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GAME PREVIEW: Buffalo at Islanders

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
7:00 pm, FSN; Bloomberg 1130; tix: 1.800.882.ISLES

The Islanders play their first home game in eleven days when they host Lindy Ruff's Buffalo Sabres tonight in a Thanksgiving Eve showdown at the Coliseum. Coming off a 3-1 road trip and playing their best hockey of the season over the last seven games, it will interesting to see how the Islanders come out before a what is expected to be a good home crowd.

"We haven't seen our fans much lately," said Islanders coach Steve Stirling, referring to the fact that tonight's home game is just the Islanders' second in the last 20 days. "We've played well lately and we want to keep it going for our fans tonight and Friday afternoon. The Sabres have won our first two games and continue to play very well, so this is another good challenge for us."

Tonight will mark the NHL debut of 20-year old forward Jeremy Colliton, an Islanders second round pick in 2003. While Colliton will start on the fourth line with Mattias Weinhandl and Eric Godard, Oleg Kvasha is expected to take the place of the injured Shawn Bates on a line with Jason Blake and Trent Hunter.

"Oleg's going to do great," said Blake after this morning's skate. "If you look at his play, he's always come up big for us when we needed him -- either with clutch goals or when someone's down with an injury like Yash two years ago. I think Oleg likes to be counted on, and we definitely need him. I'm looking forward to playing with him."

Here are your game notes, courtesy of Islanders media relations coordinator Corey Witt.


The New York Islanders (11-10-0) host the Buffalo Sabres (11-9-0) at the Nassau Coliseum. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:08 pm. This is the third of four meetings between the clubs this season and the Sabres currently lead 2-0-0.

The two teams opened the 2005-06 season on October 5th with the Sabres taking a 6-4 decision at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo. In that contest, Islanders' rookie defenseman Chris Campoli scored his first NHL goal on his first shot, while Jason Blake, Alexei Yashin and Alexei Zhitnik scored for the Islanders. Maxim Afinogenov scored twice for the Sabres and JP Dumont, Daniel Briere (game-winner) and Brian Campbell each added a goal. Ryan Miller stopped 22 of 26 saves for the win, while Rick DiPietro received the loss with 33 saves. The game featured 19 penalties, 12 for the Islanders and seven for the Sabres.

Buffalo also defeated the Islanders 6-4 on October 29th at the Coliseum. Robert Nilsson scored his first NHL goal in the game that saw Buffalo score four power play goals against the Islanders. Rick DiPietro was pulled early in the second period in favor of Garth Snow. Miroslav Satan, Alexei Yashin and Alexei Zhitnik scored for the Islanders.  

The Islanders trail the all-time series 47-58-18-1, including a 0-2-0 mark this season. The Islanders last win was February 27, 2004, a 4-2 victory at the Coliseum. In 2003-04, the Islanders swept the season series 4-0-0-0 with DiPietro earning all four victories.

The officiating crew for tonight's game is: Referees Dave Jackson and Chris Rooney with Linesmen Jean Morin and Tony Sericolo. The crew chief of NHL Off-Ice Officials is Jeff Weintraub.

Tonight's National Anthem singer is Warren Sabloff.

Locally, the game can be caught on FSN NY with Howie Rose on the play-by-play and Joe Micheletti as the color analyst. On the radio, John Wiedeman and Chris King have the play-by-play and color commentary, respectively, on Bloomberg 1130 AM.

- Center Petteri Nokelainen (patella tendonitis) has missed the last eight games and is out indefinitely.  
- Forward Shawn Bates (hamstring strain) was injured in Saturday's win in Florida and is out 4-5 weeks.
Total Man-Games Lost (After 21 games): 23    

PLAYER                    GAMES MISSED                    INJURY
Arron Asham                          1                         Rib Muscle
Shawn Bates                           4                        Hip Strain
Rick DiPietro                           2                        Concussion (1), Bruised Right Knee (1)
Petteri Nokelainen                    9                        Sprained Ankle (1), Knee Injury (8)
Mark Parrish                            4                        Hip Strain
Brent Sopel                             3                         Left Sprained Wrist
Total Games Missed:           23


With Shawn Bates out four-to-five weeks with a strained hamstring, the Islanders have recalled rookie Center Jeremy Colliton from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL). Colliton was drafted by the Islanders in the second round (58th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Making his professional hockey debut this season, Colliton has recorded four goals and four assists for eight points with Bridgeport this season. Tonight will be Colliton's first NHL game.

