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GAME PREVIEW: Islanders at Carolina

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

The Islanders will play Carolina for the fourth and final time this season when the teams meet at the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC tonight.

It will also be the third time they've met in the past two weeks, so the teams should be pretty familiar with each other. The Hurricanes swept a home-and-home series on Jan. 6th and 7th and the Islanders are looking to avenge those losses.

Rick DiPietro is coming off one of his strongest performances of the season by making 34 saves on 35 shots during Tuesday's win in Chicago. His timing couldn't have come at a better time as the opposing coach is Peter Laviolette, who is also the head coach of Team USA. DiPietro was injured and didn't play during the home-and-home series and this will be last time Laviolette gets to see him in live action before the Olympics.

Here are you game notes:

January 17, 2006
Islanders 2, Chicago 1 (F/OT)

Oleg Kvasha hit the puck out of midair and into the back of the net for the game-winning overtime goal to give the Islanders a 2-1 victory over the Blackhawks in Chicago on Tuesday night. Alexei Yashin also scored and Rick DiPietro got the win in net on Tuesday night making 34 of 35 saves. Kvasha also recorded an assist for a two-point night.

- Center Petteri Nokelainen (patella tendonitis) has missed the last 32 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 45 games): 101  
January 16 Recalled forward Jeff Hamilton from Bridgeport (AHL) 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.
January 9 Activated center Kevin Colley from the Injured Reserve. Recalled forward Sean Bergenheim. Placed goaltenders Rick DiPietro and Garth Snow on the Injured Reserve retroactive of Dec. 30 and Jan. 4, respectively.

Goals¦ Jason Blake, Miroslav Satan - 17
Assists¦ Alexei Yashin 24
Points¦ Alexei Yashin 40
Penalty Minutes¦ Arron Asham 86
Plus/Minus¦ Jason Blake +3
Game-Winning Goals¦ Shawn Bates, Mark Parrish 4
Power Play Goals¦ Mark Parrish - 10
Power Play Assists¦ Alexei Zhitnik 15
Power Play Points¦ Alexei Zhitnik 18
Shots¦ Jason Blake 152
Shooting Percentage¦ Mark Parrish 22.9%
Time on Ice¦ Alexei Zhitnik 23:59 per game
Hits¦ Trent Hunter 124

Tonight's game is the fourth and final meeting between the teams this season. Earlier in the year, the Islanders defeated the Hurricanes 3-2 on Oct. 8 at the Nassau Coliseum, but then were swept in a home-and-home series on consecutive nights 4-1 in Raleigh and 3-0 at the Coliseum.

The Islanders trail the all-time series versus the Carolina/Hartford franchise 39-44-9-0. On the road, the Islanders have an 18-23-5-0 record versus the franchise. Since the team has moved to Carolina in 1997-98, the Islanders trail the series 11-19-0-0. In Carolina, the Islanders have a record of 7-8-0-0.

2005-06 Season Series:
October 8, 2005: New York Islanders 3, Carolina Hurricanes 2 Nassau Coliseum
January 6, 2005: Hurricanes 4, Islanders 1 RBC Center
January 7, 2006: Hurricanes 3, Islanders 0 Nassau Coliseum
**Tonight** at RBC Center 7:00 PM

Oleg Kvasha's overtime winning goal not only propelled the Islanders to victory, it also gave him his 200th career NHL point. He entered the game at 198 and reached 199 with an assist on Alexei Yashin's second period goal. Kvasha began the season with 185 career points (84 goals, 135 assists) and has scored six goals and added nine assists this year.

Coming into tonight's game, Trent Hunter is third in the league in hits with 124, while Arron Asham is in fifth with 118. Brad Lukowich is third on the team and leads Islanders defensemen with 83. As a team, the Islanders have unloaded 841 hits against their opponents this season. In Tuesday's game, Trent Hunter led the team in hits with four.

The Islanders have a 3-5 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 are in the midst of a three-game road trip, which continues tonight at Carolina. The trip will also take them to New Jersey on Jan. 21. The Islanders will fly home after tonight's game and bus to New Jersey day of game.

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 10-11-1 at home this season, scoring 62 goals and allowing 81. In their most recent game at the Coliseum, the Islanders lost to the Vancouver Canucks 8-1 on Jan. 12. The Islanders next game at home is Jan. 24 versus New Jersey.

- Chicago was 1-4 on the power play against the Islanders on Tuesday night.
- Overall, the Islanders have killed off 236 of 297 (80.1%) power play attempts this season.
- The Islanders penalty kill is ranked 24th in the league. On the road, the penalty kill is seventh in the league with a percentage of 83.2, while at home they are ranked 29th in the league with a percentage of 77.0.
- 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 1-4 on the power play versus at Chicago on Tuesday night.
- They are 47-268 (17.5%) on the man-advantage and are ranked 15th in the NHL. On the road, the power play is ranked 19th in the league with a conversion rate of 17.2 percent. At home, they rank 10th in the league with a conversion rate of 17.8 percent.
- Overall, the Islanders have scored a power play goal in 31 of 45 games this season.

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 teams 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 14-8-1 this season when scoring first and 6-14-1 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 out-shot, 1,483-1,322, through 45 games of this season.
- The Islanders have been out-shot in 32 of 54 games this season.
- The Islanders are allowing an average of 33.0 shots per game while taking 29.5 shots on goal per game. Fifteen of the teams 20 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 4-8-1 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 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 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, 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 in 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 Decembers 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 eight points away from his 200th as an Islander.
- Mattias Weinhandl is two games away from his 200th NHL game.
- Alexei Yashin is two assists away from his 400th NHL assist.

- 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 Ashams 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.

Friday, January 20: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Saturday, January 21: No game day skate
Sunday, January 22: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 am 11:30 am
Monday, January 23: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Tuesday, January 24: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:30 am 11:15 am
Wednesday, January 25: Practice at Nassau Coliseum 10:00 am 12:30 pm
Thursday, January 26: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:30 am 11:15 am
Friday, January 27: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

NEXT 10 GAMES (all times Eastern)
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
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

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers were defeated by the Norfolk Admirals at home on Monday afternoon 4-3. The loss snapped the Sound Tigers' eight-game-unbeaten-in-regulation streak (6-0-0-2). Forwards Jeremy Colliton, Masi Marjamaki and David Masse scored for the Sound Tigers and Frederic Cloutier made 22 saves on 26 shots in the losing effort. Defenseman Joel Bouchard added two assists and finished a +3.

The Sound Tigers will visit the Lowell Lock Monsters this Friday at 7:35 pm and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this Saturday at 7:05 pm.All Sound Tigers games are web-cast live at Fans can also watch all games live on the B2 Networks.

The Islanders Student and Military Savings Program is back for the 2005-06 season. Students and Military can receive up to 50% off select seating to see their New York Islanders in action. Students and Military personnel can purchase $55 seats for $28, $30 seats for $19 and $25 seats for $16. This offer is valid day of game only at Coliseum Box Office with valid I.D. - There will be a limit to two (2) tickets per I.D. - per game.


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