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Preview: Canucks at Islanders

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The New York Islanders seek to reverse a recent slump when they close out a four-game homestand against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. The Islanders have played five consecutive one-goal games but have only one victory in that span - and one of the defeats came at the hands of previously winless Buffalo. Left wing Matt Moulson is emerging from an offensive funk with five points in three games, including a goal and two assists versus Carolina on Saturday.

Vancouver is making the fifth stop on a season-high seven-game road trip and is coming off a surprising 3-1 loss at Columbus - its first regulation defeat in 15 meetings with the Blue Jackets. Roberto Luongo will be back in goal as the Canucks attempt to avoid a third straight setback. The Islanders feature one of the league's top power plays with a 25 percent success rate, but Vancouver owns the best penalty-killing unit, allowing three goals in 27 chances.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, RSN Pacific (Vancouver), MSG Plus (New York)

ABOUT THE CANUCKS (5-4-1): Luongo has won his last two starts - both in 2011 - against New York, the team that drafted him fourth overall in 1997 and traded him to Florida after his rookie season. Although he is only 7-10-2 in 23 appearances versus the Islanders - one of four teams (Canucks excluded) he has failed to shut out - fond memories remain from his tenure in 1999-2000. "This is where it all started for me, and you are grateful for that," Luongo told the Vancouver Sun. "They gave me an opportunity to play in the NHL and I am forever thankful for that."

ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (3-3-2): Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky was placed on injured reserve due to a concussion sustained in Saturday's home loss to the Hurricanes and was joined on the sidelines by forward Michael Grabner, who was suspended two games by the NHL on Monday. Grabner was punished for an illegal check to the head of Carolina's Nathan Gerbe, although he was not penalized on the play. Grabner already has a pair of three-point performances this season and has notched six assists to eclipse last season's total by one.

OVERTIME

1. Islanders captain John Tavares has four goals and six assists during his seven-game point streak.

2. Canucks captain Henrik Sedin has two goals and four assists during a five-game point streak and has scored in all but one contest.

3. Islanders G Evgeni Nabokov is 14-7-2 with a 2.29 goals-against average against Vancouver.

PREDICTION: Canucks 3, Islanders 2

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/131022/preview-canucks-at-islanders