A week ago the New York Islanders beat the first-place Pittsburgh Penguins on the road. Then they returned home only to go flat against the Philadelphia Flyers and fall short against the New York Rangers, undoing their Metropolitan Division gains.
Nine days ago the Ottawa Senators told ex-captain Daniel Alfredsson where to shove it by beating his new "contender team" Detroit Red Wings 6-1. They've since lost three in a row, albeit to some really good teams in Chicago and San Jose.
Tonight, something will give. (Unless they go commune-style by multiplying the points and sharing three of them. Then one team goes away feeling relieved while the other leaves feeling conflicted and somewhat dirty.)
"We're trying to find a way to play better, we haven't played a consistent -- the game in Detroit we were pretty good, the Edmonton game was a good 60 minutes, in Chicago for 30 minutes we got them at 4-2 but then we don't end up winning the game. I don't think we can just keep doing the same thing and expect to get better results. We have to try to make some changes and find some combinations at forward and defense that are going to work for us."
Robin Lehner starts for the Sens.
The Isles, meanwhile, are going with the same lineup they had in the 3-2 loss to the Rangers, with Evgeni Nabokov again getting the start and Brock Nelson again in the lineup, as Colin McDonald is nursing that hip thing.
Also: Thomas Vanek.
That is all I have to say, because, well, it's Al Arbour's birthday. That's all you need, really.