Rick DiPietro is expected to start in goal as the Islanders begin a home-and-home series with the Rangers on Wednesday night.
The Islanders are coming off their worst loss of the early season, a 5-1 setback in Philadelphia on Saturday night and have had two detailed practices to make adjustments and prepare for an impressive Rangers team.
"These games are very important," said Islanders head coach Steve Stirling. "The Rangers are playing extremely well, and we haven't. We need to make a mark."
The Islanders (2-3-0-0) look to end their nine-game winless streak (0-7-2) against the New York Rangers tonight at Madison Square Garden. The Islanders, who have lost six consecutive games to the Rangers, have not defeated the Blueshirts since March 25, 2002, when they won 4-2 at the Nassau Coliseum. The last time the Islanders won at Madison Square Garden was on November 23, 2002 (3-1 win). Since then, the Islanders are winless in their last five (0-4-1) visits to the Garden.
Overall, the Islanders have a lifetime record of 84-88-19-1 against the New York Rangers. At home, the Islanders have a record of 54-33-8-1, while in 96 regular season visits to Madison Square Garden, they have a record of 33-52-11-0. In 2003-04, the Islanders lost all six regular season meetings to the Rangers.
The Islanders and Rangers will complete the home-and-home series tomorrow night at the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders are back on the road this weekend as they visit the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday at the Molson Centre. Following the game against Montreal, the Islanders will play four of their next five games at the Nassau Coliseum.
Shawn Bates (hip injury) is day-to-day.
Total Man-Games Lost (After 5 games): 4
2003-04 Total Man-Games Lost (After 5 games): 0
October 14 - The Islanders recalled goaltender Wade Dubielewicz from Bridgeport.
October 17 - The Islanders reassigned goaltender Wade Dubielewicz to Bridgeport.
- Alexei Yashin is tied for the team lead in scoring with four points (2g, 2a) ... Yashin has a three-game point streak in progress with 1-2-3 totals ... He has recorded a point in four of five games this season.
- In Saturday's 5-1 loss at Philadelphia, the Islanders were outshot, 46-20 ... The last time the Islanders allowed 40 or more shots in a game was on March 12, 2004, when Anaheim outshot the Islanders, 46-29 ... However, the Islanders won the game, 3-1 ... The Islanders also allowed 40 or more shots two other times during the 2003-04 campaign, but did not lose either of those games ... Despite being outshot, 44-38, by Ottawa, the Isles and Senators skated to a 4-4 tie on January 15, 2004 and on March 21, 2004, New York was outshot 47-39 by Tampa Bay, but defeated the Lightning, 3-0.
- Forward Jason Blake scored his first shorthanded goal of the season in Thursday's 5-3 win over the Capitals Blake led the Islanders with four shorthanded goals last season ... He is tied for the team lead in scoring with four points (3g, 2a) ... Blake has recorded a point in three of five games this season.
- The Islanders have two shorthanded goals in five games this season Last season, the Islanders did not record two shorthanded goals until the ninth game of the season.
- It was a night of firsts for rookie center Petteri Nokelainen, who recorded his first NHL goal, first point, first game-winning goal, first assist and first multiple-point game in the Islander's 5-3 win over the Capitals on Thursday at the MCI Center Nokelainen was selected by the Islanders in the first round (16th overall) of the 2004 Entry Draft.
- Rookie forward Robert Nilsson recorded his first NHL point (assist) on Trent Hunter's goal early in the first period on Thursday at Washington Nilsson was selected by the Islanders in the first round (15th overall) of the 2003 Entry Draft.
- In Thursday's 5-3 win over Washington, the Islanders the outshot the Capitals, 49-29, including 20-11 in the third period on Thursday against the Capitals The last time the Islanders had 40 or more shots in a game was on March 17, 2004, when they outshot the Florida Panthers, 54-24 The Islanders lost the game, 6-4, to the Panthers New York had a record of 2-3-0-1 when they recorded 40 or more shots in a game in 2003-04.
- Forward Oleg Kvasha tied a career-high for assists in a game with three in Thursday's 5-3 win over the Capitals Kvasha has recorded three assists in a game two other times, with the most recent at Carolina on April 2, 2004.
PLAYING ON THE ROAD
The Islanders are 1-2-0-0 on the road this season, scoring 10 goals and allowing 14. Including tonight's game, the Islanders will play three of their next five and 10 of their next 16 games on the road. In 2003-04, the Islanders had a 13-18-7-3 record on the road.
LEADING AFTER TWO
The Islanders are unbeaten in 53 games (45-0-8-0) 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.
The Islanders are 1-1 this season when scoring first and 1-2 when the opposition scores the first goal of the game. Buffalo, Carolina and Philadelphia has scored first in games against the Islanders this season, while New York has scored first against Carolina and Washington. 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 1-9 on the power play on Saturday at Philadelphia. The Islanders were 0-7 on the power play in Thursday's 5-3 win over the Washington Capitals. It was the first time this season that the Islanders did not score a power play goal in a game. The Islanders were 1-7 on the power play on October 10 vs. Florida. The Islanders were 1-5 on the power play on October 8 vs. Carolina. In the first game of the 2005-06 season, the Islanders were 1-7 on the power play at Buffalo on October 5. Overall, the Islanders are 4-35 (11.4%) on the power play. In the first five games of the 2003-04 season, the Islanders were 5-27(18.5%) on the power play. The last time the Islanders scored two power play goals in a game was vs. Philadelphia in a 3-3 tie on April 4. 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.
The Islanders killed off two of Philadelphia's 12 power play chances on October 15. The Islanders killed off all of Washington's five power play opportunities on October 13. The Islanders killed off 10 of Florida's 11 power play chances on October 10. 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 October 5. The Islanders have recorded two shorthanded goals this season. Shawn Bates scored the first shorthanded goal of the season in the Isle's 3-1 win over the Hurricanes on Saturday and Jason Blake scored a short handed tally in the Islander's 5-3 win over Washington on October 13. Overall, the Islanders have killed off 39 of 44 (88.6%) power play attempts in five games. In the first five games of the 2003-04 season, the Islanders allowed two power play goals and killed off 24 of 26 (92.3%) power play chances.
MINOR LEAGUE UPDATE
Justin Papineau recorded three goals and one assist to lead the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to a 5-4 win over the Binghamton Senators last Saturday at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. The Sound Tigers had four players with two or more points in the win. Along with Papineau's four points, Bruno Gervais had three assists, Rob Collins collected a goal and two assists and Sean Bergenheim added two assists. With the win, the Sound Tigers completed their season-opening four-game road trip with a 2-1-1 record (five points). Bridgeport returns to action this Saturday when they open the home portion of their schedule against the Portland Pirates (7:05 p.m. start).
The Sound Tigers have two of the top scorers in the AHL. Papineau and Collins are tied for fourth in the league in scoring with eight points each. Papineau has recorded four goals and four assists, while Collins has collected three goals and five assists in four games.