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GAME PREVIEW: Islanders at Boston

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
7:00 PM (FSN, Bloomberg 1130 AM)

The Islanders head up to Beantown to take on the Boston Bruins at the TDBanknorth Garden tonight at 7:00 PM. Massachusetts native Rick DiPietro is expected to be back in net for the Islanders against the surging Bruins.

Boston has won five of their last six games and have recorded points in seven straight. As a result, they have jumped right back into the playoff picture within the last two weeks and sit just two points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Both of Boston's goaltenders are banged up with Andrew Raycroft day-to-day (leg) and Hannu Toivonen out (sprained ankle). Tim Thomas has been the goalie for the Bruins in recent games. Former Islander Brad Isbister is also out for tonight's game (sprained ankle).

The Islanders would also like to congratulate longtime radio stalwart Chris King who will make his Islanders TV debut on FSN NY tonight. He'll join Howie Rose in the TV booth with Joe Micheletti out on assignment. Fans can still hear the play-by-play call of John Wiedeman on Bloomberg 1130 AM.

Here are the game notes:

- Center Petteri Nokelainen (patella tendonitis) has missed the last 37 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. He was placed on the Injured Reserve retroactive of Jan. 4.

Total Man-Games Lost (After 49 games): 109  
January 26 Recalled defenseman Joel Bouchard from Bridgeport (AHL) and reassigned forward Jeff Hamilton to Bridgeport.
January 20 Reassigned defenseman Bruno Gervais to Bridgeport.
January 16 Recalled forward Jeff Hamilton from Bridgeport and reassigned forward Sean Bergenheim to Bridgeport. 
January 12 Activated goaltender Rick DiPietro from the injured reserve and assigned goaltender Frederic Cloutier and forward Jeff Hamilton to the Bridgeport.
January 10 Acquired defenseman John Erskine and a 2006 second round draft pick for defenseman Janne Niinimaa and a 2007 fifth round draft pick. Recalled defenseman Bruno Gervais from Bridgeport.

Goals... Miroslav Satan - 19
Assists... Alexei Yashin 26
Points... Alexei Yashin 44
Penalty Minutes... Arron Asham 88
Plus/Minus... Jason Blake +2
Game-Winning Goals... Shawn Bates, Mark Parrish 4
Power Play Goals... Mark Parrish - 11
Power Play Assists... Alexei Zhitnik 15
Power Play Points... Alexei Zhitnik 18
Shots... Jason Blake 177
Shooting Percentage... Mark Parrish 23.1%
Time on Ice... Alexei Zhitnik 24:10 per game
Hits... Trent Hunter 135

Tonight's game is the 122nd game between the Islanders and Boston with the Islanders trailing the all-time series 50-62-21-0. The Islanders also trail the regular-season lifetime series 42-59-21-0.

Today is the third of four games between the Islanders and Bruins this season. The Islanders have won both meetings so far with a 4-3 overtime win on Nov. 1 and a 5-2 victory on Nov. 12, both of which were at the Coliseum.

Did You Know?
In 72 career games against the Islanders, recently retired Penguin Mario Lemieux scored 50 goals with 81 assists for 131 points and 61 penalty minutes.

2005-06 Season Series:
November 1, 2005: W 5-4 (F/OT) at Nassau Coliseum
November 12, 2005: W 5-2 at Nassau Coliseum
**Tonight** January 28, 2006: at TDBacknorth Garden 7:00 pm
March 11, 2006: at TDBacknorth Garden 7:00 pm

Islanders captain Alexei Yashin recorded his 400th NHL assists in the Islanders 4-3 shootout win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 26th. The milestone was hit when he recorded the secondary assist on Miroslav Satan's second period goal. Yashin has played in 759 NHL games and recorded 308 goals and 400 assists for 708 points.

Coming into tonight's game, Trent Hunter is third in the league in hits with 135, while Arron Asham is in fifth with 130. Brad Lukowich is third on the team and leads Islanders defensemen with 93. As a team, the Islanders have unloaded 919 hits against their opponents this season. In Tuesday's game, Asham led the team with four hits.

The Islanders have a 4-7-1 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.

1/2 7:00 PM Tampa Bay L 1-2
1/4 7:00 PM Florida W/OT 4-3
1/6 7:00 PM at Carolina L 1-4
1/7 7:00 PM Carolina L 0-3
1/10 8:00 PM at Nashville L 1-2
1/12 7:00 PM Calgary W 3-2
1/14 7:00 PM Vancouver L 1-8
1/17 8:30 PM at Chicago W/OT 2-1
1/19 7:00 PM at Carolina L 3-4
1/21 12:00 PM at New Jersey L 2-3 (F/SO)
1/24 7:00 PM New Jersey L 0-3
1/26 7:00 PM Pittsburgh W 4-3 (F/SO)
1/31 7:00 PM Washington Nassau Coliseum

The Islanders have a road record of 11-13-2 this season. In their most recent game, the Islanders lost to the New Jersey Devils in the shootout 3-2. Following tonight's game, the team's next road game is next Saturday night at Pittsburgh.

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 11-12-1 at home this season. In their most recent game at the Coliseum, the Islanders defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in the shootout. The Islanders next home game is Tuesday versus Washington.

