Although the road hasn't been kind to the Anaheim Ducks lately, the one venue they should be thrilled to visit is Nassau Coliseum.
The struggling Ducks look to send the lowly New York Islanders to their ninth straight loss on Wednesday night in the teams' final game before the All-Star break.
In the midst of five straight road contests interrupted by the break, Anaheim (23-20-5) dropped to 1-2-0 on the swing with a 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday.
"Right now, we're just shooting ourselves in the foot," Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger said. "It's not fun."
While visiting Pittsburgh, Minnesota and the Rangers presented difficult challenges for Anaheim, a matchup with the league-worst Islanders (12-29-5) is as close to a sure two points as the Ducks will get this season.
The Islanders are 2-17-3 in their last 22 games, losing their eighth straight with a 2-1 overtime defeat to visiting Washington on Monday.
New York has scored one goal in each of its last four games, and has been forced to play third-string goaltende Yann Danis for an extended stretch with Rick DiPietro out for the season due to persistent swelling and soreness in his surgically repaired left knee and backup Joey MacDonald sidelined at least two more weeks with a strained groin.
Overshadowed by the Ducks' struggles has been the outstanding play from All-Star Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan.
Getzlaf has three goals and 11 assists during a 10-game point streak while Ryan scored his 14th goal on Tuesday to move into a tie with St. Louis' Patrik Berglund for the lead among NHL rookies. Ryan has 10 goals and nine assists in his last 16 contests.
With Jonas Hiller starting the last two games, Jean-Sebastien Giguere could be in net on Wednesday for Anaheim, which seeks the 500th victory in franchise history.
Giguere, an All-Star starter, is 1-4-2 with a 3.53 goals-against average in his last eight starts. He beat the Islanders 3-0 on Feb. 5 at Nassau Coliseum in the teams' most recent meeting.
Giguere would be matched up with Danis, who is 0-3-1 in his last four games despite a 2.31 goals-against average.
"I just try to give myself a chance to win every night," said Danis, who has never faced the Ducks. "The better I play, the better the chance I'll be used."
Extended losing streaks are nothing new for the Islanders, who also have endured a six-game skid (0-5-1) from Oct. 18-Nov. 1 and a season-high 10-game slide (0-9-1) from Dec. 4-23.
Injuries have a played a big part in the Islanders' miserable season. Currently sidelined are forwards Doug Weight (leg), Sean Bergenheim (side), Mike Sillinger (hip), Trent Hunter (hand) and Andy Hilbert (foot) and defensemen Andy Sutton (foot), Chris Campoli (groin) and Freddy Meyer (groin).
The Islanders are 4-1-0 with one tie in their last six meetings with the Ducks, but that loss came to Giguere on Feb. 5.
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