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GAME PREVIEW: Islanders at Chicago

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
8:30 pm EST, FSN; Bloomberg 1130

The Islanders play their final game against a Western Conference opponent -- yes, you read that right -- on Tuesday when they play the Blackhawks in Chicago.
Brad Shaw's team is likely to have at least one change to the lineup. Scoring wing Jeff Hamilton was recalled from Bridgeport, while two-way forward Sean Bergenheim was returned to the Sound TIgers for more development.
The game in Chicago was expected to be a reunion with former Islanders assistant captain and all-star defenseman Adrian Aucoin, but Aucoin will miss the game with a groin injury. The Blackhawks are led by leading scorer Tyler Arnason (11-22-33 in 45 games), goal score Mark Bell (16, six on the power play) and a mobile defense that includes Jaroslav Spacek, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith. In goal, you could see a 2004 playoff rematch between Rick DiPietro and Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin, who has struggled this season but always plays well against the Islanders.

- Defenseman Brad Lukowich (strained ribs) was injured on Jan. 7 and is listed day-to-day.
- Center Petteri Nokelainen (patella tendonitis) has missed the last 31 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 44 games): 99  
January 12 Activated goaltender Rick DiPietro from the injured reserve and assigned goaltender Frederic Cloutier and forward Jeff Hamilton to the Bridgeport (AHL).
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 39
Penalty Minutes... Arron Asham 82
Plus/Minus... Jason Blake +2
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 149
Shooting Percentage... Mark Parrish 23.2%
Time on Ice... Alexei Zhitnik 23:58 per game
Hits... Trent Hunter 120
Tonight's game is the 96th regular season and 102nd all-time meeting between the two teams. The Islanders currently trail the regular season all-time series 35-40-20-0, but lead the all-time series 41-40-20-05 (including playoffs). In Chicago, the Blackhawks lead the series 17-26-5-0.
The last time the teams met, the Islanders defeated Blackhawks 5-2 on December 6, 2003. Alexei Yashin scored twice and Rick DiPietro earned the win in net.
Did You Know?
The Islanders have a perfect 6-0 record against the Blackhawks in the playoffs. They defeated Chicago 2-0 in the 1976-77 Preliminary Round and 4-0 in the 19878-79 Quarterfinals.
2005-06 Season Series:
Tonight - January 17, 2005: at Chicago 8:30 PM
Coming into tonight's game, Trent Hunter is fourth in the league in hits with 120, while Arron Asham is in fifth with 115. 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 Saturday's game versus Vancouver, John Erskine and Trent Hunter led the team with four hits each.
The Islanders have a 2-5 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 start a three-game road trip tonight at Chicago. The trip will also take them to Carolina on Thursday night (Jan. 19) and New Jersey (Jan. 21). The Islanders will fly home after Carolina and bus to New Jersey day of game.
The Islanders have lost their last five road games with the most recent defeat occurring at Nashville on Jan. 10. They also lost at Toronto on Dec. 19, at Buffalo on Dec. 26, at Ottawa on Dec. 30 and at Carolina on Jan. 6. In their last 10 road games, the Islanders have a record of 4-5-1. Following tonight's game, the Islanders next road game is on Thursday at Carolina.
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.
- Vancouver was 3-9 on the power play against the Islanders on Saturday night.
- Overall, the Islanders have killed off 235 of 293 (80.2%) power play attempts this season.
- The Islanders penalty kill is ranked 23rd in the league. On the road, the penalty kill is seventh in the league with a percentage of 83.4, 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 1-5 on the power play versus Vancouver on Saturday night.
- They are 46-263 (17.5%) on the man-advantage and are ranked 15th in the NHL.
- Overall, the Islanders have scored a power play goal in 30 of 44 games this season.
The Islanders are 13-8-1 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, 1,448-1,299, through 44 games of this season.
- The Islanders have been out-shot in 31 of 44 games this season.
- The Islanders are allowing an average of 32.9 shots per game while taking 29.5 shots on goal per game. Fourteen of the team's 19 victories have come when the team has been out-shot.
- They have a record of 14-15-1 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 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 on Jan. 4 at the Coliseum. 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 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.

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

- Jason Blake is nine points away from his 200th as an Islander.
- Oleg Kvasha is two points away from his 300th NHL point.
- 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 Asham's played in his 200th game as an Islander on Jan. 14 vs. Vancouver.
Wednesday, January 20: Practice at RBC Center, time TBD
Thursday, January 19: Game day skate at RBC Center, 11:30 am 12:15 pm
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
NEXT 10 GAMES (all times Eastern)
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
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
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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