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GAME PREVIEW: Islanders at Carolina

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

The Islanders will need a complete effort as they play one of the East's best teams, the Hurricanes in Carolina tonight.

The Islanders will be a bit shorthanded as they make the trip without either of their top two goaltenders, Rick DiPietro and Garth Snow, and one of their best and most versatile forwards, Jason Blake. The team will miss the trio's leadership as much as their on-ice performance, but the Islanders know injuries are a big part of the marathon NHL season.

"This is something we have to rally around," said defenseman Brad Lukowich. "We're missing key guys, but that's life in the NHL. We have to give everything we have in front of Dubie (starting goaltender Wade Dubielewicz) and play as a team."

The newly-signed Frederic Cloutier will back up Dubielewicz. The Islanders will dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen tonight, but could make changes for Saturday's rematch at the Coliseum. Here are your game notes.

- 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 39 games): 78

Arron Asham 1 Rib Muscle
Shawn Bates 16 Hip Strain (4), Hamstring Strain (12)
Jason Blake 2 Concussion
Kevin Colley 9 Knee Sprain
Rick DiPietro 4 Concussion (1), Bruised Knee (1), Sprained Knee (2)
Oleg Kvasha 12 Ankle
Petteri Nokelainen 26 Sprained Ankle (1), Knee Injury (25)
Mark Parrish 4 Hip Strain
Brent Sopel 3 Sprained Wrist
Total Games Missed: 78  

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.
December 28 - Canceled Jeff Hamilton's emergency recall conditions and returned him to Bridgeport (AHL).
December 23 - Activated forward Shawn Bates from the Injured Reserve. Recalled forward Jeff Hamilton on an emergency basis and returned him to Bridgeport following the game.
December 21 - Recalled forwards Rob Collins and Jeff Hamilton on an emergency basis. Returned Rob Collins to Bridgeport following the game.

Goals... Jason Blake - 17
Assists... Alexei Yashin - 23
Points... Alexei Yashin - 38
Penalty Minutes... Arron Asham - 74
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 - 108

Tonight's game is the second of four meetings between the teams this season. Earlier in the year, the Islanders defeated Carolina 3-2 on Oct. 8 at the Nassau Coliseum. The teams will play the final three games of the season series this month starting tonight at the RBC Center and continuing tomorrow night at the Coliseum. The fourth and final meeting between the two squads will be on Jan. 19 at Carolina.

The Islanders trail the all-time series versus the Carolina/Hartford franchise 39-42-9-0. On the road, the Islanders have an 18-21-5-0 record versus the franchise. Since the team has moved to Carolina in 1997-98, the Islanders trail the series 11-18-0-0. In Carolina, the Islanders have a record of 7-7-0-0.

Did You Know?
In the past three seasons, the Islanders have only lost once in Carolina. They have a 5-1-0-0 record since the start 2001-02 season. The lone loss occurred on Oct. 30, 2002, when the Islanders fell 4-2.

2005-06 Season Series:
October 8, 2005: Carolina Hurricanes 3, Islanders 2 - Nassau Coliseum
January 6, 2005: RBC Center - 7:00 PM
January 7, 2006: Nassau Coliseum - 7:00 PM
January 19, 2006: RBC Center - 7:30 PM

With Garth Snow is expected to miss 3-4 weeks with MCL sprains in both knees. The veteran goaltender has a Grade 2 sprain of his right knee and a Grade 1 (mild) sprain of his left knee. Snow suffered the injury in the final seconds of regulation of the Islanders' 4-3 overtime victory over the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The Islanders have signed goaltender Frederic Cloutier, who stopped all 30 shots he faced in the Bridgeport Sound Tigers' 1-0 win over Philadelphia last night. Cloutier joined the Islanders today for their flight to Carolina, where he will back up Wade Dubielewicz in Friday night's game against the Hurricanes. The 24-year old netminder has played three games this season in Bridgeport of the American Hockey League, where he is 1-1 with a 2.15 GAA, and 14 games with Pensacola of the East Coast Hockey League, where he is 5-6-2 with a 3.75 GAA. Rick DiPietro remains sidelined day-to-day with a sprained knee.

