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GAME PREVIEW: Carolina at Islanders

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

After dropping a 4-1 loss in Carolina last night, the Islanders look for a split in their home-and-home weekend with the Hurricanes when the two teams square off at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum tonight.

Discipline could play a huge role in tonight's game as last night's tilt was very feisty and, on the surface, could continue tonight. The team that keeps its cool, keeps it clean and stays out of the box is likely to have a huge advantage.

With the Islanders two games below .500 and the season's half-way point arriving after tonight's game, it's not too early to call this a pivotal game for the home team.
- Jason Blake (bruised ribs) was injured on Jan. 4 and is day-to-day.
- Center Kevin Colley (knee sprain) was injured on Dec. 13 and was placed on the Injured Reserve on Dec. 17. He is out indefinitely.
- Rick DiPietro (mild knee sprain) was injured on Dec. 30 and is listed day-to-day.
- Center Petteri Nokelainen (patella tendonitis) has missed the last 26 games. He's currently on the Injured Reserve retroactive of Nov. 3, 2005.
- Garth Snow (sprained MCLs in both knees) was injured on Jan. 4 and is out 3-4 weeks.
Total Man-Games Lost (After 40 games): 82  
January 5 Signed goaltender Frederic Cloutier.
January 2 Recalled forward Jeff Hamilton and goaltender Wade Dubielewicz from Bridgeport (AHL). Re-assigned center Wyatt Smith to Bridgeport.
December 30 Activated Oleg Kvasha from the Injured Reserve.
Goals... Jason Blake - 17
Assists... Alexei Yashin 23
Points... Alexei Yashin 38
Penalty Minutes... Arron Asham 78
Plus/Minus... Jason Blake +4
Game-Winning Goals... Shawn Bates 4
Power Play Goals... Mark Parrish, Miroslav Satan 9
Power Play Assists... Alexei Zhitnik 15
Power Play Points... Alexei Zhitnik 17
Shots... Jason Blake 145
Shooting Percentage... Mark Parrish 23.8%
Time on Ice... Alexei Zhitnik 24:04 per game
Hits... Trent Hunter 109
Tonight's game is the third of four meetings between the teams this season. Earlier in the year, the Islanders defeated the Hurricanes 3-2 on Oct. 8 at the Nassau Coliseum and lost 4-1 last night in Carolina. Following tonight's contest, the teams will play the fourth and final game of the season series on Jan. 19 at Carolina.
The Islanders trail the all-time series versus the Carolina/Hartford franchise 39-43-9-0. On the road, the Islanders have an 18-22-5-0 record versus the franchise. Since the team has moved to Carolina in 1997-98, the Islanders trail the series 11-19-0-0. In Carolina, the Islanders have a record of 7-8-0-0.
2005-06 Season Series:
October 8, 2005: New York Islanders 3, Carolina Hurricanes 2 Nassau Coliseum
January 6, 2005: Hurricanes 4, Islanders 1 RBC Center
Tonight: Nassau Coliseum 7:00 PM
January 19, 2006: RBC Center 7:00 PM
The Islanders and Hurricanes tonight are in the back-end of their home-and-home, back-to-back pair of games. The team split their last back-to-back set in late November when they fell to the Ottawa Senators 6-2 at the Nassau Coliseum on Nov. 25, but rallied to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers on the road 4-2 on Nov. 26. 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 have a record of 2-1-0 in the first game of back-to-back games and a 2-1-0 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.
The Islanders have a 1-2 record in the month of January this season. The team will play a total of 12 games this month with seven at home and five on the road.

