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GAME PREVIEW: Colorado at Islanders

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

The Islanders called up four forwards from Bridgeport (AHL) in time for Saturday's morning skate: Jeff Hamilton, who had a trick in the Sound TIgers' 5-2 win over Lowell last night, Wyatt Smith, Jeremy Colliton and Rob Collins. If Collins plays tonight, he will be making his NHL debut.
"Rob has earned the look," said Islanders coach Steve Stirling. "He's done everything for the Sound Tigers the last few years since we signed him as a free agent. With his speed, hustle and talent, he has a chance."
The Islanders will likely need contributions from all four call-ups to get two points out of tonight's game with the always tough Avalanche. Here are your game notes:

- Center Kevin Colley (knee sprain) was injured on Dec. 13 and is out indefinitely.
- Center Oleg Kvasha (ankle) was injured on Nov. 26 and is currently on the Injured Reserve retroactive on Nov. 26
- Center Petteri Nokelainen (patella tendonitis) has missed the last 18 games. He is currently on the Injured Reserve retroactive of Nov. 3, 2005.
- Forward Shawn Bates (hamstring strain) was injured Nov. 19, 2005 and is out 4-5 weeks. He is currently on the Injured Reserve.
Total Man-Games Lost (After 30 games): 47  






Arron Asham


Rib Muscle

Shawn Bates


Hip Strain (4), Hamstring Strain (9)

Rick DiPietro


Concussion (1), Bruised Knee (1)

Oleg Kvasha



Petteri Nokelainen


Sprained Ankle (1), Knee Injury (17)

Mark Parrish


Hip Strain

Brent Sopel


Sprained Wrist

Total Games Missed:



December 17 Recalled forwards Rob Collins, Jeremy Colliton and Wyatt Smith from Bridgeport (AHL).
December 15 Placed Oleg Kvasha on the Injured Reserve list retroactive of Nov. 26.
December 14 Returned center Wyatt Smith to Bridgeport.
December 12- Returned defenseman Bruno Gervais to Bridgeport and recalled Tomi Pettinen from his conditioning assignment at Bridgeport.
December 3 Recalled forwards Kevin Colley and Wyatt Smith and defenseman Bruno Gervais from Bridgeport. Assigned forward Robert Nilsson to Bridgeport.
November 30 Returned forwards Sean Bergenheim and Wyatt Smith to Bridgeport. Assigned defenseman Tomi Pettinen to Bridgeport on a conditioning assignment.
November 29 Recalled forwards Sean Bergenheim and Wyatt Smith from Bridgeport.
November 26 - Returned center Jeremy Colliton to Bridgeport.
November 25 Recalled center Jeremy Colliton from Bridgeport.
November 23 Returned center Jeremy Colliton to Bridgeport.
November 21 Placed forward Shawn Bates on the Injured Reserve list and called up center Jeremy Colliton from Bridgeport.
November 18 Placed center Petteri Nokelainen on the Injured Reserve list retroactive of Nov. 3.
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.

Today's game is the 67th meeting between the Islanders and the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche currently lead the all-time series 33-29-4-0. At the Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders lead the all-time series 18-13-1-0. The teams squared off once in the 2003-04 season with the teams tying the contest at 1-1 behind solid efforts from Rich DiPietro and Philippe Sauve. Mariusz Czerkawski and Paul Kariya scored in the game.

Did You Know? When the Islanders and Quebec Nordiques squared off of March 30, 1980 two hat tricks were scored. Butch Goring netted three for the Islanders, while Real Cloutier scored the trick for Quebec. The Islanders won the game 9-6 at the Coliseum.

2005-06 Season Series:
December 17, 2005: at Nassau Coliseum 7:00 p.m. (EST) 

Islanders forward Jason Blake has been diagnosed with a moderate concussion. He is expected to miss at least one game. Blake suffered the injury in the third period of Tuesday night's game against Minnesota.

Mike York just keeps scoring. In the last five games, Mike York has been the Islanders hottest skater with nine points (4+5). He started off his hot streak by scoring the game-wining goal in Detroit on Dec. 4th and then tied a single-game high in points with five at Columbus two days later on Dec. 6th. He's also scored a power play goal at Columbus last Thursday night on Dec. 8th. He's added assists is each of the last two games.

