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GAME PREVIEW: Devils at Islanders

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

The Islanders continue their three-game homestand tonight as they host the New Jersey Devils at the Nassau Coliseum at 7:00 pm. Coming off a tough loss on Tuesday night, the Islanders are looking to bounce back in front of Coliseum faithful.

Miroslav Satan has been the hottest Islanders over the last five games, sans the Olympic Break, netting six goals and two assists in the process. Rick DiPietro, who almost blanked the Devils back on Feb. 11, is expected to get the start in net  Fans who can't make it out to the Coliseum for tonight's match up can catch the game on FSNY with Howie and Joe or on the radio at Bloomberg 1130AM with John and Kinger.

Here are your game notes:

February 28, 2006
Montreal 5, Islanders 3

Long Island's own Chris Higgins scored twice for Montreal and was named the No. 1 star of the game as the Canadiens defeated the Islanders 5-3 at the Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday night. The Islanders out-shot Montreal 35-22, but gave up three power play goals. Miroslav Satan led the Islanders with two goals. Rick DiPietro spelled Garth Snow in net at the start of the third period.

- Eric Godard (viral infection) is listed as day-to-day and has missed three games.
- Center Petteri Nokelainen (patella tendonitis) has missed the last 44 games. He's currently on the Injured Reserve retroactive of Nov. 3, 2005.

Total Man-Games Lost (After 57 games): 134

February 23 - Recalled defenseman Joel Bouchard and forwards Robert Nilsson and Wyatt Smith to Bridgeport (AHL).
February 12 - Reassigned defenseman Joel Bouchard and forwards Robert Nilsson and Wyatt Smith to Bridgeport.
February 8 - Recalled forward Robert Nilsson from Bridgeport.
February 5 - Recalled goaltender Garth Snow and center Wyatt Smith from Bridgeport. Reassigned goaltender Wade Dubielewicz and center Jeremy Colliton to Bridgeport.

Goals - Miroslav Satan - 26
Assists - Mike York - 32
Points - Alexei Yashin - 48
Penalty Minutes - Arron Asham - 97
Plus/Minus - Alexei Zhitnik - +3
Game-Winning Goals - Mark Parrish - 5
Power Play Goals - Miroslav Satan - 14
Power Play Assists - Alexei Yashin - 18
Power Play Points - Alexei Yashin - 24
Shots - Jason Blake - 207
Shooting Percentage - Mark Parrish - 23.9%
Time on Ice - Alexei Zhitnik - 24:15 per game
Hits - Trent Hunter - 164

New Jersey Devils vs. New York Islanders
Dating back to when these franchises began playing each other (when the Devils were located in Kansas City), the Islanders have a 94-54-22-3 all-time edge. Since the Devils relocated to New Jersey in 1981-82 (following their previous relocation from Colorado), the Islanders have a 65-50-16-2 record. So far this season, the Islanders have won three times in regulation, while the Devils have one once in regulation and once in the shootout.

Did You Know?
During the 1979-80 season, en route to the Islanders' first Stanley Cup, the Islanders had a 3-1-0 record versus the Devils franchise. Back then the Devils were from Colorado and were known as the Scouts.

2005-06 Season Series:
November 8, 2005: W 4-1 at Continental Airlines Arena
December 21, 2005: W 4-2 at Nassau Coliseum
January 21, 2006: L 2-3 (F/SO) at Continental Airlines Arena
January 24, 2006: L 0-4 at Nassau Coliseum
February 11, 2006: W 2-1 at Continental Airlines Arena
** TONIGHT ** March 2, 2006: at Nassau Coliseum - 7:00 pm
March 7, 2006: at Nassau Coliseum - 7:00 pm
March 14, 2006: Continental Airlines Arena - 7:30 pm

Coming into tonight's game, Trent Hunter is third in the league in hits with 164, while Arron Asham is fifth with 157. Brad Lukowich is third on the team and leads Islanders defensemen with 115. As a team, the Islanders have unloaded 1,093 hits against their opponents this season. In Tuesday's game vs. Montreal, Brad Lukowich led the team with seven hits.

On Feb. 4, the Islanders recorded a season-high 33 hits versus the Rangers. Hunter led the way with a team and personal season-high nine hits.

The Islanders wrapped up the month of February with a 2-3-1 record. The team only played in six games due to the Olympic Break.

The Islanders open up the March portion of their schedule tonight when they host the New Jersey Devils. The team plays a total of 16 games in a span of 30 days this month, eight at home and eight on the road. The team also plays a total of five back-to-back series this month.