The Islanders are 9-9-1 at home this season, scoring 59 goals and allowing 69. With their win at home on Jan. 2 versus Florida at home, the Islanders snapped a three-game losing streak at the Coliseum. The Islanders next game at home is tomorrow versus Carolina.
- Carolina was 2-7 on the power play last night against the Islanders.
- Overall, the Islanders have killed off 216 of 268 (80.6%) power play attempts this season.
- The Islanders have allowed 17 power play goals in the last 11 games (67 chances).
- The Islanders penalty kill is ranked 28th at home with a penalty kill percentage of 78.0.
- The Islanders have recorded four shorthanded goals this season. Jason Blake has scored two (Oct. 13 at Washington, Dec. 30 at Ottawa), while Shawn Bates (Oct. 8 vs. Carolina) and Arron Asham (Oct. 20) have netted one apiece.
- The Islanders were 0-4 on the power play in Carolina last night.
- They are 44-247 (17.8%) on the man-advantage.
- Overall, the Islanders have scored a power play goal in 28 of 40 games this season.
The Islanders are 13-8-1 this season when scoring first and 5-11-1 when the opposition scores the first goal of the game. 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 out-shot, 1,324-1168, through 40 games of the season.
- The Islanders have been out-shot in 29 of 40 games this season.
- They have been out-shot in each of the last six games (starting on Dec. 28 vs. New York Rangers).
- The Islanders are allowing an average of 33.1 shots per game while taking 29.2 shots on goal per game. Fourteen of the team's 18 victories have come when the team has been out-shot.
- They have a record of 14-14-1 when they have been out-shot and have a record of 3-6-1 in games when they've out-shot the opponent. The Islanders are 1-0-0 in games where they tie their opponents' shot total.
- The Islanders recorded a season-high 40 shots, including 20 in the first period, at Philadelphia on Nov. 10 and tied that mark at Columbus on Dec. 8.
The Islanders have taken the lead into the second period 15 times this season and have a record of 12-2-1. This stretch includes winning in overtime (vs. Bruins, Nov. 1) and winning in the shootout twice (at Rangers, Oct. 19 and at Pittsburgh Nov. 14). The first loss occurred in the shootout when the Islanders dropped a 4-3 decision to the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 23rd. The second occurred on Dec. 26 at Buffalo while the third occurred at Ottawa on Dec. 30.
The Islanders have not lost in overtime this season. Most recently, Mark Parrish scored at the 2:15 mark of the extra session to give the Islanders a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers. In the previous overtime game, Shawn Bates scored the game-winning goal with 28.2 seconds left to lift the Islanders to a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Nov. 1 at the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders are 5-2 in overtime/shootout (two overtime victories, three shootout victories and two shootout losses) this season and have a lifetime record of 67-61-194 in overtime. Last season, the Islanders had a record of 2-4-11 in overtime.
Every month, Islanders fans along with H.L. Gross & Brothers Jewelers select the Islander of the Month. With 17 points and an eight-game scoring streak through the first eight games of the month, Mike York was December's Player of the Month.
Jason Blake, Rick DiPietro and Mark Parrish were named to Team USA for the upcoming 2006 Winter Games in Turino, Italy. This is the first time each of the three players will be representing their home country in Olympic play. In September 2004, Blake and DiPietro played for Team USA at the World Cup of Hockey. Parrish has represented the United States in three World Championships (1998, 2001 & 2005), while DiPietro has played in two World Championships (2001 & 2005). Blake has made one appearance at the World Championships (2000).
Miroslav Satan is heading back to the Olympics for the third time and will suit up for Team Slovakia in Italy. Also returning to the Olympics is center Alexei Yashin and defenseman Alexei Zhitnik. For Yashin this will also be his third Olympics after playing for Team Russia in 1998 and 2002. The 2006 games will also be Zhitnik's third tour with Team Russia and first since 1998. He chose not to join the team at the 2002 games in Salt Lake City. Yashin has won Olympic Silver (1998) and Bronze (2002), while Zhitnik has won Silver (1998) and Gold (1992).
