The San Jose Sharks stumbled in the opener of their Eastern road trip, but they have a good opportunity to rebound Saturday night against the winless New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
San Jose (3-3-1) opened its six-game trip with Thursday night's 4-1 loss at Washington. The Sharks were tied with the Capitals through one period after Benn Ferriero scored his second goal of the season, but reigning league MVP Alex Ovechkin struck twice in a 28-second span early in the second period to give Washington the lead for good.
San Jose was called for five infractions in the opening 18 minutes and spent nearly half that time short-handed, including a pair of 5-on-3s. Chasing the puck early wore down the team, according to center Joe Thornton.
"We were dead," Thornton said. "It's too much to ask for guys to penalty kill for that long a time."
After scoring 20 times in the season's first five games, the Sharks' offense hasn't shown many signs of life lately with Ferriero scoring the team's only goal in nearly 145 minutes. San Jose lost 1-0 at home in a shootout against Phoenix on Monday night.
The Sharks appear to have a good chance to break out of their mini-slump against the Islanders (0-2-3), who suffered a 6-3 defeat in Buffalo on Friday night to remain one of the league's two winless teams along with Toronto.
The Sharks are 8-2-1 with one tie against the Islanders since Jan. 2, 1999, but haven't won in Long Island since Nov. 11, 2000, recording a loss and a tie in their last two trips.
San Jose scored three goals in the first 28 minutes of last season's 5-3 home victory over New York. Ryane Clowe, who hasn't recorded a point this season, tallied the initial score, and Thornton had a pair of assists.
Evgeni Nabokov, who could play his 500th career game Saturday, is 6-2-0 with a 2.54 goals-against average versus New York.
On Friday night, the Islanders allowed the Sabres to score three times in the first 25 minutes and couldn't get closer than two goals the rest of the way.
"This one is a killer," goaltender Martin Biron said. "We worked our way back in but hit posts and had a couple of wide open nets that we missed."
Offseason free-agent acquisition Matt Moulson was a bright spot for the Isles, scoring for the third time in four games and adding an assist. Rookie center John Tavares also tallied his third goal.
Tavares -- the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft -- and Moulson are tied for the team lead in goals and points (six).
Biron, who is sharing time in net with Dwayne Roloson, could start against the Sharks after relieving Roloson in the second period Friday.
Biron, who finished with 20 saves, is 2-2-1 with a 1.81 GAA in his career against the Sharks.