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Tuesday, February 4th (All times Eastern)

New York Islanders (21-28-8) at Washington Capitals (25-22-9), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Islanders have lost ground in the NHL playoff race during a five-game slide and the club may have more bad news coming down the pike.

But first, the struggling club hopes to avoid a sixth consecutive setback on Tuesday when it visits the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center.

In addition to posting an 0-4-1 record during its current slide, the Isles are also having difficulty convincing winger Thomas Vanek to stay with the club and New York may wind up trading the Austrian winger.

According to a report Monday in Newsday, Vanek, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July, has turned down a "substantial contract offer" from the Isles. The report also says New York general manager Garth Snow is fielding offers from teams looking to acquire the 30-year-old forward.

Vanek was acquired from Buffalo in a trade on Oct. 27 and he has 15 goals and 38 points in 41 games with the Islanders after becoming part of a formidable top line with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo.

If Vanek is dealt by the Isles, it will turn out to be a costly rental for the club. New York sent winger Matt Moulson to the Sabres along with a first-round pick in this summer's draft as well as a second-rounder in 2015 to land Vanek.

The NHL trade deadline for this season is March 5.

The Islanders went 10-3-0 from Dec. 29-Jan. 21 before losing five in a row. The club's last two losses came against the rival New York Rangers, who posted a 2-1 regulation win over the Isles in last Wednesday's outdoor game at Yankee Stadium before notching a 4-1 home win Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

Derick Brassard and Brad Richards scored less than three minutes apart in the third period to support a strong effort from Henrik Lundqvist in the Rangers' win over the Isles at MSG.

Okposo had the lone score for the struggling Islanders, while Evgeni Nabokov stopped 33-of-36 chances in defeat.

"We just looked like we ran out of gas," Tavares said. "We just didn't seem to have that extra gear when we needed it."

With 50 points, the Isles are currently 13th out of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference and 12 points out of a playoff spot.

Including tonight's tilt, New York has three games left before the NHL breaks for the Winter Olympics. After visiting Washington on Tuesday, the Isles will host Calgary and Colorado on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.

After losing seven in a row from Jan. 12-24, Washington has recorded three wins over its last five games and is 3-1-1 during that stretch. The Capitals split a home-and-home series with Detroit over the weekend, losing Friday's road portion against the Red Wings 4-3 in a shootout before taking Sunday's wild 6-5 overtime decision at the Verizon Center.

Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play goal 2:37 into overtime to lift the Capitals to Sunday's entertaining matinee battle in D.C. Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith was called for tripping at the 1:26 mark of the extra session. The Capitals moved the puck around and John Carlson fed Ovechkin for a one-timer from the left circle.

Ovechkin has scored seven times over his last nine games and he is leading the NHL with 39 goals. His next goal will give Ovechkin 40 or more markers in a season for the sixth time in his career and for the first time since he posted 50 in 2009-10.

Joel Ward registered two goals and one assist on Sunday and Jason Chimera added a goal and two helpers for the Capitals, who overcame blowing a trio of two-goal leads to win for the third time in their last 12 games.

"We came out great and they never gave up; they are a really good hockey team," said Washington head coach Adam Oates.

Michal Neuvirth picked up the win despite surrendering five goals on 30 shots.

The Capitals expect to be without defenseman Mike Green for a third straight game after he suffered a concussion last week against Columbus. Green tried to practice on Monday, but he left for the dressing room after 10 minutes.

Washington forwards Mikhail Grabovski (sprained left ankle), Brooks Laich (groin), Eric Fehr (lower body) and Aaron Volpatti (upper body) are also questionable for tonight's contest.

The Caps, who are three points out of a playoff spot in the East, are 2-0 against the Islanders this season and have won three straight and five of the past seven games in this series. Washington is 8-2-1 in the past 11 encounters in D.C.

02/04 10:53:13 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
TOR 2
NYY 0
Final
CWS 6
DET 3
Final
STL 1
CHC 5
Final
PIT 3
CIN 2
Final
BAL 3
MIN 2
Final
TAM 7
BOS 0
Final
KAN 2
CLE 3
Final
CWS 4
DET 8
Final
ATL 0
MIA 4
Final
NYM 2
PHI 7
Final
HOU 2
TEX 0
Final
ARI 0
COL 2
Final
STL 13
CHC 2
Final
SDP 2
LOS 1
 
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
 
Final
ANA 2
OAK 0
 
Final
SEA 1
WAS 3
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
PHI
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
2:10pm Today
CWS
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
TEX
 
2:15pm Today
STL
CHC
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
MIL
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
LOS
 
4:10pm Today
SEA
WAS
 
5:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
Final
MICH 52
APPST 14
Final
NAVY 17
OSU 34
Final
UAB 48
TROY 10
Final
UVA 20
UCLA 28
Final
PURD 43
WMICH 34
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
UMASS 7
BC 30
Final
NW 24
CAL 31
Final
NEB 55
FATL 7
Final
UMO 27
MARS 42
Final
ND 48
RICE 17
Final
MIZZ 38
SDST 18
Final
ALA 33
WVU 23
Final
AUB 45
ARK 21
Final
STAN 45
UCD 0
Final
UGA 45
CLEM 21
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
Final
KSU 14
OHIO 17
Final
OKLA 48
LATU 16
Final
KST 55
SAUST 16
Final
USC 52
FRES 13
Final
MSST 49
SMISS 0
 
Final
OKST 31
FSU 37
Final
TEX 38
UNT 7
Final
NMU 24
UTEP 31
8:05pm Saturday
UF 0
IDAHO 0
4th
LSU 28
WISC 24
 
Half
OREG 41
SD 13
 
3rd
HAW 10
WASH 17
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
UTST
7:30pm Tonight
BAY
SMU
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR