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GAME PREVIEW: Boston at Islanders, 7:00 pm

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
FSN, Bloomberg 1130, For Tix: 1.800.882.ISLES

For the Islanders, tonight's game is about the debut of new line combinations. Here they are, as evidenced at today's morning skate:

Yashin Kvasha Satan
Nilsson York Parrish
Blake Bates Hunter
Asham Nokelainen Weinhandl

The stories here, naturally, are Alexei Yashin moving to the left side and Oleg Kvasha going to first-line center with Miro Satan staying on the right. In addition, the move seems to signal increased icetime for rookie Robert Nilsson, who has played very well of late. He will be on the left of center Mike York, with the returning Mark Parrish on the right.

The Islanders are playing an extremely talented and deep Bruins team tonight, with old friend Dave Scatchard returning to Long Island for the first time and future Hall of Famer Brian Leetch coming back to New York. But even with all the Bruin's extraordinary talent, it will be fascinating to see how the new lines work out for the Islanders.

Islanders vs. Boston Bruins: Tonight's game is the first of four meetings this season between the Islanders and Bruins.  The next meeting between the two teams will on Long Island on Saturday, November 12 at 7 p.m.  New York will visit Boston on January 28 and March 11.

The Islanders enter tonight's game with a record of 5-6-0 (10 points, 4Th-Place, Atlantic Division), while the Bruins are 5-5-3 (13 points, 4th-Place, Northeast Division). The Islanders are 3-2 at home, while Boston is 3-3-2 on the road this season.

The Islanders have a career record of 40-59-21-0 vs. the Boston Bruins.  At the Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders are 24-27-10 and their record on the road in Boston against the Bruins is 16-32-11. 

The Bruins' last win at the Coliseum was on December 22, 2001, a 4-2 victory.  Since then, the Bruins are 0-0-3 at the Nassau Coliseum.  The Islander's last win over the Bruins at home was on January 3, 2003, an 8-4 victory.  Since the win, the Islanders are 1-0-3 against the Bruins at the Coliseum.  In their last five games against the Bruins at home, the Islanders are 1-1-3 and 3-3-4 in their last 10.

- Goaltender Rick DiPietro (bruised knee) is out for tonight's game.

Total Man-Games Lost (After 11 games): 14 
2003-04 Total Man-Games Lost (After 11 games): 3
October 14 - The Islanders recalled goaltender Wade Dubielewicz from Bridgeport.
October 17 - The Islanders reassigned goaltender Wade Dubielewicz to Bridgeport.
October 27 - The Islanders recalled forward Kevin Colley from Bridgeport.
October 28 - The Islanders reassign forward Kevin Colley from Bridgeport.
October 31 - The Islanders recalled goaltender Wade Dubielewicz from Bridgeport.

The Islanders recalled goaltender Wade Dubielewicz from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League on Monday. Dubielewicz is expected to be the backup for Garth Snow tonight against the Bruins.   

Rick DiPietro will sit out tonight's game with a bruised knee, but is expected to be cleared to play in time for Thursday's home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. DiPietro was replaced by Snow in the second period of the Islander's 6-4 loss to Buffalo on Saturday night with the Islanders trailing 3-2.

In six games with the Sound Tigers this season, the 26-year old Dubielewicz is 1-4-0 with 5.03 GAA. In two games with the Islanders in the 2003-04 season, he had a 1.73 GAA while earning a win and a tie. He was signed as a free agent out of the University of Denver on May 25, 2003.

The Islanders will play game two of a three-game homestand tonight against the Boston Bruins. The Islanders are 0-1 on the homestand.  They lost to the Buffalo Sabres, 6-4, on Saturday before a crowd of 13,226. The Islanders will wrap-up the homestand on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Following the homestand, the Islanders will not play consecutive home games until late-November when they host the Sabres on Wednesday, November 23 (7 p.m. start) and the Ottawa Senators on Friday, Nov. 25 (2 p.m.start).  

The Islanders had a record of 5-6-0-0 during the month of October. Last season, the Islanders were 4-3-2-0 during October.

The Islanders are 3-2-0 at home this season, scoring 17 goals and allowing 18. The Islanders had their two-game home winning streak snapped with a 6-4 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.  The six goals were the most allowed by the Islanders at home since the N.Y. Rangers won 6-3 on February 26, 2004.

