Final SO

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Arizona leads 1-0

Game 1: Saturday, December 18th

Coyotes 4

(15-9-7, 37 pts)

Islanders 3

(6-18-6, 18 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 18, 2010

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

1 2 3 SO T
ARI 1 0 2 14
NYI 0 2 1 03

J. Joensuu (Islanders - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

M. Hanzal (Coyotes - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

J. LaBarbera (Coyotes - G): Saves: 41, Save Pct.: .932

Coyotes-Islanders Preview


The Phoenix Coyotes can't be happy with how they've started a six-game road trip. A loss to the league-worst New York Islanders wouldn't make them feel any better.

Phoenix looks to avoid matching a season-high three-game skid Saturday night against the Islanders, who seek consecutive wins for the first time in two months.

Embarking on their longest trek in three years probably didn't seem like a daunting task for the Coyotes (14-9-7) considering they had won six of seven on the road, yielding only 12 goals.

Opening the trip Wednesday against struggling New Jersey, which had lost five straight, seemed like a good way to maintain that momentum, but Phoenix couldn't get anything past Martin Brodeur in a 3-0 loss.

The Coyotes continued the trip Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, scoring two quick goals and holding a 3-1 lead before allowing the Rangers to rally for a 4-3 shootout victory.

Taylor Pyatt, Adrian Aucoin and Martin Hanzal had goals for Phoenix, which dropped to 1-4-5 against Eastern Conference teams.

"If you look out West, it's a mess all the way down to 13th," defenseman Derek Morris said. "Two points here, two points there, a point here, a point there, could cost you. We've got to get back on track."

Jason LaBarbera made 33 saves as a late fill-in for starter Ilya Bryzgalov, who came down with the flu shortly before the game. LaBarbera had played only once since Nov. 10.

Bryzgalov figures to start this game if healthy. He has been very good lately, with a 1.82 goals-against average in his last six games.

After concluding the Atlantic Division portion of its trip against Pittsburgh on Monday, Phoenix visits Pacific Division foes San Jose and Dallas.

The Islanders (6-18-5) are coming off only their second victory in 22 games since a three-game winning streak Oct. 16-21.

They scored three times in a 99-second span of the first period and held on to beat visiting Anaheim 3-2 on Thursday. P.A. Parenteau, Blake Comeau and Matt Moulson had goals as New York snapped a six-game losing streak and won in regulation for the fourth time in 29 games this season.

"It's good that we won, but we're not happy," said Rick DiPietro, who stopped 30 shots. "When we win 10 in a row, then we'll be a bit happy."

A multitude of injuries hasn't helped the Islanders, who did get back defensemen Milan Jurcina and Radek Martinek on Thursday. Martinek missed two games with a hand injury, while Jurcina had been out for weeks with a hamstring problem.

Still sidelined are forwards Kyle Okposo (shoulder), Trent Hunter (knee) and Doug Weight (back), and defensemen Mark Streit (shoulder) and Mike Mottau (eye).

John Tavares assisted on Parenteau's goal for his first point in six games. The 2009 top overall draft pick has two goals in his last 20 games.

The Islanders have won the last two meetings against the Coyotes, including a 5-4 shootout victory at Phoenix on Jan. 9.