- New Jersey was 2-4 on the power play against the Islanders on Tuesday night.
- Overall, the Islanders have killed off 243 of 306 (79.5%) power play attempts this season.
- The Islanders' penalty kill is ranked 27th in the league. On the road, the penalty kill is 13th in the league with a percentage of 82.5, while at home they are ranked 30th in the league with a percentage of 76.3.
- 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 versus at New Jersey on Tuesday night.
- They are 48-283 (17.0%) on the man-advantage and are ranked 19th in the NHL. On the road, the power play is ranked 13th in the league with a conversion rate of 17.2 percent. At home, they rank 23rd in the league with a conversion rate of 16.7 percent.
- Overall, the Islanders have scored a power play goal in 32 of 48 games this season.

The Islanders are 15-8-1 this season when scoring first and 6-16-2 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, 1,589-1,455, through 49 games of this season.
- The Islanders have been out-shot in 33 of 49 games this season.
- The Islanders are allowing an average of 32.4 shots per game while taking 29.7 shots on goal per game. Fifteen of the team's 21 victories have come when the team has been out-shot.
- They have a record of 15-15-1 when they have been out-shot and have a record of 5-9-2 in games when they've out-shot the opponent. The Islanders are 1-0-0 in games where they tie their opponent's 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 third period 16 times this season and have a record of 13-2-1. This stretch includes winning in overtime (vs. Bruins, Nov. 1) and winning in the shootout four times (at Rangers, Oct. 19, at Pittsburgh, Nov. 14, vs. Edmonton, Dec. 10 and vs. Pittsburgh, Jan. 26). The losses occurred vs. Buffalo (shootout, Nov. 23), at Buffalo (Dec. 26) and at Ottawa (Dec. 30).

The Islanders have participated in seven shootouts this season and have an overall record of 4-3 and are 2-1 at the Coliseum. Miroslav Satan has scored two determining goals with three overall for the Islanders and Rick DiPietro has been the netminder in six of the seven shootouts with a record of 3-3.

The most recent shootout occurred on Jan. 26 vs. Pittsburgh. Goalie Wade Dubielewicz stopped all three Penguins shooters while Satan netted the determining goal.

On Jan. 21 at New Jersey, the Devil's Zach Parise scored the determining goal for the Devils. The shootout saw five attempts for each team with Satan converting for the Islanders. DiPietro stopped thee of five shooters.

On Dec. 10th, the Islanders defeated Edmonton as Alexei Yashin and Trent Hunter (determining goal) scored for the Islanders. DiPietro stopped two of three Oilers shooters for the win.

On Dec. 8th, the Islanders lost in the shootout for the second time this season. Yashin, Satan and Mike York all missed fired on their attempts. DiPietro stopped two of three shooters with Columbu's David 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 DiPietro, while 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. Blake netted the determining goal against goaltender Jocelyn Thibault and 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, Satan scored the only shootout goal against Ranger's goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

The Islanders have not lost in overtime this season. Most recently, Oleg Kvasha scored at the 3:02 mark of the extra session to the give the Islanders a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 17 at the United Center. In the first game that ended in overtime 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 Coliseum. In the second game, Mark Parrish scored at the 2:15 mark of the extra session to give the Islanders a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Jan. 4 at the Coliseum.

The Islanders are 6-2 in overtime/shootout (three overtime victories, three shootout victories and two shootout losses) this season and have a lifetime record of 68-61-194 in overtime. Last season, the Islanders had a record of 2-4-11 in overtime.

In their last back-to-back set, the Islanders lost both games to the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 6-7. The next series is scheduled for March 6-7 when the team travels to Washington for the first game and comes back home versus New Jersey for the second game. 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. 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.

October - Alexei Yashin
November - Jason Blake
December - Mike York

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).

- Jason Blake is six points away from his 200th as an Islander.
- Jason Blake is six games away from his 400th NHL game.

- 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.
- Mark Parrish recorded his 200th point as an Islander on Jan. 10 at Nashville.
- Brad Shaw recorded his first NHL head coaching win on Jan. 12 vs. Calgary.
- Arron Asham's played in his 200th game as an Islander on Jan. 14 vs. Vancouver.
- Oleg Kvasha is recorded his 200th NHL point on Jan. 17 at Chicago.
- Bruno Gervais recorded his first NHL assist/point of his career on Jan. 19 at Carolina.
- Alexei Yashin recorded his 400th NHL assist on Jan. 26 vs. Pittsburgh.

Sunday, January 29: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Monday, January 30: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Tuesday, January 31: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:30 am 11:15 am
Wednesday, February 1: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Thursday, February 2: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:30 am 11:15 am
Friday, February 3: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Saturday, February 4: No Morning Skate

NEXT 10 GAMES (all times Eastern)
Saturday, January 28 at Boston, 7:00 pm
Tuesday, January 31 vs. Washington, 7:00 pm
Thursday, February 2 vs. NY Rangers, 7:00 pm
Saturday, February 4 at Pittsburgh, 7:30 pm
Monday, February 6 vs. Tampa Bay, 7:00 pm
Wednesday, February 8 at Philadelphia, 7:00 pm
Saturday, February 11 at New Jersey, 1:00 pm
Tuesday, February 28 vs. Montreal, 7:00 pm
Thursday, March 2 vs. New Jersey, 7:00 pm
Saturday, March 4 vs. Philadelphia, 7:00 pm

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