After being held scoreless by the New York Rangers on Thursday, high-scoring center Alexei Yashin recorded a goal and two assists in Saturday's 6-4 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Yashin, who was held pointless for the first time since the second game of the season (October 8 vs. Carolina) in Thursday's 3-1 loss to the Rangers, leads the team in scoring with 15 points (7+8) in 11 games. Yashin collected 11 points (5+6) in seven games from October 10-25. In addition to his seven-game point streak, recorded an assist in five consecutive games (October 15-25). The point streak was Yashin's longest since the 2003-04, when he had a nine-game point streak with 13 points (3+10) from November 14-December 3. 

The Islanders are 2-4-0 on the road this season, scoring 17 goals and allowing 22. The Islanders will play seven of their next 10 games on the road.  In 2003-04, the Islanders had a 13-18-7-3 record on the road. 

The Islanders are unbeaten in 56 games (48-0-8) 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 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 4-2 this season when scoring first and 1-4 when the opposition scores the first goal of the game. Buffalo, Carolina, Philadelphia, Montreal and the N.Y. Rangers have scored first in games against the Islanders this season, while New York has scored first against Carolina, Washington, the Rangers (twice), Atlanta and Buffalo. The Islanders have scored first in each of the last two games and lost both games. 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 Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres. The Islanders have scored a power play goal in nine of 11 games this season. Overall, the Islanders are 13x84 (15.5%) on the power play. 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 four of Buffalo's eight power play chances on Saturday. The four power play goals scored by the Sabres were the most allowed by the Islanders this season.  Overall, the Islanders have killed off 73 of 91 (80.2%) power play attempts in 11 games this season. The Islanders are ranked 16th in the league in penalty kill. The Islanders have recorded three shorthanded goals this season.  Arron Asham scored a shorthanded goal in the Islander's 5-4 win over the Rangers on October 20. Earlier in the season, Shawn Bates scored the first short-handed goal of the season in the Isle's 3-1 win over the Hurricanes on October 8 and Jason Blake scored a short handed tally in the Islander's 5-3 win over Washington on October 13.    

The Islanders have been outshot, 378-324, through the first 11 games of the 2005-06 season.  The Islanders have been outshot in eight of the 11 games, including six straight from October 15-27. The Islanders are allowing an average of 34.4 shots per game.  They have a record of 4-4 when they have been outshot and have a record of 1-2 in games when they have outshot the opponent. The Islanders have also allowed 40 or more shots in a game twice during the season, and have a record of 1-1. 

The Islanders completed their first set of back-to-back games of the season with a sweep of the New York Rangers last week (October 19-20). The Islanders are scheduled to play 10 sets of back-to-back games during the 2005-06 regular season, four fewer than they had in 2003-04.  The Islanders played 14 back-to-back sets in 2003-04, posting a 13-13-1-1 record in those 28 contests; 8-6-0-0 in the first games of back-to-back sets and 5-7-1-1 in the second games.

Goaltender Rick DiPietro stopped Atlanta's Patrik Stefan on a penalty shot early in the second period on October 27. The penalty shot was the first attempted against the Islanders this season and the 19th in team history. Stefan was awarded a penalty shot at 4:16 of the second period when he was hauled down by Janne Niinimaa on a breakaway. The penalty shot was the third attempted against DiPietro and the previous two attempts by Michel Nylander (12/21/02) and Erik Cole (4/2/04) were unsuccessful. 

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. 

Wednesday, November 2: Nassau Coliseum, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 3: Game-day skate at Nassau Coliseum (10-11:15 a.m.). Game vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Friday, November 4: Iceworks, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 5: Game-day skate at Corel Centre (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.), Game at Ottawa, 7 p.m.
Sunday, November 6:  Iceworks, 10 -11:30 a.m.

Thursday, November 3 vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Saturday, November 5 at Ottawa, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, November 8 at New Jersey, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 10 at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Saturday, November 12 vs. Boston, 7 p.m.
Monday, November 14 at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 16 at Atlanta, 7 p.m.
Thursday, November 17 at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 19 at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 23 vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m.

The Islander's American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers lost to the Hartford Wolf Pack, 3-2, on Saturday at the Hartford Civic Center. Rookie goaltender Al Montoya, the Ranger's sixth overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, made a franchise-record 51 saves to lead the Wolf Pack to the win.   

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