Islanders-Avalanche Preview

Coach Jack Capuano wasn’t happy with the effort from some of the

New York Islanders in their latest defeat.

The Colorado Avalanche are also dealing with growing frustration

during their longest skid of the young season.

The Islanders will try to beat the Avalanche for a fifth time in

a row in the only meeting of the season between these struggling

teams Thursday night.

New York (4-6-2) has been sputtering during a 1-5-2 stretch

after winning three in a row. The Islanders’ woes continued Monday

as they opened a three-game road trip by losing 6-2 at Boston.

They were outscored 3-0 in the third period, and Capuano felt

the effort was lacking from certain players.

“We just had some guys that didn’t show up. I’m not going to

name any names,” Capuano said. “We had a couple of lines that

played well. We had a couple of lines but not enough to sustain it

against a team like that.”

John Tavares, Michael Grabner and Matt Moulson may not be among

the players drawing Capuano’s ire after they combined for two goals

and three assists against the reigning Stanley Cup champions.

New York, however, could use more consistency from Tavares, who

leads the team with eight goals and 13 points. Six of those tallies

and four assists came in a four-game stretch last month, and he has

two goals and one assist in six games since.

“Losing is not something we are happy with,” the Islanders’

alternate captain told the team’s official website. “It’s

unacceptable and we definitely feel going into every game that we

have a great opportunity to win and we can compete with any team in

the league.”

That’s certainly been the case versus the Avalanche (7-7-1), as

the Islanders have won four consecutive meetings – including two in


Tavares had a goal in each of the two meetings last season,

including one with 1:08 left in overtime in a 4-3 win at Colorado

on Jan. 8.

The Avalanche are enduring their own tough stretch, going 2-6-1

following a promising five-game winning streak. Frustration

continues to mount as they’ve dropped four in a row after losing

5-2 at Detroit on Tuesday, falling behind 3-0 during the second


“I think we’re frustrated right now,” coach Joe Sacco said.

“Nothing we can do about it. We put ourselves in this


Offensive shortcomings have played a major role in Colorado’s

1-5-0 home record. The Avalanche have been outscored 15-4 in the

defeats while failing to score more than one goal in any of


Matt Duchene is trying to do his part, leading the team with 12

points while his five goals are tied with Milan Hejduk, David Jones

and Gabriel Landeskog.

Duchene has six points in his last three games, but four of them

– including a hat trick – came in Friday’s 7-6 overtime loss at

Dallas. He doesn’t have a point in three career games against the


Landeskog, the second overall pick in last summer’s draft, ended

a six-game goal drought Tuesday.