Earlier this year, York scored his 100th NHL goal in the Islanders 5-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2005 at the Nassau Coliseum. On the season, York has recorded seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points and is fifth on the team in scoring.

Arron Asham and Trent Hunter have a hit or be hit type of mentality. Following Saturday's game, Asham is sixth in the league in hits with 82, while Hunter is in ninth place with 77. Brad Lukowich is third on the team and leads Islanders defenseman with 58 and is 23rd in the NHL. As a team, the Islanders have unloaded 529 hits on their opponents this season. In Saturday's game, Asham and Lukowich led the team with three hits each, the Islanders recorded 27 hits, including a game-high seven from Kevin Colley.

Jason Blake is off to the best start of his career. Through the first 30 games of this season, Blake has recorded 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points, good enough for second on the team. His goal total puts him in a tie for the team-lead with Miroslav Satan. Entering this season, his best mark through 30 games came in 2002-03 when he had 16 points and finished the year with career-highs with 25 goals, 30 assists and 55 points.

Currently, Blake has points in six of the last ten games (6+4). That includes a game against Philadelphia on Nov. 26 when he netted his third career hat trick. Most recently, Blake chipped in a goal and an assist in St. Louis on Dec. 6. Blake also leads the team in shots with 122.

Team captain Alexei Yashin leads the team in scoring with 30 points (12+18) in 30 games. This season, Yashin has recorded a point in 23 of 30 games. He recently snapped a five-game scoring streak (2+3), which ended on Dec. 6th in Columbus (11/15-12/6). He has also scored in 12 of the last 15 games (4+12). He's also had five multiple-point games. This is Yashin's second best start since the 2001-02 season, his first as an Islander. That season he finished with 32 goals, 43 assists and 75 points. Through the first 30 games of that season he had 35 points.

This season, he had a season-high seven-game point streak from Oct. 10-25, collecting 11 points (5+6). In addition to his seven-game point streak, Yashin recorded an assist in five consecutive games (Oct. 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 Nov. 14-Dec. 3.

After starting off the 2005-06 season with points in four of the first seven games (3+2), Mark Parrish slowed down after suffering a hip strain. But Parrish turned his luck around as he's making up for his mini-slump with 12 points in the last 11 games (6+6). He most recently scored a goal in the Islanders 4-3 loss to Minnesota on Dec. 13.

The Islanders have started off December on a good note with a 3-1-1 record in their first five games of the month. Following a 2-1 win at Detroit (12/4), the Islanders rolled past the St. Louis Blues 6-3 (12/6) and rallied against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night before falling in the shoot out 4-3 (12/10). They returned to the Coliseum to the defeat the Edmonton Oilers in the shootout this past Saturday night (12/10) and lost to the Minnesota Wild (12/13). The Islanders will play a total of 12 games this month, six at home and six on the road. In 2003-04, the Islanders were 10-4-0-1 in December. 

















* The Islanders have an overtime victory, three shootout victories and two shootout losses. They have not yet lost in overtime. See below for details.

- The Islanders killed four of six Minnesota Wild power plays on Tuesday night.
- They have now allowed 13 power play goals in the last 15 games (90 chances).
- Overall, the Islanders have killed off 170 of 207 (82.1%) power play attempts in 30 games this season.
- The Islanders penalty kill is ranked fifth best in the NHL on the road with an 85.2 penalty kill percentage, while they are ranked 26th at home with a penalty kill percentage of 78.2.
- This season, the Islanders had a streak of 37 consecutive penalty kills, which spanned six complete games and parts of two others. The streak started during the team's game at New Jersey on Nov. 8th and last until the second penalty kill of the team's game vs. Buffalo on Nov. 23rd. Chris Drury scored on the power play for the Sabres at 17:29 of the first period to snap the Islanders consecutive penalty kill streak.
- 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 Oct. 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 Oct. 8 and Jason Blake scored a shorthanded tally in the Islanders' 5-3 win over Washington on Oct. 13.    

