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GAME PREVIEW: Devils at Islanders

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
7:00 p.m., FSN, WLIE540 AM

There's no rest for the weary as the Islanders go right back at it tonight when they faceoff against the New Jersey Devils at the Coliseum as they look to rebound from their 5-2 loss last night in Washington. The Islanders have beaten the Devils four times this season in six games.

Rick DiPietro will get the start in goal tonight versus the Devils. When these teams met last week, DiPietro stopped both Devils in the shootout to seal a 3-2 win. Miro Satan (determining goal) and Trent Hunter scored against Marty Brodeur.

Here are your game notes for tonight's game.

- Right wing Eric Godard (viral infection) is listed as day-to-day and has missed the last six games.
- Defenseman Radek Martinek (quad contusion) is listed as day-to-day and has missed the last three games.
- Center Petteri Nokelainen (patella tendonitis) has missed the last 47 games. He's currently on the Injured Reserve retroactive of Nov. 3, 2005.

Total Man-Games Lost (After 60 games): 147

March 6 - Signed center Shawn Bates to a three-year contract extension.
March 4 - Announced right wing Mattias Weinhandl was claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Wild and recalled forward Sean Bergenheim from Bridgeport (AHL).
March 3 - Reassigned forwards Rob Collins and Jeremy Colliton from Bridgeport.
March 2 - Recalled forwards Rob Collins and Jeremy Colliton from Bridgeport.

March 6, 2006
Washington Capitals 5, Islanders 2
A pair of goals by rookie sensation Alex Ovechkin and Byran Muir along with a tally by Jeff Friesen put the Washington Capitals past the Islanders 5-2. Arron Asham and Joel Bouchard scored for the Islanders. Garth Snow got the loss in net for the Islanders. The Islanders out-shot Washington 42-33.

Dating back to when these franchises began playing each other (when the Devils were located in Kansas City), the Islanders have a 95-54-22-3 all-time edge. Since the Devils relocated to New Jersey in 1981-82 (following their previous relocation from Colorado), the Islanders have a 66-50-16-2 record. So far this season, the Islanders have won three times in regulation and once in the shootout, while the Devils have one once in regulation and once in the shootout.

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
March 2, 2006: W (F/SO) 3-2 at Nassau Coliseum
** TONIGHT ** March 7, 2006: at Nassau Coliseum  -  7:00 pm
March 14, 2006: Continental Airlines Arena  -  7:30 pm

Goals - Miroslav Satan  -  26
Assists -  Alexei Yashin  -  33
Points -  Alexei Yashin  -  51
Penalty Minutes -  Arron Asham  -  101
Plus/Minus -  Jason Blake, Joel Bouchard  -  +2
Game-Winning Goals -  Mark Parrish  -  5
Power Play Goals -  Miroslav Satan  -  14
Power Play Assists -  Alexei Yashin  -  20
Power Play Points -  Alexei Yashin  -  26
Shots -  Jason Blake  -  215
Shooting Percentage -  Mark Parrish  -  23.0%
Time on Ice -  Alexei Zhitnik  -  24:25 per game
Hits -  Trent Hunter  -  180

The Islanders are in the midst of their fifth back-to-back series of the season coming off a 5-2 loss at Washington last night. The team plays a total of five back-to-back games this month, with four more left in March. 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 2-3-0 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.

The Islanders have signed versatile center Shawn Bates to a three-year contract extension. Originally signed by the team prior to the 2001-02 season, Bates is currently in his fourth season with the team. As an Islander, Bates played in 257 games and has scored 50 goals with 98 assists for 148 points. In his NHL career, which started in Boston, Bates has played in 392 games and has scored 64 goals with 112 assists for 176 points.

Bates will long be remembered for his penalty shot game-winning goal with 2:30 remaining in regulation in Game Four of the 2002 Quarterfinals Playoffs versus Toronto at the Nassau Coliseum.

In last night's game at Washington, defenseman Joel Bouchard scored his first goal as an Islander in the third period. Bouchard signed with the team over the summer as an unrestricted free agent. In 12 games this season with the Islanders, he's recorded a goal and four assists for five points. In 351 career games, Bouchard has scored 22 goals with 49 assists and 71 points. He has also played in 15 games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) and recorded four goals and nine assists for 13 points. Early in the season with Bridgeport, Bouchard injured his shoulder and missed three-plus months.

Coming into tonight's game, Trent Hunter is third in the league in hits with 180, while Arron Asham is fifth with 160. Brad Lukowich is third on the team and leads Islanders defensemen with 122. As a team, the Islanders have unloaded 1,158 hits against their opponents this season. In Monday's game at Washington, John Erskine led the team with five hits.

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

The Islanders have a record of 2-1-0 in the month of March. 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 14-14-2 at home this season. In their most recent game at the Coliseum, the Islanders defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 on Saturday, March 4. Following tonight's game, the Islanders' next home game is on Friday, March 10 vs. Toronto.

The Islanders have a road record of 13-15-2 this season. In their most recent game on the road, the Islanders loss to the Washington Capitals 5-2 on Monday, March 6. The Islanders' next road game is Saturday, March 11 at Boston.

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 are 19-8-1 this season when scoring first and 8-20-3 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, 1,915-1,820, through 60 games of this season.
- The Islanders have been out-shot in 37 of 60 games this season.
- The Islanders are allowing an average of 31.9 shots per game while taking 30.3 shots on goal per game. Sixteen of the team's 27 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 9-11-3 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 19 times this season and have a record of 16-2-1. This stretch includes winning in overtime (vs. Bruins, Nov. 1) and winning in the shootout six times (at Rangers, Oct. 19, at Pittsburgh, Nov. 14, vs. Edmonton, Dec. 10, vs. Pittsburgh, Jan. 26, at Pittsburgh, Feb. 4, vs. New Jersey, March 2). 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.
- Shawn Bates is seven games away from his 400th NHL game.
- Jason Blake is two goals away from tying his career-high of 25.
- Rick DiPietro is one win away from his 50th NHL win.
- 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 six points away from his 200th as an Islander.
- Mark Parrish is three games away from his 500th NHL career game.
- Miroslav Satan is one power play goal away from his 100th NHL power play goal.
- Miroslav Satan is one power play goal away from tying his career-high of 15.

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
Friday, March 10: Morning skate at Nassau Coliseum 10:30 am  -  11:15 am
Saturday, March 11: Morning skate at TDBanknorth Garden 11:30 am  -  12:30 am
Sunday, March 12: Practice at Islanders Iceworks 1:00 am-12:30 pm
Monday, March 13: Practice at Islanders Iceworks 10:00 am-12:30 pm
Tuesday, March 14: Morning skate at Continental Airlines Arena 11:30 am  - 12:30 am

NEXT 10 GAMES (all times Eastern)
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
Friday, March 24 at Pittsburgh, 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 25 vs. Atlanta, 7:00 pm
Tuesday, March 28 at Montreal, 7:30 pm

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers rallied to beat the Norfolk Admirals 2-1 in overtime at home Sunday afternoon to pull within two points of the Admirals in the East Division standings. In the extra frame, forward Jeff Hamilton scored the game-winner at 1:04 when he one-timed his second power-play tally of the game and 20th overall of the season off assists from Bruno Gervais and Collins for the victory.

The Sound Tigers will begin a stretch of seven straight road games when they visit Norfolk this Friday and Saturday, March 10th and 11th. The Sound Tigers' next home game at Bridgeport's Arena at Harbor Yard will be on Wednesday, March 29th when they host the Hershey Bears at 7:05 p.m. All Sound Tigers games are web-cast live at and can also be watched live on the B2 Networks.

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