While frustration continues to mount for the Ducks, the Islanders have picked up a bit of steam.
Looking to win four straight for the first time in nearly a year, visiting New York tries to hand Anaheim an eighth loss in nine games Friday night.
The Islanders (14-17-6), whose 34 points are one better than Carolina for the fewest in the East, moved out of the basement Tuesday by defeating the Hurricanes 4-3 in a shootout.
New York’s Matt Moulson notched his team-leading 18th goal, Frans Nielsen scored his second in 22 games and Kyle Okposo had the equalizer with 1:30 remaining in regulation. John Tavares assisted on all three goals - he has seven points during the team’s three-game win streak - before Nielsen and P.A. Parenteau scored in the shootout.
“We didn’t have our `A’ game, but we were able to find a way to win,” said Okposo, who has three goals in two career meetings with the Ducks. “That’s what happens when a team is starting to go a little bit, you start to find ways to win games. We’ve got to continue to do that.”
A matchup with woeful Anaheim (10-22-6) could help the Islanders keep things going and post their first four-game win streak since Feb. 10-15. The Ducks join Columbus as the league’s only teams yet to reach 30 points.
Anaheim is 1-6-1 over its last eight games following Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to San Jose. Reigning Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry snapped a season-worst, four-game pointless streak with an early goal, but the Ducks lost the lead by giving up two in a 27-second span late in the second period.
“There’s just no resiliency, I guess would be the best word,” forward Bobby Ryan said. “Obviously, you get down (after allowing a goal), but that shift that follows has to be the best shift of the game, and we give up another goal. As a team, throughout the year there’s been a sense that if they get one, something bad is going to happen.”
Anaheim has gone 0 for 17 with the man advantage over its last five games. That’s not the only drought the Ducks want to see come to an end.
Former 90-point scorer Ryan Getzlaf is pointless in a career-worst six consecutive games and has no goals in his last 12. The seven-year veteran has never posted a rating below plus-4 but sits near the bottom of the league at minus-19.
“I think he’s pressing,” said coach Bruce Boudreau, 3-9-2 since replacing Randy Carlyle.
“He knows he hasn’t been scoring. He knows he’s the captain, and he puts a little bit too much pressure on himself. I told him to not worry about that. Just worry about his game and not anybody else’s at this stage.”
Jonas Hiller, who made 33 saves Wednesday, is 1-5-1 with a 3.69 goals-against average over his last seven games. Hiller hasn’t earned a decision but owns a 1.65 GAA in three career meetings - one start - versus the Islanders.
Evgeni Nabokov has allowed just five goals while starting each of New York’s last three games. He went 9-3-0 with a 1.76 GAA and two shutouts in his last 12 matchups versus the Ducks while with San Jose.
These teams haven’t met since New York defeated Anaheim 3-2 on Dec. 16, 2010.