- The Islanders were one for six on the power play versus Minnesota on Tuesday night.
- They have 22 power play goals in the last 16 games.
- Overall, the Islanders have scored a power play goal in 22 of 30 games this season.
- They are 35-185 (18.9%) on the man-advantage and are ninth in the NHL. On the road, the team's power play is tenth in the NHL at 17.3%, while they are ranked seventh at home at 21.4%.
- 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 6-6-1 at home this season, scoring 41 goals and allowing 48. The team is currently wrapping up a three-game, eight-day home stand, which they are 1-1-0. They Islanders next home game is on Wednesday, December 21st when they host the New Jersey Devils for the first time this season.

The Islanders finished up a three-game, six-day road trip with a 2-0-1 record last week. They defeated the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 on Sunday (12/4) and the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday (12/6) for their eighth and ninth road victories and fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in the shoot out on Thursday (12/8).  In 2005-06, the Islanders are 9-7-0-1 on the road. The Islanders next road game is this Monday when they travel to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs for the first time this season.

The team has a five-game road trip in March, which will also take them to Atlanta, Boston, Florida, New Jersey and Tampa Bay.

The Islanders have participated in five shootouts this season and have an overall record of 3-2 and are 1-1 at the Coliseum. Rick DiPietro has been the Islanders goaltender in each shootout.

The most recent shootout occurred on Dec. 10th when Alexei Yashin and Trent Hunter (determining goal) scored for the Islanders as Rick DiPietro stopped two of three Edmonton Oilers shooters for the win.

On Dec. 8th, the Islanders lost in the shootout for the second time this season. Alexei Yashin, Miroslav Satan and Mike York all missed fired on their attempts. Rick DiPietro stopped two of three shooters with Columbus' Davide Vyborny scoring the determining goal

On Nov. 23, the Islanders lost their first shootout since its inception dropping the decision to the Buffalo Sabres at the Coliseum. Ales Kotalik (determining goal) and Tim Connolly scored against Rick DiPietro, while Alexei Yashin and Jason Blake failed on their attempts for the Islanders.

The Islanders shootout victory over the Penguins on Nov. 14 was the second longest so far in the NHL this season. Eighteen shooters were used by both teams, which at the time set 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.

The team's first shoot out victory came against the New York Rangers in a 3-2 decision at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 19. In that contest, Miroslav Satan scored the only shootout goal against Henrik Lundqvist.

The Islanders are 11-5-1 this season when scoring first and 4-7-1 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 outshot, 984-882, through the first 30 games of the 2005-06 season. The Islanders have been outshot in 21 of 30 games this season, including a stretch of seven games that started on Nov. 19 at Florida and ended at St. Louis on Dec. 6. The Islanders are allowing an average of 32.8 shots per game. They have a record of 12-8-1 when they have been outshot and have a record of 2-5-1 in games when they've outshot the opponent.

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 also allowed 40 or more shots in a game four times this season and have a record of 2-2. The most recent game was the team's loss versus the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 25.

The Islanders have only lost once in 62 games (54 wins, eight ties and one overtime loss in the shootout) when taking a lead into the third period. The Islanders are 10-0-1 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. The only loss occurred in the shootout when the Islanders dropped a 4-3 decision to the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 23rd. During the 2003-04 season, the Islanders were 26-0-5-0 when leading after two periods.

In the Islanders last 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 4-2 in overtime/shootout (one overtime win, three shootout victories, two shootout losses) this season and have a lifetime record of 66-61-194 in overtime. Last season, the Islanders had a record of 2-4-11 in overtime.

The Islanders completed their third set of back-to-back games this past weekend, splitting the contests. The club fell to the Ottawa Senators at the Nassau Coliseum on Nov. 25 6-2, but rallied to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers on the road 4-2. 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 do not have back-to-back games in December and the next set is in January when the team plays a home-and-home series versus Carolina on Jan. 6-7.

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.

Earlier this week, defenseman Tomi Pettinen was recalled by the Islanders from his conditioning stint with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL). As a result, Bruno Gervais was been returned to the Sound Tigers. Gervais played in four games for the Islanders and went scoreless with two penalty minutes. Pettinen played in eight games for Bridgeport during his conditioning stint and recorded two assists and 16 penalty minutes. In ten games with the Islanders, Pettinen is scoreless with eight penalty minutes.