- Arron Asham is four games away from his 200th as an Islander.
- Jason Blake is nine points away from his 200th as an Islander.
- Oleg Kvasha is three points away from his 300th NHL point.
- Mark Parrish is one point away from his 200th as an Islander.
- Mattias Weinhandl is three games away from his 200th NHL game.
- Alexei Yashin is three assists away from his 400th NHL assist.
- Arron Asham scored his 100th NHL point on Jan. 6 at Carolina.
- Chris Campoli, Robert Nilsson and Petteri Nokelainen each played in their first NHL game on Oct. 5th, 2005 at Buffalo.
- Chris Campoli scored his first NHL goal/point on his first NHL shot on Oct. 5th, 2005 at Buffalo.
- Petteri Nokelainen scored his first NHL goal on Oct. 13th at Washington.
- Robert Nilsson scored his first NHL goal vs. Buffalo on Oct. 29.
- Alexei Yashin scored his 300th career NHL goal on Nov. 14th at Pittsburgh.
- Alexei Zhitnik played in his 900th NHL career game on Nov. 14th at Pittsburgh.
- Jeremy Colliton played in his first NHL game on Nov. 23rd vs. Buffalo.
- Arron Asham played in his 300th NHL game on Nov. 25th vs. Ottawa.
- Rick DiPietro played in his 100th NHL game on Nov. 25th vs. Ottawa.
- Alexei Yashin scored his 200th point as an Islander on Nov. 26th at Philadelphia.
- Bruno Gervais made his NHL debut on Dec. 4th at Detroit.
- Mike York played in his 400th NHL game on Dec. 4th at Detroit
- Brad Lukowich played in his 400th NHL game on Dec. 6th at St. Louis.
- Mark Parrish recorded his 150th NHL goal on Nov. 29th vs. Philadelphia.
- Mark Parrish recorded his 100th goal as an Islander on Nov. 29th vs. Philadelphia.
- Jeff Hamilton scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 17 vs. Colorado.
- Rob Collins made his NHL debut on Dec. 17 vs. Colorado.
- Rob Collins recorded his first NHL assists on Dec. 19 at Toronto.
- Rob Collins scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 19 at Toronto.
- Eric Godard scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 19 at Toronto.
- Jeff Hamilton recorded his first two NHL assists on Dec. 19 at Toronto.
- Jason Blake recorded his 200th point as an Islander on Dec. 21 vs. New Jersey.
- Jason Blake played in his 300th games as an Islander on Dec. 23 vs. Ottawa.
- Alexei Yashin recorded his 700th NHL point on Dec. 26 at Buffalo.
Sunday, January 8: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 am-11:30 am
Monday, January 9: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 am-12:30 pm
Tuesday, January 10: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:30 am 11:15 am
Wednesday, January 11: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 am-12:30 pm
Thursday, January 12: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:30 am 11:15 am
Friday, January 13: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 am-12:30 pm
Saturday, January 14: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:30 am 11:15 am
NEXT 10 GAMES (all times Eastern)
Saturday, January 7 vs. Carolina, 7:00 pm
Tuesday, January 10 at Nashville, 8:00 pm
Thursday, January 12 vs. Calgary, 7:00 pm
Saturday, January 14 vs. Vancouver, 7:00 pm
Tuesday, January 17 at Chicago, 7:30 pm
Thursday, January 19 at Carolina, 7:00 pm
Saturday, January 21 at New Jersey, Noon
Tuesday, January 24 vs. New Jersey, 7:00 pm
Thursday, January 26 vs. Pittsburgh, 7:00 pm
Saturday, January 28 at Boston, 7:00 pm
The Sound Tigers defeated Hershey last night, 4-3, grabbing the second point in a shootout. The game marked the Bridgeport debut of goaltender Cory Rudkowsky, stepping in with Wade Dubielewicz and Frederic Cloutier on Long Island filling in for the injured Rick DiPietro and Garth Snow. Rudkowsky stopped 35 of 38 shots and was the victor in the shootout. The Sound Tigers received goals in regulation by Sean Bergenheim, Bruno Gervais and Travis Brigley.

All Sound Tigers games are web-cast live at Fans can also watch all games live on the B2 Networks.
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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