Forward Jason Blake also did not accompany the team to Carolina and is most likely out through the weekend. He is listed day-to-day with bruised ribs suffered Wednesday night. X-rays were negative.

Blake has been having a career season in 2005-06. Through his first 37 games of the season, Blake has recorded 17 goals and 14 assists for 31 points and is second on the team in scoring. Blake also leads the team in goals. Entering this season, his best mark through 37 games came in 2003-04 when he had 24 points.

Blake has points in 12 of his last 17 games (10+8). That includes a game against Philadelphia on Nov. 26 when he netted his third career hat trick. Most recently, Blake recorded an assist vs. Tampa Bay on Jan. 2.

The Islanders start their next set of back-to-back games with a home-and-home series versus Carolina today and tomorrow. The team split their last back-to-back set in late November when they 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 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.

First Game Result/Time Second Game Result/Time
Oct. 19 at NY Rangers W 3-2 (F/SO) Oct. 20 vs. NY Rangers W 4-3
Nov. 16 at Atlanta W 7-3 Nov. 17 at Tampa Bay L 2-3
Nov. 25 vs. Ottawa L 6-2 Nov. 26 at Philadelphia W 4-2
Jan. 6 at Carolina 7:00 PM Jan. 7 vs. Carolina 7:00 PM
March 6 at Washington 7:00 PM March 7 vs. New Jersey 7:00 PM
March 10 vs. Toronto 7:00 PM March 11 at Boston 7:00 PM
March 16 at Atlanta 7:00 PM March 17 at Florida 7:00 PM
March 24 at Pittsburgh 7:00 PM March 25 vs. Atlanta 7:00 PM
March 28 at Montreal 7:30 PM March 29 vs. NY Rangers 7:00 PM
April 5 at Toronto 7:30 PM April 5 at NY Rangers 7:30 PM

Team captain Alexei Yashin leads the team in scoring with 38 points (15+23) in 39 games. This season, Yashin has recorded a point in 28 of 39 games. He's also had seven multiple-point games this season. 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 36 games of that season he had 38 points.

This season, he had a season-high seven-game point streak from Oct. 10 to Oct. 25, collecting 11 points (5+6). In addition to his seven-game point streak, Yashin recorded an assist in five consecutive games (Oct. 15 to Oct. 25) and had a five-game scoring streak (2+3) (Nov. 15 to Dec. 6. The seven-game 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.

Arron Asham and Trent Hunter have a hit or be hit type of mentality. Following Wednesday game, Trent Hunter is third in the league in hits with 108, while Asham is in sixth with 101. Brad Lukowich is third on the team and leads Islanders defenseman with 77 and is 25th in the NHL. As a team, the Islanders have unloaded 704 hits on their opponents this season. On Dec. 28th versus the Rangers, the Islanders recorded a team season-high 38 hits with Hunter leading the way with seven.

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 has been tearing up the score sheets recently and is he's making up for his mini-slump with 20 points in the last 20 games (10+10). He most recently recorded scored the game-winning goal in overtime on Jan. 4 versus the Florida Panthers. Parrish is also second in the league in shooting percentage with a mark of 23.8 percent.

The Islanders have a 1-1 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. The Islanders will play the Carolina Hurricanes a total of three times in January, including a home-and-home series on consecutive nights later this week. The Islanders will also have a home-and-home series with the New Jersey Devils later in the month.

