The Arizona Coyotes couldn't wait for a New Year's break. The New York Islanders wanted to keep playing. There was a simple reason for both desires.
Arizona had lost eight straight games without registering a point before their five-day break. Then came Friday's overtime loss in Anaheim -- the Coyotes' first point since Dec. 15. The Islanders had won four of five before their five-day break, but dropped a 2-1, overtime decision on Friday in Colorado against the Western Conference's worst team.
"It is tough," New York coach Jack Capuano told New York Newsday. "We get a little bit of momentum and then we come to the break."
Both teams are stuck near the bottom of their respective conferences as they meet for the second time this season, needing to gain momentum over the second half of the season. Poor defending has been a common thread. The Islanders are allowing the third-most goals against per game in the NHL at 3.05; the Coyotes have the second-worst mark at 3.23. >> Read more
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