Thursday night's game at Madison Square Garden may be the pre-season finale for the Islanders, but it will be the first chance for Islanders radio broadcasters John Wiedeman and Chris King to shake off the rust. The Islanders on Bloomberg 1130 debuts on Thursday night.
œI'm really looking forward to it, said King. œBloomberg is an excellent partner for the radio broadcasts. Their signal is enormous and John and I have discussed with them many ways of making our broadcasts the best in the league. We'll use the Islanders-Rangers game for some experimenting and then we'll be ready to go in Buffalo next Wednesday. You know John he's been ready to go since July.
The game will also give Steve Stirling once last chance to tinker with his systems in a game that doesn't count in the standings.
We're pretty much down to our final team and I'm sure the Rangers are pretty close, too, said Stirling. So I expect a battle. I know it's still the exhibition season, but I know we'll have plenty of fans there and the Garden will have a lot of life, so it should be good preparation for next week.
At today's practice at Islanders Iceworks, Jason Blake remained on the left of Alexei Yashin and Miroslav Satan, while rookie Robert Nilsson was with Michael York and Trent Hunter.
Here are your game notes, courtesy of Islanders media relations coordinator Jim Morlock.
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Thursday, September 29, 2005 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Preseason Game No. 7, Road Game No. 4
TV: MSG Network (Sam Rosen, play-by-play; Joe Micheletti and John Davidson, color commentary)
Radio: 1130 Bloomberg Radio (John Wiedeman, play-by-play; Chris King, color commentary)
Tonight's game is the second of two preseason games between the Islanders and Rangers. In the first meeting on Sept. 20, the Islanders defeated the Rangers 5-1 at the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders enter tonight's game with a 2-3-1 record, while the Rangers have a 1-2-0 mark. The Islanders will be playing their seven and final game of the preseason tonight, while the Rangers will play two more games (Boston and New Jersey) before next Wednesday's season opener at Philadelphia.
ALL-TIME RECORD vs. NYR:
The Islanders have a lifetime regular season record of 84-88-19-1 against the New York Rangers. At home, the Islanders have a lifetime 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 last time the Islanders defeated the Rangers in the regular season was on March 25, 2003 in a 4-2 win at the Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders are 1-3-1 in their last five games and have an overall record of 2-3-1 in six preseason games. The Islanders are winless in their last three games (0-2-1) and have not won since Friday's 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins.
The Islanders have converted on nine of 61 (14.8%) power play opportunities in six preseason games. The Islanders, who have the third-most power play chances in the preseason, are ranked 20th in the league in power play efficiency. The Islanders have scored a power play goal in each of their six preseason games. On Tuesday, the Islanders scored one goal on 13 chances in their 5-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. In the first game of the preseason, 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 have successfully killed off 40 of 47 power play chances (85.1) in six preseason games. The Islanders have allowed a power play goal in five of their six preseason games. The Islanders allowed a season-high three power play goals in their 5-3 loss to the Flyers on Tuesday and did not allow a power play goal in Sunday's loss to New Jersey.
ISLANDERS' REDUCE TRAINING CAMP ROSTER TO 25
The Islanders on Monday returned defenseman Dustin Kohn (Calgary WHL) and forward Ryan O'Marra (Erie OHL) to their respective juniors clubs and assigned 15 players to their AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Assigned to the Sound Tigers were 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, Wade Dubielewicz and Chris Madden.
On Sunday, the Islanders returned 2005 first round pick Ryan O'Marra and 2004 second round pick Blake Comeau to their respective Canadian junior clubs while also assigning six players to Bridgeport of the American Hockey League: goaltender Chris Madden, forwards Luciano Aquino and Masi Marjamaki and defensemen Vince Macri, Jody Robinson and Paul Flache.
With the roster moves, the Islanders have 25 players left in camp eight defensemen, 15 forwards and two goaltenders.
Arron Asham (rib sprain) is listed as day-to-day.
The Islanders will open their 33rd season in the NHL on Wednesday, October 5 when they visit the Buffalo Sabres (7 p.m. start). This will be the second time in the last three years that the Islanders have opened the season in Buffalo and it will also mark the fifth consecutive season that they have started the season on the road. The Islanders will play six of their first 10 games of the season on the road. The Islanders will open their home portion of the schedule on Saturday, October 8 vs. Carolina (7 p.m. start).