BY: DAVID KOLB
OTTAWA SENATORS (17-11-3) @ NEW YORK ISLANDERS (11-13-6)
FIRST OF THREE
Tonight the Islanders host the Ottawa Senators for the first of three games the clubs play against each other this season. The Islanders hope to get back into the win column after dropping their last contest Friday, falling 3-2 to the Buffalo Sabres in overtime, while the Sens defeated the Devils 3-1 Saturday, ending a three-game losing streak.
HOLDING ON TO LEADS
The Islanders have allowed 35 goals in the third period this season and Friday against the Sabres they gave up a game-tying goal in the third, and then the winner in overtime. Additionally, the Isles have given up six power play goals in the third period and 14 tallies in the last five minutes of regulation.
SENS’ ROAD WOES
After a sensational start to the season, Ottawa has come back to Earth, going 3-4-2 in their past nine games. Last week the Senators went 1-3-0 on the road, and after snapping a three-game losing streak last night, they head back on the road for two, heading to Chicago on Tuesday after tonight.
Ryan Strome scored Friday versus Buffalo, giving him goals in back-to-back games. The Islanders truly need all their forwards to step up and start scoring, as Strome has disappointed this season, tallying only four goals and four assists for eight points in 27 contests.
HOFFMAN OUT AGAIN
Ottawa will skate again tonight without their third leading scorer Mike Hoffman, who is serving the final game of his two-game suspension for cross-checking San Jose’s Logan Couture in the head last Wednesday. Zach Smith skated in place of Hoffman on the Senators’ top line Saturday, producing a goal and an assist and was named the First Star of the game.