With Shawn Bates expected to miss the next four-to-five weeks (as of Nov. 19) with a strained hamstring, the Islanders have placed him on the Injured Reserve list. Bates has missed the Islanders last six games. Rookie center Petteri Nokelainen has been placed on the Injured Reserve retroactive of Nov. 3rd with patella tendonitis. He has missed the last 14 games.

Before sustaining the injury in the final moments of the Islanders' win at Florida on Nov. 19th, Bates was on a hot streak with eight goals (8+1) in the past seven games. He's currently fourth on the team-lead in goals scored 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. Before his injury, Bates lead the league in shooting percentage with a mark of 35.7% and leads the team with four game winners (third in the NHL), which includes an overtime tally versus Boston on Nov. 1 at the Coliseum. He also has a shootout goal, which he recorded against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Nov. 14. Overall, Bates has 12 points this season (10+2).

In twelve games, Nokelainen has a goal and an assist with four penalty minutes. He scored his first career NHL goal on Oct. 13 at Washington, which turned out to be the game-winner.

In the Islanders 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 23, two impressive streaks were snapped. In the first period, Buffalo scored a power play goal, which was the first tally the Islanders allowed with the opposition on the man advantage in six complete games and 37 total chances. The other streak was victories with the lead after two periods. Before that game, the Islanders were unbeaten in 61 games (53-0-8) when taking a lead into the third period. The streak was the longest in the NHL. The streak began on Dec. 28, 2002 with a 3-0 win vs. Carolina.  

Jason Blake was named the H.L. Gross & Brothers Jewelers player of the month for November. Blake led the Islanders with 13 points in November on seven goals and six assists. In a win on Nov. 26 in Philadelphia, he recorded the third hat trick of his career. Alexei Yashin was the player of the month for October.

- Arron Asham is five points away from his 100th NHL point.
- Jason Blake is two games away from his 300th as an Islander.
- Kevin Colley's next goal will be his first NHL goal
- Eric Godard's next goal will be his first NHL goal.
- Oleg Kvasha is eight points away from his 200th NHL point.
- Tomi Pettinen's next goal will be his first NHL goal.
- Miroslav Satan is seven power play goals away from his 100th NHL power play goal.
- Wyatt Smith's next goal will be his first as an Islander.
- Alexei Yashin is five points away from his 700th NHL point.
- Alexei Yashin is eight assists away from his 400th NHL assist.

- 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.

Sunday, December 18: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 am -12:30 am
Monday, December 19: Game day skate at Air Canada Centre, 11:30 am 12:45 pm
Tuesday, December 20: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Wednesday, December 21: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 am 11:15 am
Thursday, December 22: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 am-12:30 pm
Friday, December 23: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 am 11:15 am
Saturday, December 24: No Ice
Sunday, December 25: No Ice
Monday, December 26: Travel to Buffalo 9:00 am charter, game day skate at HSBC Arena, 11:30 am 12:30 pm

NEXT 10 GAMES (all times Eastern)
Saturday, December 17 vs. Colorado, 7:00 pm
Monday, December 19 at Toronto, 7:30 pm*
Wednesday, December 21 vs. New Jersey, 7:30 pm
Friday, December 23 vs. Ottawa, 7:00 pm
Monday, December 26 at Buffalo, 7:00 pm
Wednesday, December 28 vs. New York Rangers, 7:00 pm
Friday, December 30 at Ottawa Senators, 7:30 pm
Monday, January 2 vs. Tampa Bay, 7:00 pm
Wednesday, January 4 vs. Florida, 7:00 pm
Friday, January 6 vs. Carolina, 7:00 pm
* Please note the later start time

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers defeated the Lowell Lock Monsters 5-2 at home on Friday to snap a five-game losing streak. Jeff Hamilton's four points, including a hat trick, led the charge for the Sound Tigers. The Sound Tigers had a 35-27 shots on goal advantage. They were 3 for 8 on the power play and 6 for 8 on the penalty kill. The first star was Hamilton, the second was Bruno Gervais and the third was Jeremy Colliton. Dubielewicz made 25 saves in the winning effort. Colliton and David Masse had the other goals.

The Sound Tigers continue their third straight three-game-in-three-day weekend when they visit the Hartford Wolf Pack tonight at 7 pm. All Sound Tigers games are web-cast live at Fans can also watch all games live on the B2 Networks.


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