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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Florida at Islanders, 1:00 pm (FSNY, WLIE 540 AM)

Rick DiPietro and Roberto Luongo, two of the NHL's fastest-rising stars, are almost certain to be on display today when the Islanders host the Florida Panthers in a 1:00 Columbus Day matinee at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

This will be the Islanders' first look at the much-improved Panthers, who now have one of the league's finest coaches in Jacques Martin calling the shots. Luongo now has the best corps of blueliners in front of him since he arrived in South Florida and has been brilliant in his first three games of the season. DiPietro is coming off a No. 1 star performance in the Islanders' 4-2 win over Carolina in their home opener on Saturday night and was No. 2 star despite a loss in Buffalo on Wednesday.

"To have a good day," said Islanders coach Steve Stirling, "we'll need to get off to a much better start than we did on Saturday."

Here are your game notes:

Lifetime Series
Islanders vs. Panthers: The Islanders have an all-time record of 20-22-8-0 vs. the Florida Panthers.  At the Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders are 12-11-2-0 and their record on the road in Florida against the Panthers is 8-11-6-0.  

The Islanders, who have not lost a season series to the Panthers since the 1999-2000 season, have won the last four meetings against the Panthers at the Nassau Coliseum.  Florida's last victory over the Islanders at the Coliseum was a 3-1 win on December 15, 2001.  

In 2003-04, the Islanders were 3-1 against the Panthers, including a 2-0 record at the Nassau Coliseum.  New York won the first three season meetings, 2-1 (10/18/03), 4-1 (11/19/03) and 4-2 (1/31/04), before the Panthers salvaged the final meeting with a 6-4 win at home on March 17, 2004. Recent New York Islanders Games

Last 5 NYI games:   1 - 1 - 0 
Last 10 NYI games: 1 - 1 - 0

October 8, 2005
New York Islanders 3, Carolina Hurricanes 2

The Islanders won their first game of the season as they held on for a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday before a sellout crowd of 16,324 at the Nassau Coliseum.  Jason Blake, Miroslav Satan and Shawn Bates each scored a goal and Rick DiPietro made 42 saves in the win. The Hurricanes led 1-0 after the first period on Eric Staal's breakaway goal, but the Islanders came back in the second period and tied the game on Jason Blake's power play goal at 13:01.  Brent Sopel's shot from the point was stopped but he couldn't get to the rebound before Blake swooped in and knocked it past Ward for his second goal of the season. Early in the third period, the Islanders scored two goals 1:27 apart to take a 3-1 lead. Satan was credited with his first goal of the season at 5:39 and Bates followed with a short-handed goal at 7:06. The Islanders caught a break early in the third when Satan flung a shot toward the net from the right boards that Ward deflected and hit off Oleg Tverdovsky's stick and in for the goal. The Islanders increased their lead to 3-1 1:27 later when Bates single-handedly created a short-handed goal. He knocked the puck away in the Islanders zone and brought it up the ice. He deked center Matt Cullen off his skates and scored into an upper corner.  Carolina made it interesting late in the game as Staal scored his fourth goal of the season and second goal of the game with 1:01 remaining that made it 3-2. Carolina was 0-for-5 on the power play, while New York scored a goal on five attempts.  Ward made 32 saves in his second NHL start in two nights.

October 5, 2005
Buffalo Sabres 6, NY Islanders 4

The Islanders lost to the Buffalo Sabres, 6-4, in the season opener on Wednesday at the HSBC Arena.  Alexei Zhitnik, Alexei Yashin, Jason Blake and Chris Campoli scored, while Brent Sopel and Mike York each had two assists for the Islanders.  With the loss, the Islanders are 1-6-3 in their last 10 openers and 8-17-8 overall. Daniel Briere led the Sabres with two goals and one assist, while Maxim Afinogenov scored twice and J.P. Dumont added a goal and an assist.  DiPietro, who was the game's No. 2 star, made 33 saves in the loss for the Islanders, while Miller stopped 22 of 26 for the Sabres.  The win was the Sabres' first against the Isles' since the 2003-04 season, snapping a six-game losing streak.

New York Islanders Injuries/Transactions

The Islanders have no injuries to report.  

Total Man-Games Lost (After 2 games): 1               
2003-04 Total Man-Games Lost (After 2 games): 0

September 7 - Islanders re-sign goaltender Rick DiPietro to a one-year contract.
September 14 - Islanders re-sign forward Mark Parrish.
September 25 - The Islanders returned Ryan O'Marra and Blake Comeau to their respective Canadian junior clubs while assigning forwards Luciano Aquino and Masi Marjamaki, defensemen Vince Macri, Jody Robinson and Paul Flache and goaltender Chris Madden to Bridgeport.  
September 26 - The Islanders returned defenseman Dustin Kohn (Calgary - WHL) and forward Ryan O'Marra (Erie - OHL) to their respective juniors clubs and assigned forwards Wyatt Smith, Travis Brigley, Matt Koalska, Steve Regier, David Masse, Rob Collins, Kevin Colley, Cole Jarrett and Jeremy Colliton; defensemen Joel Bouchard, Allan Rourke, Ryan Caldwell; and goaltenders Frederic Cloutier and Wade Dubielewicz to Bridgeport (AHL).  
September 30 - The Islanders assigned defenseman Bruno Gervais and forward Justin Papineau to Bridgeport (AHL). October 3 - The Islanders assigned forward Sean Bergenheim to Bridgeport (AHL).  

