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GAME PREVIEW: Islanders at Florida

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
7:30 pm, FSN; Bloomberg 1130

After getting some measure of revenge by beating PIttsburgh on the road on Monday, the Islanders get a crack at the other team that humbled them on home ice when Steve Stirling's team faces the Florida Panthers for the second time this season. The Panthers defeated the Islanders 3-1 at the Coliseum on October 10, a game in which the Islanders had few scoring opportunities after the first period.
No major lineup changes are expected for the Islanders, who are receiving excellent balance over the last two weeks from their top three lines. After getting off to an impressive start under new coach Jacques Martin, the Panthers are winless in their last 10 (0-8-2) and have been shut out or held to just one goal in five of those games. They lost 4-1 in Ottawa on Thursday night. Florida is too skilled to be held down for long, so the Islanders' team defense will need to be sharp to end their four-game road trip on a winning note.

The Panthers lead the all-time series between the clubs 20-22-8-0. In 2003-04, the Islanders won the season series 3-1-0-0 over the Panthers.

November 17, 2005
Tampa Bay Lightning 3, New York Islanders 2

The Islanders had their three-game win streak snapped on Thursday night, falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. After taking an early 1-0 lead by a goal from Robert Nilsson, the Islanders found themselves trailing 2-1 entering the third. Alexei Yashin continued his strong play by tying up the contest a minute into the final frame. However, with less then two minutes remaining in regulation, Martin St. Louis netted the game-winning goal to put the Lightning back on top. Rick DiPietro was back in net for the Islanders, stopping 29 of 31 shots.

- Center Petteri Nokelainen (patella tendinitis) has missed the last seven games and is out indefinitely.  
Total Man-Games Lost (After 20 games): 22     

Arron Asham            1                          Rib Muscle
Shawn Bates            4                          Hip Strain
Rick DiPietro            2                          Concussion (1), Bruised Right Knee (1)
Petteri Nokelainen    8                           Sprained Ankle (1), Knee Injury (7)
Mark Parrish            4                           Hip Strain
Brent Sopel              3                           Left Sprained Wrist
Total Games Missed:    21

November 15 Signed forward Jeff Hamilton and assigned him to Bridgeport (AHL).
November 2 - Reassigned goaltender Wade Dubielewicz to Bridgeport.

The Islanders are finishing up their second longest road trip of the season, a span of four games. They have defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in a shootout on Monday night and the Atlanta Thrashers 7-3 on Wednesday night, while losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Thursday night, the second of a back-to-back. The team has a five game road trip in March, which will also take them to Atlanta and both Florida stops as well as Boston and New Jersey. The Islanders are 6-6 on the road so far this season.

Team captain Alexei Yashin leads the team in scoring with 23 points (11+12) in 20 games. This season, Yashin has recorded a point in 16 of 20 games, eight of the past ten (4+7) and in the last five games (2-5-7). He's also had five multiple-point games, including Thursday night in Tampa Bay. This is Yashin's best start since the 2001-02 season, his first as an Islander. That season he finished with 32 goals, 43 assists and 75 points.

This season, he had a season-high seven-game point streak from October 10-25, collecting 11 points (5+6). In addition to his seven-game point streak, Yashin recorded an assist in five consecutive games (October 15-25). The point streak was Yashin's longest since the 2003-04, when he had a nine-game point streak with 13 points (3+10) from November 14-December 3.

- The Islanders successfully killed off all five Tampa Bay power plays on Thursday night.
- They haven't allowed a power play goal in the last five games (27 chances).
- They haven't given up a power play goal in 30 straight chances.
- Overall, the Islanders have killed off 123 of 141 (87.2%) power play attempts in 30 games this season.
- The Islanders have recorded three shorthanded goals this season. Arron Asham scored a shorthanded goal in the Islanders' 5-4 win over the Rangers on October 20. Earlier in the season, Shawn Bates scored the first shorthanded goal of the season in the Isles' 3-1 win over the Hurricanes on October 8 and Jason Blake scored a shorthanded tally in the Islanders' 5-3 win over Washington on October 13.    

- The Islanders were 0-5 on the power plat against Tampa Bay on Thursday night.
- They have seven power play goals in the last six games.
- Overall, the Islanders have scored a power play goal in 13 of 20 games this season.
- They are 20-131 (15.3%) on the man-advantage. Last season, the Islanders recorded at least one power play goal in 38 of 82 games. They had a record of 27-9-3, including a mark of 16-4-1 at home in games that they scored at least one power play goal.  

Although he was kept off the score sheet on Thursday night, Shawn Bates has tallied six goals in the past six games (6+1) including five in the past four. Also, he has six goals and two assists for eight points and a +4 rating in the past five games. The Islanders are 7-0 in games that Bates has scored a goal. Bates also leads the league in shooting percentage with a mark of 33.3%.

Bates has eight goals on the season, which is just one shy of his 2003-04 total of nine. He leads the team with three game winners, which includes an overtime tally versus Boston on November 1 at the Coliseum. He also has a shootout goal, which he recorded against the Pittsburgh Penguins on November 14. Overall, Bates has nine points this season (8+1).

