07 OTT 5 at NYI 2 M. Comrie
Mar 15 '07 NYI 2 at OTT 5 C. Neil
Dec 27 '06 NYI 0 at OTT 2 M. Fisher
Dec 05 '06 OTT 4 at NYI 2 J. Corvo