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Struggling Isles can only hope to ‘contain’ Ducks

James Sheppard, Jaroslav Halak

San Jose Sharks’ James Sheppard (15) scores past New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak, of Slovakia, during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, in San Jose, Calif. San Jose won 3-1. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


The New York Islanders have the NHL’s 29th-ranked goals-against average. Tonight in Anaheim, they’ll face the league’s top goal-scorer in Corey Perry, as well as one of the premier set-up men in Ryan Getzlaf.

“You’re not going to stop them, but you have to contain them,” embattled coach Jack Capuano said, per the Isles’ website. “You have to respect them, but you have to limit their time and space and ability to make plays.”

After starting the season 4-0-0, New York has lost five of its last seven. The Ducks (10-3-0), meanwhile, lead the league with 20 points, and are 4-1-0 at home.

That said, the Ducks are also dealing with injuries to their top two goalies, Frederik Andersen and John Gibson. It’s possible Andersen could be back tonight; if not, journeyman Jason LaBarbera is likely to get the start.

“We have to suck it up,” coach Bruce Boudreau said yesterday, per the Los Angeles Daily News. “I don’t see anybody crying for Columbus or any other teams that have a lot of injuries right now. We just have to do what we have to do. We have to pick it up. I think Freddie is ready to come back. So, he’s an option. It’s either him or Jason, is the way I look at it.”

Jaroslav Halak is the Isles’ likely starter tonight. In seven appearances, the 29-year-old has registered a disappointing .891 save percentage.

“We’ve lost three in a row and I know no one’s happy about it,” he said, per Newsday. “We have a good team so I know we can be better.”

The Isles have another tough game tomorrow in Los Angeles, before their five-game trip ends Saturday in Arizona.