Before sustaining the injury in the final minutes on Saturday night's win at Florida, Bates was on a hot streak with eight goals (8+1) in the past seven games. He's currently tied for second for the team-lead in goals scored with Alexei Yashin with ten and already surpassed his total from 2003-04. The Islanders are 7-0 in games that Bates has scored a goal, 8-0 if his shootout goal is counted. Bates also leads the league in shooting percentage with a mark of 35.7% and leads the team with four game winners (second in the NHL), which includes an overtime tally versus Boston on November 1 at the Coliseum. He also has a shootout goal, which he recorded against the Pittsburgh Penguins on November 14. Overall, Bates has 12 points this season (10+2).


- The Islanders have not allowed a power play goal in 36 straight chances.
- There is no official record of consecutive penalty kills for the Islanders or for the NHL in general. However, the Islanders team record for consecutive games without allowing a power play goal is ten. That mark was set in the 1977-78 season from February 18 to March 7, 1978. Special thanks to Bob Waterman and the Elias Sports Bureau for that note.
- The Islanders successfully killed off all six Florida power plays last Saturday night.
- They haven't allowed a power play goal in the last six games (33 chances).

- Overall, the Islanders have killed off 129 of 147 (87.8%) power play attempts in 21 games this season.
- The Islanders have recorded three shorthanded goals this season. Arron Asham scored a shorthanded goal in the Islanders' 5-4 win over the Rangers on October 20. Earlier in the season, Shawn Bates scored the first shorthanded goal of the season in the Isles' 3-1 win over the Hurricanes on October 8 and Jason Blake scored a shorthanded tally in the Islanders' 5-3 win over Washington on October 13.    

- The Islanders were 2-6 on the power play against Florida on Saturday night.
- They have nine power play goals in the last seven games.
- Overall, the Islanders have scored a power play goal in 14 of 21 games this season.
- They are 22-137 (16.1%) on the man-advantage. Last season, 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 16-4-1 at home in games that they scored at least one power play goal.  

The Islanders are 5-3-0 at home this season, scoring 27 goals and allowing 28. The last two Islander home wins have come against the Boston Bruins by a combined score of 9-5. The Islanders have one loss at home in November, a 5-1 decision to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Team captain Alexei Yashin leads the team in scoring with 24 points (11+13) in 21 games. This season, Yashin has recorded a point in 17 of 21 games, nine of the past eleven (4+8) and in the last six games (2-6-8). He's also had five multiple-point games, including last Thursday night in Tampa Bay. This is Yashin's best start since the 2001-02 season, his first as an Islander. That season he finished with 32 goals, 43 assists and 75 points.

This season, he had a season-high seven-game point streak from October 10-25, collecting 11 points (5+6). In addition to his seven-game point streak, Yashin 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 have a record of 6-4-0 in the month of November. The Islanders will play a total of 14 games this month, six at home and eight on the road. Last season, the Islanders were 5-8-0-0 in November.

Win Loss OTL
Oct. 5 6 0
Nov. 6 4 0

* The Islanders have an overtime victory and two shootout victories. See below for details.

The Islanders are unbeaten in 61 games (53-0-8) when taking a lead into the third period. The streak is the longest active streak in the NHL. The Islanders are 9-0-0 this season when leading after two periods. This streak includes wining in overtime (vs. Bruins, Nov. 1) and winning in the shootout twice (at Rangers, Oct. 19 and at Pittsburgh Nov. 14) this season. 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 finished up their second longest road trip of the season, a span of four games, with a 5-3 victory over the Florida Panthers. They also defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in a shootout last Monday night (11/14) and the Atlanta Thrashers 7-3 last Wednesday night (11/16), while losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 last Thursday night (11/17), the second of a back-to-back. The team has a five game road trip in March, which will also take them to Atlanta and both Florida stops as well as Boston and New Jersey. The Islanders are 7-6 on the road so far this season.

