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|OTTAWA — Two teams sliding toward the regular-season finish line and early tee times will meet up on short rest at Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday night.
The Ottawa Senators (26-38-11) will be the hosts 24 hours after having their losing streak extended to five games with a 4-1 road beating by the Carolina Hurricanes. The Senators Ken Crawley Jersey , who are still very much in contention for the dubious distinction of owning best draft lottery odds, have now been outscored 22-7 in their last four games.
Supplying the opposition will be a New York Islanders (31-35-10) team still had a shot at qualifying for the postseason tournament the last time they won two in a row. Unfortunately, that was Feb. 15-16.
Since then, the Islanders are 2-10-4 and — after being shut out 3-0 at home by the Florida Panthers on Monday — have now dropped three straight.
The loss officially eliminated the Islanders from the playoffs for the second spring in row.
“We got off to a pretty good start this season (but) the second half of the season really hasn’t been very good,” captain John Tavares told reporters after the game. “We put ourselves in this position.”
The future of Tavares comes under even closer scrutiny now that the Islanders final six games have no significance. The rest of the NHL will be watching closely for signs of whether they’ll be able to sign their first overall pick of the 2009 entry draft or if he hits the free agent market on July 1.
In nine seasons with the Islanders Chris Jones Jersey , Tavares has played 663 games and scored 615 points.
Asked about his plans on Monday, Tavares was brief with his response.
“I’m just focused on playing,” he said.
The Senators were without their own captain, Erik Karlsson, when they travelled to Carolina. That meant they had three rookies on their blue line — Thomas Chabot Dwayne Harris Jersey , Ben Harpur and Christian Wolanin.
Playing his first NHL game was center Ben Sexton, whose father Randy was one of the franchise’s founding fathers as well the team’s second GM.
Senators coach Guy Boucher compared having so many fresh faces in the lineup to “throwing lions into the den.”
“They’ve got to learn somehow, right,” said goalie Craig Anderson, who made 26 saves in Carolina. “Right now Tom Savage Jersey , it’s a good time. You see some guys stepping into roles they’re not used to playing and doing quite well with it.”
The Senators and Islanders have met twice this season, with the Islanders scoring a 2-1 win Nov. 25 at Canadian Tire Centre and Ottawa taking a 6-5 victory out of Barclays Center one week later.
With Christopher Gibson playing Monday, the Islanders are expected to go with Jaroslav Halak in Ottawa. He has a 7-7-3 career record against the Senators.
Mike Condon is expected to play the second of Ottawa’s back-to-backs. He has a 3-1-0 all-time mark versus the Islanders.
The only player to score for either team on Monday was Senators winger Bobby Ryan, who now has two goals in two games and 10 on the season.
Gronkowski has completed his first official workout since arriving in the United States ahead of his expected start in the Belmont Stakes.The colt breezed four furlongs in 47.99 seconds at Belmont Park on Saturday for Chad Brown, who has taken over training duties from Europe-based Jeremy Noseda.
Gronkowski has been in the U.S. a couple of weeks. The colt Craig Robertson Jersey , named for New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, has four wins in six starts in Britain. The human Gronkowski has purchased an interest in the colt that missed the Kentucky Derby because of a slight infection.
Gronkowski is being pointed toward the June 9 Belmont, where Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Justify will try to become horse racing's 13th Triple Crown winner.
Brown says the colt came to him in outstanding condition and shows the signs of being a very good racehorse.
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