The Islanders have a record of 5-4-0 in the month of November. The Islanders will play a total of 14 games this month, six at home and eight on the road. Last season, the Islanders were 5-8-0-0 in November. 

  Win Loss OTL
Oct. 5 6 0
Nov. 5 4 0

The Islanders are unbeaten in 60 games (52-0-8) when taking a lead into the third period. The streak is the longest active streak in the NHL. The Islanders are 8-0-0 this season when leading after two periods. This streak includes wining in overtime (vs. Bruins, Nov. 1) and winning in the shootout twice (at Rangers, Oct. 19 and at Pittsburgh Nov. 14) this season. During the 2003-04 season, the Islanders were 26-0-5 when leading after two periods. The Islanders outscored their opponent, 87-61 in the third period in 2003-04.The streak began on December 28, 2002 with a 3-0 win vs. Carolina.   

The Islanders are 9-4 this season when scoring first and 1-6 when the opposition scores the first goal of the game. Buffalo, Carolina, Philadelphia, Montreal, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh and Ottawa have scored first in games against the Islanders this season, while New York has scored first against Carolina, Washington, the Rangers (twice), Atlanta (twice), Buffalo, Boston (twice), New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. 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, 663-564, through the first 20 games of the 2005-06 season. The Islanders have been outshot in 13 of 20 games this season, including six straight from October 15-27. The Islanders are allowing an average of 33.2 shots per game. They have a record of 7-6 when they have been outshot and have a record of 2-4 in games when they've outshot the opponent. The Islanders recorded a season-high 40 shots, including 20 in the first period last Thursday against the Flyers. The Islanders have also allowed 40 or more shots in a game three times this season and have a record of 2-1. The most recent game was Wednesday night's victory in Atlanta. 

The Islanders recently complete their second set of back-to-back games, splitting the pair of the road games. The team defeated the Atlanta Thrashers 7-3 on Wednesday night, but lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. Earlier in the season, the Islanders swept their first set of back-to-back games of the season by taking out the New York Rangers on October 19-20. 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 2-0-0 in the first game of back-to-back games and a 1-1-0 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.

The Islanders shootout victory over the Penguins on Monday night was the longest so far in the NHL this season. Eighteen shooters were used by both teams, setting 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.

It was the team's second shootout win of the season, with the other coming against the New York Rangers in a 3-2 decision at Madison Square Garden on October 19. In that contest, Miroslav Satan scored the only shootout goal against Henrik Lundqvist. The Islanders carry a perfect 2-0 record in shootouts this season.

Aaron Asham 1 0 0
Shawn Bates 1 1 0
Jason Blake 1 1 1
Trent Hunter 1 1 0
Robert Nilsson 1 0 0
Mark Parrish 2 0 0
Miroslav Satan 2 1 1
Alexei Yashin 2 0 0
Mike York 1 0 0
TOTALS 12 4 2
Rick DiPietro 10/10 at NYR 3 0         W
11/14 at PIT 9 2         W
DiPietro Totals 12 2         2 Wins

Shawn Bates scored the game-winning goal with 28.2 seconds left in overtime to lift the Islanders to a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins on November 1 at the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders are 3-0 in overtime (two shootout victories) this season and have a lifetime record of 65-60-194 in overtime. Last season, the Islanders had a record of 2-4-11 in overtime.

The Islanders are 5-3-0 at home this season, scoring 27 goals and allowing 28. The last two Islander home wins have come against the Boston Bruins by a combined score of 9-5. The Islanders have one loss at home in November, a 5-1 decision by the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

The Islanders have a total attendance of 103,589 after eight games at the Nassau Coliseum, for an average of 12,949 (77.8% capacity) with one sellout.  Last season after seven games at Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders had a total attendance of 84,866, an average of 12,266 (79.8% capacity) with one sellout. The seating capacity for the Nassau Coliseum is 16,234.

Islanders' captain Alexei Yashin scored his 300th NHL career goal in Monday night's 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Brad Lukowich and Janne Niinimaa were credited with the assists on the second period goal. The tally was Yashin's 82nd as an Islander. He scored 218 as a member of the Ottawa Senators.    

Saturday, November 19: Game day skate at Bank Airlines Arena, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 20: No practice.
Monday, November 21: Islanders Iceworks, 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, November 22: Nassau Coliseum, 10:30a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 23: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Thursday, November 24: Islanders Iceworks, 12:00 p.m.-2 p.m.
Friday, November 25: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Saturday, November 26: Game day skate at Wachovia Center, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m 

Saturday, November 19 at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 23 vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, November 25 vs. Ottawa, 2 p.m.
Saturday, November 26 at Philadelphia, 2 p.m.
Tuesday, November 29 vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Sunday, December 4 at Detroit, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, December 6 at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Thursday, December 8 at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 10 vs. Edmonton, 7 p.m.

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