The Islanders are 9-4 this season when scoring first and 2-6 when the opposition scores the first goal of the game. Buffalo, Carolina, Philadelphia, Montreal, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, Ottawa and Florida have scored first in games against the Islanders this season, while New York has scored first against Carolina, Washington, the Rangers (twice), Atlanta (twice), Buffalo, Boston (twice), New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. 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 have been outshot, 692-592, through the first 21 games of the 2005-06 season. The Islanders have been outshot in 14 of 21 games this season, including six straight from October 15-27. The Islanders are allowing an average of 33.0 shots per game. They have a record of 8-6 when they have been outshot and have a record of 2-4 in games when they've outshot the opponent. The Islanders recorded a season-high 40 shots, including 20 in the first period last Thursday against the Flyers. The Islanders have also allowed 40 or more shots in a game three times this season and have a record of 2-1. The most recent game was Wednesday night's victory in Atlanta.

The Islanders have a total attendance of 103,589 after eight games at the Nassau Coliseum, for an average of 12,949 (77.8% capacity) with one sellout.  Last season after seven games at Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders had a total attendance of 84,866, an average of 12,266 (79.8% capacity) with one sellout. The seating capacity for the Nassau Coliseum is 16,234.

Last week, the Islanders completed their second set of back-to-back games, splitting the pair of the road games. The team defeated the Atlanta Thrashers 7-3 last Wednesday night, but lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 last Thursday night. Earlier in the season, the Islanders swept their first set of back-to-back games of the season by taking out the New York Rangers on 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 team's next set of back-to-back games is this week with a home game versus Ottawa on Friday and a road game at Philadelphia on Saturday. Both games are scheduled for a 2 p.m. faceoff.

The Islanders have a record of 2-0-0 in the first game of back-to-back games and a 1-1-0 record in the second game. 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.

Shawn Bates scored the game-winning goal with 28.2 seconds left in overtime to lift the Islanders to a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins on November 1 at the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders are 3-0 in overtime (two shootout victories) this season and have a lifetime record of 65-60-194 in overtime. Last season, the Islanders had a record of 2-4-11 in overtime.

The Islanders shootout victory over the Penguins on November 14 was the longest so far in the NHL this season. Eighteen shooters were used by both teams, setting a new standard in the inaugural season for the shootout. Jason Blake netted the determining goal against goaltender Jocelyn Thibault and Islanders' goaltender Rick DiPietro stopped seven of nine Penguin shooters, including rookie Ryan Whitney to seal the win.

It was the team's second shootout win of the season, with the other coming against the New York Rangers in a 3-2 decision at Madison Square Garden on October 19. In that contest, Miroslav Satan scored the only shootout goal against Henrik Lundqvist. The Islanders carry a perfect 2-0 record in shootouts this season.

Aaron Asham 1 0 0
Shawn Bates 1 1 0
Jason Blake 1 1 1
Trent Hunter 1 1 0
Robert Nilsson 1 0 0
Mark Parrish 2 0 0
Miroslav Satan 2 1 1
Alexei Yashin 2 0 0
Mike York 1 0 0
TOTALS 12 4 2
Rick DiPietro 10/10 at NYR 3 0            W
11/14 at PIT 9 2            W
DiPietro Totals 12 2        2 Wins

November 21 Places forward Shawn Bates on the Injured Reserve List and called up center Jeremy Colliton from Bridgeport (AHL).
November 18 Assigned forward Luchiano Aquino from Bridgeport to Trenton (ECHL).
November 15 Signed forward Jeff Hamilton and assigned him to Bridgeport.
November 2 - Reassigned goaltender Wade Dubielewicz to Bridgeport.
October 31 - Recalled goaltender Wade Dubielewicz from Bridgeport.
October 28 Reassigned center Kevin Colley to Bridgeport.
October 27 Recalled center Kevin Colley from Bridgeport.
October 15 - Reassigned goaltender Wade Dubielewicz to Bridgeport.
October 14 Recalled goaltender Wade Dubielewicz from Bridgeport.


