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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, December 29th (All times Eastern)

New York Islanders (11-21-7) at Minnesota Wild (20-15-5), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Islanders were unable to halt their home losing streak without forward John Tavares in the lineup.

The Islanders may be without their captain again on Sunday night when they hit the road to take on the Minnesota Wild.

Tavares saw his streak of 246 consecutive games played end on Saturday night due to a lower-body injury that held him out of practice on Friday and leaves him day-to-day.

The 23-year-old top overall pick of the 2009 draft had not missed a contest since suffering a concussion in the opener of the 2010-11 season and sitting out three in a row. Tavares leads the Islanders this season with 13 goals and 26 assists.

Minus their top scorer, the Isles were bested 2-1 by the New Jersey Devils. Frans Nielsen had the goal and Evgeni Nabokov yielded two on 25 shots, the winner deflecting off a Devils player.

"They're a very patient team, they're a good hockey team," noted New York forward Kyle Okposo said of the Devils. "They're very structured and they got a lucky bounce there at the end."

The setback sent the Islanders to their fifth loss in seven games overall and dropped them to 0-4-4 in their last eight at home.

Okposo notched an assist on Nielsen's goal, giving the duo five points each on their respective five-game point streaks. Nielsen has three goals over his run.

The Wild have also lost a top player to injury with Zach Parise landing on injured reserve Saturday. Parise had been playing on a badly bruised foot since Nov. 25 and has missed Minnesota's last two games.

The 29-year-old winger has racked up 15 goals and 12 assists in 37 games this season.

While the Isles have struggled at home, the Wild are a dominant 14-3-2 as the hosting club this season. However, Minnesota dropped to 6-12-3 as the visiting team with Friday's 6-4 loss in Winnipeg.

Mikko Koivu, Justin Fontaine, Dany Heatley and Stephane Veilleux provided the scoring for the Wild. Niklas Backstrom allowed five goals on 37 shots in Minnesota's fourth straight loss that matches a season high.

"Backstrom gave us a chance to win that game," Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo said. "I'm not going to say that he didn't play well."

The Islanders have won their past three games versus the Wild and snapped a three-game slide in Minnesota with a 2-1 shootout road victory in the most recent meeting on Dec. 17, 2011.

12/29 10:27:58 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 8
GWI 6
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
GWI
 
Final
PHI 1
ATL 0
Final
BAL 5
BOS 7
Final
NYY 6
NYM 1
Final
DET 1
CLE 13
Final
CIN 3
CHC 7
Final
TAM 12
TOR 3
Final
MIA 3
WAS 2
9th
CWS 2
KAN 2
 
Final
MIL 0
STL 3
Final
COL 6
SFG 4
Final
ARI 1
PIT 4
Final
OAK 4
HOU 5
Final
ANA 3
TEX 2
Final
SDP 0
LOS 3
Final
SEA 2
MIN 0
1:08pm Today
DET
CLE
1:10pm Today
CIN
CHC
2:10pm Today
CWS
KAN
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
4:05pm Today
NYY
NYM
4:10pm Today
MIA
WAS
6:10pm Tonight
TAM
TOR
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
BOS
7:10pm Tonight
MIL
STL
8:10pm Tonight
ARI
PIT
8:10pm Tonight
COL
SFG
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
LOS
9:05pm Tonight
ANA
TEX
9:10pm Tonight
SEA
MIN
Final
DAL 128
HOU 130
Final
WAS 106
TOR 99
Final
SAN 100
LAC 73
3:00pm Today
BRK
ATL
5:30pm Tonight
MIL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
GSW
10:30pm Tonight
POR
MEM
Final
MON 1
OTT 5
Final
NYR 2
PIT 1
Final
STL 1
MIN 4
3:00pm Today
NYI
WAS
 
6:00pm Tonight
TAM
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NAS
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
VAN
 
Final
DUR 8
GWI 6
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
GWI