The Islanders are 12-14-2 at home this season. In their most recent game at the Coliseum, the Islanders lost to the Montreal Canadiens 5-3 on Tuesday, February 28. Following tonight's game, the Islanders' next home game is on March 4 vs. Philadelphia.

The Islanders have a road record of 13-14-2 this season. In their most recent game, the Islanders defeated the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on Saturday, Feb. 11. The Islanders' next road game is March 6 at Washington.

The Islanders longest road trip of the season is a five-game set in March, which will take them to Atlanta, Boston, Florida, New Jersey and Tampa Bay.

The Islanders have five back-to-back games scheduled this month. The first is later this week on March 6-7 when the team travels to Washington for the first game and comes back home versus New Jersey for the second game. In their last back-to-back set, the Islanders lost both games to the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 6-7. 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 2-2-0 in the first game of back-to-back games and a 2-2-0 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.

Every month, Islanders fans along with H.L. Gross & Brothers Jewelers select the Islander of the Month. In a pre-game ceremony tonight, Brent Sopel will be named the Player of the Month for February. In six games, Sopel had six points, all of which were assists.

October - Alexei Yashin
November -Jason Blake
December - Mike York
January - Miroslav Satan
February - Brent Sopel

- The Montreal Canadiens were 3-9 on the power play against the Islanders on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
- Overall, the Islanders have killed off 278 of 356 (78.1%) power play attempts this season.
- The Islanders penalty kill is ranked 27th in the league. On the road, the penalty kill is 18th in the league with a percentage of 81.1, while at home they are ranked 30th in the league with a percentage of 75.0.
- 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 1-6 on the power play against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
- They are 59-327 (18.0%) on the man-advantage and are ranked 15th in the NHL. On the road, the power play is ranked sixth in the league with a conversion rate of 18.8 percent. At home, they rank 21st in the league with a conversion rate of 17.2 percent.
- Overall, the Islanders have scored a power play goal in 39 of 57 games this season.

The Islanders are 18-8-1 this season when scoring first and 7-19-3 when the opposition scores the first goal of the game. In 2003-04, the Islanders had a record of 27-6-5-1 when they scored the first goal of the game. They were 11-23-6-3 when their opponents scored first.

- The Islanders have been out-shot, 1,833-1,712, through 57 games of this season.
- The Islanders have been out-shot in 36 of 57 games this season.
- The Islanders are allowing an average of 32.2 shots per game while taking 30.0 shots on goal per game. Sixteen of the team's 25 victories have come when the team has been out-shot.
- They have a record of 16-18-1 when they have been out-shot and have a record of 8-10-3 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 51 shots on goal, including 21 in the final period, at Boston on Jan. 28. In that game, the Islanders also allowed a season-high 44 shots on goal.

The Islanders have taken the lead into the third period 17 times this season and have a record of 14-2-1. This stretch includes winning in overtime (vs. Bruins, Nov. 1) and winning in the shootout five times (at Rangers, Oct. 19, at Pittsburgh, Nov. 14, vs. Edmonton, Dec. 10, vs. Pittsburgh, Jan. 26 and at Pittsburgh, Feb. 4). The two losses occurred vs. Buffalo (shootout, Nov. 23), at Buffalo (Dec. 26) and at Ottawa (Dec. 30).

- Shawn Bates is three assists away from his 100th as an Islander.
- Eric Godard is five games away from his 100th NHL game.
- Oleg Kvasha is seven goals away from his 100th as an Islander.
- Mark Parrish is nine points away from his 200th as an Islander.

Friday, March 3: Practice at Nassau Coliseum 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Saturday, March 4: Morning skate at Nassau Coliseum 10:30 am - 11:15 am
Sunday, March 5: Practice at Islanders Iceworks 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Monday, March 6: Morning skate at MCI Center 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Tuesday, March 7: Morning skate at Nassau Coliseum 10:30 am - 11:15 am
Wednesday, March 8: Practice at Nassau Coliseum 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Thursday, March 9: Practice at Nassau Coliseum 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

NEXT 10 GAMES (all times Eastern)
Saturday, March 4 vs. Philadelphia, 7:00 pm
Monday, March 6 at Washington, 7:00 pm
Tuesday, March 7 vs. New Jersey, 7:00 pm
Friday, March 10 vs. Toronto, 7:00 pm
Saturday, March 11 at Boston, 7:00 pm
Tuesday, March 14 at New Jersey, 7:30 pm
Thursday, March 16 at Atlanta, 7:00 pm
Friday, March 17 at Florida, 7:30 pm
Sunday, March 19 at Tampa Bay, 5:00 pm
Tuesday, March 21 vs. Montreal, 7:00 pm

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