Tuesday, October 11, Nassau Coliseum (10:30 AM)
Wednesday, October 12, Nassau Coliseum (10:30 AM)  
Thursday, October 13, Game-day skate at MCI Center, Washington, DC (11:30 AM)
Friday, October 14, Place and Time, TBA
Saturday, October 15, Game-day skate at Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pa. (11:30 AM)
Sunday, October 16, Off

Thursday, October 13 at Washington, 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 15 at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, October 19 at New York Rangers, 7 p.m.
Thursday, October 20 vs. New York Rangers, 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 22 at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, October 25 vs. Atlanta, 7 p.m.
Thursday, October 27 at New York Rangers, 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 29 vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, November 1 vs. Boston, 7 p.m.
Thursday, November 3 vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. New York Islanders Notes

The Islanders are 1-0-0-0 at home this season, scoring three goals and allowing one. Dating back to the 2003-04 season, the Islanders are unbeaten in their last three home games (2-0-1). Prior Saturday's 3-1 win over Carolina, the last time the Islanders played at home was on April 4, 2004 vs. Philadelphia (3-3 tie). The Isles' last win at home in 2003-04 was a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on March 31.

The Islanders had a record of 25-11-4-1 at home during the 2003-04 season.  The Islanders ranked first in the East and third in the NHL in home wins.  The 25 wins and 55 points at home were the most in 19 years (1985-86 season).  During the 2003-04 campaign, the Islanders had a nine-game unbeaten streak (6-0-3-0) in February marked the longest streak since the 1989-90 season.  

The Islanders are 0-1-0-0 on the road this season, scoring four goals and allowing six.  Dating back to the 2003-04 season, the Islanders are 2-3-0-0 in their last five road games and 4-5-0-1 in their last 10.  In 2003-04, the Islanders had a 13-18-7-3 record on the road.  

The Islanders are unbeaten in 52 games (44-0-8-0) when taking a lead into the third period. The streak is the longest active streak in the NHL.  During the 2003-04 season, the Islanders were 26-0-5-0 when leading after two periods. The Islanders outscored their opponent, 87-61 in the third period in 2003-04.  The streak began on December 28, 2002 with a 3-0 win vs. Carolina.  

In the first two games of the 2005-06 season, Buffalo and Carolina has scored the first goal of the game against the Islanders. In 2003-04, the Islanders had a record 11-23-6-3 when their opponents scored first. They were 27-6-5-1 when they scored the first goal of the game.  

The Islanders were 1x5 on the power play on October 8 vs. Carolina. In the first game of the 2005-06 season, the Islanders were 1x7 on the power play at Buffalo on Wednesday. Overall, the Islanders are 2x12 (16.7%) on the power play. The Islanders have scored a power play goal in each of their two games this season.  In 2003-04, the Islanders recorded at least one power play goal in 38 of 82 games.  They had a record of 27-9-3, including a mark of 16-4-1at home in games that they scored at least one power play goal.  During the 2005 preseason, Islanders converted on 10 of 71(14.1%) power play opportunities in seven games.  The Islanders, who had the ninth-most power play chances in the league, ranked 21st in the league in power play efficiency. The Islanders scored a power play goal in each of their seven preseason games.  In the first game, the Islanders scored a season-high three power play goals on 11 chances in their 5-1 win over the Rangers on September 20. The Islanders had a season-high 15 power play chances vs. the Flyers on Sept. 21.    

The Islanders killed off of all Carolina's five power play opportunities on October 8.  They killed off 10 of Buffalo's 12 power play opportunities on Wednesday.  Overall, the Islanders have killed off 15 of 17 (88.2%) in two games this season.  Shawn Bates scored the first short-handed goal of the season in the Isles' 3-1 win over the Hurricanes on Saturday.  The Islanders successfully killed off 44 of 52 power play chances (84.6%) in seven preseason games. The Islanders allowed a power play goal in six of their seven preseason games. The Islanders allowed a season-high three power play goals in their 5-3 loss to the Flyers on September 27 and did not allow a power play goal in their 3-2 loss to the to the New Jersey Devils on Sept. 25.      