Date Time Opponent Result/Location
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 RBC Center
1/7 7:00 PM Carolina Nassau Coliseum
1/10 7:00 PM at Nashville Gaylord Entertainment Center
1/12 7:00 PM Calgary Nassau Coliseum
1/14 7:00 PM Vancouver Nassau Coliseum
1/17 7:30 PM at Chicago United Center
1/19 7:00 PM at Carolina RBC Center
1/21 12:00 PM at New Jersey Continental Airlines Arena
1/24 7:00 PM New Jersey Nassau Coliseum
1/26 7:00 PM Pittsburgh Nassau Coliseum

  Win Loss OTL
Oct. 5 6 0
Nov. 7 6 1
Dec. 5 6 1
Jan. 1 1 0
Totals 18 19 2

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

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.


  Win Loss OTL
Oct. 2 4 0
Nov. 5 3 0
Dec. 2 3 1
Totals 9 10 1

- The Islanders killed off three of five Florida Panthers power plays on Wednesday night.
- They have allowed 15 power play goals in the last 10 games (60 chances).
- Overall, the Islanders have killed off 211 of 261 (80.8%) power play attempts this season.
- The Islanders penalty kill is ranked sixth in the NHL on the road with an 83.6 penalty kill percentage, while they are 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 a piece.
- This season, the Islanders had a streak of 37 consecutive penalty kills, which span lasted 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 were zero for three on the power play versus Florida on Wednesday night.
- They have 10 power play goals in the last 10 games (64 chances).
- Overall, the Islanders have scored a power play goal in 28 of 39 games this season.
- They are 44-243 (18.1%) on the man-advantage and are 13th in the NHL.
- On the road, the team's power play is seventh in the NHL at 18.7%, while they are ranked 17th at home at 17.49%.
- Last season, the Islanders recorded at least one power play goal in 38 of 82 games.

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' 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 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.

Aaron Asham 1 0 0
Shawn Bates 1 1 0
Jason Blake 3 1 1
Trent Hunter 2 2 1
Robert Nilsson 1 0 0
Mark Parrish 2 0 0
Miroslav Satan 3 1 1
Alexei Yashin 5 1 0
Mike York 2 0 0
TOTALS 20 6 3

Rick DiPietro 10/10 at NYR 3 0 W
  11/14 at PIT 9 2 W
  11/23 vs. BUF 3 2 L
  12/08 at CMB 2 1 L
  12/10 vs. EDM 3 1 W
DiPietro Totals   20 6 3-2







The Islanders are 13-8-1 this season when scoring first and 5-10-1 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, 1,289-1139, through 39 games of the season.
- The Islanders have been outshot in 28 of 39 games this season, including a stretch of seven games that started on Nov. 19 at Florida and ended at St. Louis on Dec. 6.
- They have been outshot in each of the last five games (starting on Dec. 28 vs. New York Rangers).
- The Islanders are allowing an average of 33.1 shots per game while shooting off 29.2 shots on goal per game. Fourteen of the team's 18 victories have come when the team has been outshot.
- They have a record of 14-13-1 when they have been outshot and have a record of 3-6-1 in games when they've outshot 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 also allowed 40 or more shots in a game five times this season and have a record of 2-3. The most recent game was the team's loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jan. 2 when they allowed 43 shots on goal.

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.

Month Player
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).

- Arron Asham is one point away from his 100th NHL point.
- Arron Asham is five 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 four games away from his 200th NHL game.
- Alexei Yashin is three 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.
- 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.

Saturday, January 7: Optional game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:30 am-11:15 am
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
Sunday, January 15: No Ice

NEXT 10 GAMES (all times Eastern)
Friday, January 6 at Carolina, 7:00 pm
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

With Frederic Cloutier being signed by the Islanders, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers have signed goaltender Cody Rudkowsky from the ECHL's Reading Royals to a professional tryout contract.

Unbeaten-in-regulation in their last six games at 5-0-0-1 and on a four-game winning streak, the Sound Tigers will continue a five-game homestand versus the Hershey Bears this Friday at 7:35 pm, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this Sunday at 1:05 pm and the Hartford Wolf Pack next Wednesday, January 11th at 7:35 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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