A pair of teams coming off of tough losses will face off Wednesday night as the Anaheim Ducks host the New York Islanders at Honda Center.
The Ducks (1-1-1) are coming off a 2-0 home setback to the Calgary Flames on Monday night while the Islanders (1-1-1) absorbed a 3-2 shootout loss at home to the St. Louis Blues that afternoon.
The Ducks, who had won 29 straight home games over the Flames, playoffs included, are enjoying the luxury of opening the new season with four straight home games and six out of seven at "the pond" overall.
"I don't know if we did a good enough job getting in there for second and third opportunities," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said after the latest loss. "We directed a lot of pucks at the net, but I don't think we had any rebound opportunities until the third period."
The Islanders are opening a four-game road trip that will include contests against the Ducks, the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks in California before swinging back to the East Coast to visit their rival, New York Rangers on Oct. 19.
The Ducks, who beat Calgary in the playoffs last spring, were shut down by Flames goaltender Mike Smith Monday night.
Smith stopped all 43 shots he faced en route to earning the shutout victory. The Ducks failed to score on five power plays and are 0 for 11 through the first three games, something Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle will no doubt stress as they prepare to face the Islanders.
"We had chances," Carlyle told the Orange County Register. "We created a lot more chances the second half of the game verses the first half of the game. And that's been our Achilles heel in these last three games. We haven't had a start we can be proud of."
Anaheim got a boost by the return of Getzlaf, who missed the first two games of the season with a lower-body injury. He played 22 minutes and produced nine shot attempts with two of those shots going on goal.
The Islanders, meanwhile, had to rally back from a two-goal third period deficit against the Blues to force overtime and earn a point. They headed west feeling much better about goalie Thomas Greiss, who was pulled from a season-opening loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets and finished with 33 saves against the Blues.
His work included a fantastic sliding save early in the third period to rob Vladimir Sobotka of a clean look at the net. Meanwhile, the Islanders will also be looking to get their power play going as they are 0 for 10 to start the season.
"After the first couple of penalties, we were definitely moving the puck a lot better, getting shots and had a few opportunities and a couple of stuffs we almost had, so it's right there," said Islanders forward Anders Lee, who scored a late game-tying goal to help force overtime against St. Louis. "Once we start getting shots and creating chaos for them, it's going to open up. Right now, we are trying to make a little bit of the perfect play. We have to work through these kinks."