Isles resume homestand with clash against Blues

8:41 AM, Jan 25, 2014   |    comments
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( - The New York Islanders hope to get back in the win column on Saturday, as they continue a four-game stay at Nassau Coliseum with an afternoon clash against the St. Louis Blues.

The Islanders had a two-game winning streak halted in the first tilt of this homestand, losing Thursday's 6-4 decision against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The loss dropped New York to 3-3-0 over its last six games and the Isles fell to 8-10-7 as the host this season.

New York jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, but Pittsburgh scored four straight to carry a 4-2 advantage into the final stanza. Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz each had a goal and two assists to help the Pens hold off the Isles, who had a chance to tie the score on a 5-on-3 advantage late in the third but couldn't convert.

John Tavares drew two penalties in 71 seconds in the third period -- hooking on Kris Letang and tripping on Tanner Glass -- but the Islanders couldn't capitalize.

Kyle Okposo, Michael Grabner, Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey scored for the Islanders, who have dropped three of the four meetings with the Penguins this season. Kevin Poulin gave up five goals on 28 shots for New York.

"They played a good road game and they did a lot of the little things and executed better than us for most of the game," Tavares said of the Penguins.

Although the Islanders are still in last place in the Metropolitan Division, the club is just seven points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Blues will try for a second straight win today after edging the New York Rangers in Thursday's battle at Madison Square Garden. St. Louis recorded a 2-1 win over the Rangers just two days after getting slammed 7-1 by the New Jersey Devils.

Jaroslav Halak came up with 34 saves against the Rangers to atone for a dismal defensive performance by the Blues in Tuesday's game at New Jersey. Brian Elliott started Tuesday's loss and allowed three goals on nine shots before being removed late in the first period and Halak was touched for four goals on 14 shots.

Kevin Shattenkirk scored the eventual game-winner on the power play 3:09 into the third period, helping St. Louis down New York.

"It really could not have gone any better," said Shattenkirk, who grew up a Rangers fan in nearby New Rochelle, N.Y. "I'm really happy with the way the night went."

Alex Steen had the other goal for the Blues, with David Backes assisting on both markers in the victory.

Steen is questionable for Saturday's game after sustaining a lower-body injury in the win over the Rangers. The veteran Swede leads the Blues with a career- high 26 goals this season and was playing in just his fourth game since returning from a concussion that kept him out for 11 straight contests.

St. Louis is 2-1-0 on a four-game road trip and 16-6-3 as the visiting team this season.

The Blues have won two straight and four of the last five meetings with the Islanders overall, but New York has taken two of the past three encounters at the Coliseum.

St. Louis posted a 5-1 home win over the Isles on Dec. 5. Halak stopped 22- of-23 shots for the win, while Derek Roy and Jay Bouwmeester each posted a goal and an assist for the Blues.

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