-Rick DiPietro made 42 saves, three shy of his career-high in Saturday's 3-1 win over Carolina.  The last time DiPietro made 40 or more saves in a game was 45-save effort (career-high) against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on March 12, 2004. He recorded 40 or more saves for the first time in his career with 42 saves in a 4-2 win at Buffalo on February 27, 2004.
-In his first two games as an Islander, defenseman Brent Sopel has three assists in two games. Sopel leads the team in scoring and assists.  He was acquired by the Islanders from the Vancouver Canucks for a conditional draft pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He recorded 42 points (10+32) in 80 games with the Canucks in 2003-04.  Sopel set new career-highs for goals, assists and points in a season.      
-Forward Jason Blake recorded his second power play goal of the season in the Isles' 3-1 win over the Hurricanes. Blake leads the team with two power play goals. He has already surpassed his total from last season in just the first two games this year. In 2003-04, Blake recorded one power play goal (12/23/03 vs. Philadelphia) in 75 games.  
-Following today's game, the Islanders will play their next three games on the road. The Islanders will visit Washington (10/13), Philadelphia (10/15) and the New York Rangers (10/19) before returning home to host the Blueshirts in the second game of the home-and-home series on Thursday, October 20.  
-With Saturday's 3-1 win over Carolina, the Islanders have won back-to-back home openers for the first time since 1996 and '97.  Last season (2003-04), Islanders opened the home portion of their schedule with a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers. The Islanders opened the 1996 season with a 5-1 win over Philadelphia (10/12/96) and posted a 3-0 win over Toronto (10/4/97).    
-The Florida Panthers have four former Islanders - Eric Cairns, Olli Jokinen, Roberto Luongo and Jamie McLennan on their roster. Cairns will be making his first visit to Long Island as a member of the Florida Panthers.  Luongo, who was taken by the Islanders with the fourth pick in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, has appeared in 15 games posting a 3-8-1 record and a 2.65 goals against average against the Islanders, while McLennan has a record of 3-2 and a 2.01 goals against average in five games.  In 18 games, Jokinen has recorded six points (2+4) and 18 penalty minutes against the Islanders. He played one season (1999-00) with the Islanders, posting 11 goals and 10 assists and 80 penalty minutes in 82 games.    
-The Islanders have been outshot, 83-61, in the first two games of the season.  He Islanders have a 1-1 record in games when being outshot.  The last time the Islanders allowed 40 or more shots in a game was last season when the Mighty Ducks outshot the Islanders 46-29 in a 3-1 New York win.  The Islanders allowed 40 or more shots two other times with Ottawa outshooting the Islanders, 44-38, in a 2-2 tie (1/15/04) and Buffalo held a 44-25 edge shots, but lost the game 4-2 (2/27/04). Overall, the Islanders were 2-0-1 when they allowed 40 or more shots in a game.  
- Shawn Bates recorded his 12th career short-handed goal on Saturday against the Hurricanes.  The last time Bates recorded a short-handed goal was last season at Pittsburgh (10/29/03).  
-The last time the Islanders lost a home game was to the Carolina Hurricanes on March 27, 2004 (3-2).  
-The Islanders have a lifetime record of 21-10-1-1 in home openers.
-In 33 home openers, the Islanders have outscored the opponent, 121-90.
-The Islanders will not play consecutive games at home until early late October-early November when they host Buffalo (October 29), Boston (November 1) and Pittsburgh (November 3).
-Toda's game is the first of three afternoon matinees for the Islanders.  They will host Ottawa at 2 p.m. on Friday, November 25 and the Philadelphia Flyers at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 2.  
-Of the 22 players on the Islanders' opening night roster, seven players were drafted by the Islanders, (three first-round picks, one third-round pick, one seventh-round pick, one eighth round-pick and one ninth-round pick), while ten were acquired via trade and five were signed as free agents.  
- The three players selected by the Islanders in the first round, were goaltender Rick DiPietro (first overall in 2000) and forwards Robert Nilsson (15th overall in 2003) and Petteri Nokelainen (16th overall in 2004).  
- Defenseman Alexei Zhitnik celebrates his 33rd birthday today.

Asham   21 games to 300
Blake  6 assists to 100
DiPietro 18 games to 100
Kvasha  14 points to 200
Lukowich 25 games to 400
Sopel 4 assists to 100
Yashin 8 goals to 300 
          26 assists to 400
York 2 goals to 100 
       24 games to 400
Zhitnik 3 points to 400

The Islanders' AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers fell to 1-1-1-0 (three points) on the season with a 6-5 overtime loss to the Norfolk Admirals on Saturday at the Norfolk Scope.  Rob Collins recorded a goal and two assists, while Sean Bergenheim and Justin Papineau added a goal and an assist. Wade Dubielewicz made 33 saves in the loss. The Sound Tigers were outshot, 39-19, in the game. Overall, Collins leads the team in scoring with six points (2+4) in three games.  The Sound Tigers are off until Saturday when they visit the Binghamton Senators at 7:05 p.m. at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.  

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