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Stars-Islanders Preview

By JEFF BARTL

STATS Writer

(AP) -- The New York Islanders' struggles this season mainly can be attributed to their inability to win regularly on home ice.

They'll seek only their second home victory in the past seven weeks as they look to deal the Dallas Stars a third straight defeat Monday night.

New York (14-22-7) sits in last place in the Metropolitan Division and has the fewest home wins in the Eastern Conference. It is 1-5-4 in its last 10 at Nassau Coliseum, with Thursday's 3-2 overtime win over Chicago the lone victory.

That victory extended the Islanders' overall winning streak to a season-best three before they fell 3-2 to Carolina on Saturday.

"We had too many guys that were nonchalant," coach Jack Capuano said. "We didn't have all 20 guys. We can't have nights like that."

Kyle Okposo, who scored the winner against the Blackhawks, had his career-best eight-game point streak end.

"We gave them all three of their goals," Okposo said. "We had a lot of chances, had our opportunities, that's for sure."

Captain John Tavares scored, and Thomas Vanek had a goal for the second straight game to give him four along with seven assists during his eight-game point streak.

"We have some bad breakdowns," Tavares said. "We made it too easy for them. We didn't make them earn it."

Dallas also attributed its latest defeat to breakdowns, finishing with 17 giveaways in Saturday's 5-1 loss to Detroit.

"They had a lot of odd-man rushes," forward Shawn Horcoff said. "It wasn't the type of game we want to play. We want to be quick in transition, but we can't be giving away pucks like that. We can't be giving up quality shots."

The Stars (20-14-7) didn't get many quality chances of their own despite outshooting Detroit 45-27. They went 0 for 7 on the power play after scoring with the man advantage in their previous three contests.

"There was a couple that I thought we could have had better traffic in front of (the net)," coach Lindy Ruff said. "We missed the net on some. We would play well, be down in their end and then give up the puck and they'd go down and score."

Dallas has lost two straight following a 5-0-2 stretch, and now it may be without defenseman Aaron Rome for the next week. Ruff said Rome has an upper-body injury after he exited Saturday's game in the second period.

Dan Ellis gave up three goals on 13 shots in the first period before being replaced by Kari Lehtonen, who stopped 12 of 14 shots. Lehtonen entered that contest having gone 4-1-2 with a 2.24 goals-against average over his previous seven outings.

Lehtonen is 1-1-1 with a 5.12 GAA over his last four starts against the Islanders, but hasn't faced them since 2010. The Stars have won five of the last six matchups with New York, though the teams haven't met since 2011.

Evgeni Nabokov made 27 saves for the Islanders in their last contest, and he could be in net for this one. Nabokov is 3-2-0 with a 2.02 GAA over his last five starts.

Updated January 5, 2014

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