Islanders' captain Alexei Yashin scored his 300th NHL career goal on November 14th at Pittsburgh. Brad Lukowich and Janne Niinimaa were credited with the assists on the second period goal. The tally was Yashin's 82nd as an Islander. He scored 218 as a member of the Ottawa Senators.


- Arron Asham is two games away from his 300th NHL game.
- Rick DiPietro is two games away from his 100th NHL game.
- Oleg Kvasha is eight points away from his 200th NHL point.
- Brad Lukowich is six games away from his 400th NHL game.
- Mark Parrish is one goal away from his 150th NHL goal.
- Miroslav Satan is eight power play goals away from his 100th NHL power play goal.
- Alexei Yashin is 11 points away from his 700th NHL point.
- Eric Godard's next goal will be his first NHL goal.
- Jeremy Colliton will play in his first NHL game.

- Chris Campoli, Robert Nilsson and Petteri Nokelainen each played in their first NHL game on October 5th, 2005 at Buffalo.
- Chris Campoli scored his first NHL goal/point on his first NHL shot on October 5th, 2005 at Buffalo.
- Petteri Nokelainen scored his first NHL goal on October 13th at Washington.
- Robert Nilsson scored his first NHL goal vs. Buffalo on October 29.
- Alexei Yashin scored his 300th career NHL goal on November 14th at Pittsburgh.
- Alexei Zhitnik played in his 900th NHL career game on November 14th at Pittsburgh.


Thursday, November 24: Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 a.m.- Noon
Friday, November 25: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Saturday, November 26: Game day skate at Wachovia Center, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Sunday, November 27: Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
Monday, November 28: Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, November 29: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Wednesday, November 30: Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


November 19, 2005
New York Islanders 5, Florida Panthers 3

The Islanders wrapped up their four-game road trip with a 5-3 win over the Florida Panthers last Saturday night. Shawn Bates scored two goals and Alexei Yashin extended his scoring streak to six games. Miroslav Satan, Oleg Kvasha and Mark Parrish also scored for the Islanders and Rick DiPietro made 26 saves for his eighth win of the season. The defensive pairing of Chris Campoli and Radek Martinek added four assists (two each) while Jason Blake also turned in a two-point performance. The news wasn't all good for the Islanders as Shawn Bates was injured in the closing minutes of the game.

Wednesday, November 23 vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, November 25 vs. Ottawa, 2 p.m.
Saturday, November 26 at Philadelphia, 2 p.m.
Tuesday, November 29 vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Sunday, December 4 at Detroit, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, December 6 at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Thursday, December 8 at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 10 vs. Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, December 13 vs. Minnesota, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 17 vs. Colorado, 7 p.m.

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers dropped a 5-2 decision to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this past Sunday, which extends their losing streak to three games. Newly re-signed forward Jeff Hamilton upped his scoring streak to three games with his second goal of the year. Defenseman/Forward Cole Jarrett added the other Sound Tigers' goal. Goaltender Chris Madden made 29 saves on 33 shots in the losing effort.

The Sound Tigers will begin a stretch of four straight road games starting with a visit to the Syracuse Crunch this Friday, November 25th at 7:30 p.m. and the Philadelphia Phantoms this Saturday, November 26th at 7:35 pm. The Sound Tigers' next home game is Saturday, December 3rd when they host Philadelphia.

The next promotional giveaway item is the Islanders Youth Street Hockey Stick presented by Fox Sports Net New York. The first 5,000 fans 14 and under will receive the stick on Friday, November 25 when the Islanders host the Ottawa Senators.

The Islanders Student and Military Savings Program is back for the 2005-06 season. Students and Military can receive up to 50% off select seating to see their New York Islanders in action. Students and Military personnel can purchase $55 seats for $28, $30 seats for $19 and $25 seats for $16. This offer is valid day of game only at Coliseum Box Office with valid I.D. - There will be a limit to two (2) tickets per I.D. - per game.

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