Islanders aim to keep Coyotes winless

NEW YORK -- A winless team heading out on a five-game road trip faces a difficult enough task. However, the challenges facing the Arizona Coyotes will grow even taller Tuesday night, when they visit a New York Islanders squad accustomed to feasting upon Western Conference foes at Barclays Center.

The Coyotes continued the worst start in franchise history Saturday, when they dropped a 4-2 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks to fall to 0-7-1.

The Islanders (4-3-1) built their first winning streak of the campaign Saturday with a 5-3 victory over the visiting San Jose Sharks.

With the win, the Islanders improved to a robust 22-4-4 against the Western Conference at home since moving to Barclays Center prior to the 2015-16 season.

"I'd like to read into it and figure out what it is, but I don't know," Islanders coach Doug Weight said Saturday night. "It's been a pretty consistent effort there. We have good results. I'm not going to overthink it, that's for sure."

First-year Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet's objective is to ensure his team doesn't overthink its miserable start, especially given that Arizona traveled east of the Mountain time zone just once in the first eight games.

"It's going to be a tough part of our schedule," Tocchet said Monday of the Coyotes, who visit five Eastern Conference foes through Halloween. "The thing that you're kind of disappointed in is the schedule was in our favor a little bit and we didn't take advantage of it. Now we've got to look ahead."

The Coyotes had fewer than four points through eight games just once in the franchise's first 37 seasons -- back in 1990-91, when the team was still based in Winnipeg and the Jets opened 1-6-1 (wins-losses-ties). Even the 1980-81 team, which endured an NHL-record, 30-game winless streak, began the year 1-5-2.

The Coyotes and Islanders have at least one thing in common -- fluid goaltending situations. While Weight said Jaroslav Halak would start Tuesday, Tocchet said he wasn't sure yet who would serve as netminder for Arizona.

Projected No. 1 goalie Antti Raanta (lower-body injury) has missed the past four games, a stretch in which backups Louis Domingue and Adin Hill combined to allow 16 goals. Domingue stopped 25 shots in taking the loss against the Blackhawks on Saturday.

Halak and Thomas Greiss have made four starts apiece for the Islanders. Greiss earned the win Saturday by recording 28 saves against the Sharks. Halak last started on Thursday, when he stopped 38 shots and notched the victory in a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Rangers.

Domingue (2-1-0) and Raanta (0-2-0) have each made three career appearances against the Islanders. Hill, a rookie, has never faced New York.

Halak is 7-3-1 against the Coyotes.

The season series between the teams is scheduled to conclude Jan. 22, when the Coyotes host the Islanders at Gila River Arena.

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