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GAME PREVIEW: Islanders at New Jersey

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
1:00 pm; FSN, Bloomberg 1130

The Islanders look to enter the Olympic Break on a high note when they face the Devils at the Meadowlands in a Saturday matinee.

Saturday's game is the last for the Islanders until they face the Montreal Canadiens at home on Tuesday night, February 28. The Islanders are seven points behind Toronto for the final playoff spot in the East heading into Friday night. The Maple Leafs have a home-and-home with the Rangers, starting tonight at Madison Square Garden.

Brad Shaw's team has had two full days of practice to prepare for Saturday's game. Shaw skated his team hard after Thursday's disappointing loss on Friday and went through a 75-minute practice today at Islanders Iceworks.

February 8, 2006
Philadelphia 5, Islanders 2

Mike Richards scored a hat trick for Philadelphia en route to a 5-2 Flyers victory over the Islanders on Wednesday night. Trent Hunter and Miroslav Satan scored for the Islanders and Garth Snow made 22 saves on 26 shots in the losing effort.

- Kevin Colley (neck) was injured on Jan. 31 and is out indefinitely.
- Eric Godard (viral infection) is listed as day-to-day and has missed one game.
- Center Petteri Nokelainen (patella tendonitis) has missed the last 42 games. He's currently on the Injured Reserve retroactive of Nov. 3, 2005.
- Alexei Zhitnik (ankle) was injured on Jan. 31 and is listed as day-to-day. He has missed four games.

Total Man-Games Lost (After 55 games): 128

February 8 - Recalled forward Robert Nilsson from Bridgeport (AHL).
February 5 - Recalled goaltender Garth Snow and center Wyatt Smith from Bridgeport. Reassigned goaltender Wade Dubielewicz and center Jeremy Colliton to Bridgeport.

Tonight's game is the 173RD regular season meeting and 179TH meeting all-time between the Islanders and the New Jersey Devils. The Islanders currently lead the all-time series 93-54-22-3. In New Jersey, the Islanders have a 37-34-11-1 record versus the Devils. This is the fifth of eight meetings between the teams this season.

Did You Know?
The Islanders have scored 12 all-time hat tricks against the Devils, while New Jersey has only scored three against the Islanders. Mike Bossy netted three tricks in his Islanders career, the most for any player in the all-time series between the Islanders and Devils. The last hat trick scored was by Mark Parrish on Oct. 11, 2001.

2005-06 Season Series:
November 8, 2005: W 4-1 at Continental Airlines Arena
December 21, 2005: W 4-2 at Nassau Coliseum
January 21, 2006: L 2-3 (F/SO) at Continental Airlines Arena
January 24, 2006: L 0-4 at Nassau Coliseum
**TODAY** February 11, 2006: Continental Airlines Arena - 1:00 pm
March 2, 2006: at Nassau Coliseum - 7:00 pm
March 7, 2006: at Nassau Coliseum - 7:00 pm
March 14, 2006: Continental Airlines Arena - 7:30 pm

Islanders' forward Jason Blake played in his 400th NHL game on Feb. 8 at Philadelphia. He is also one point away from his 200th in the NHL. Blake was acquired by the Islanders in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings in January of 2001 for a conditional fifth round draft pick in the 2002 draft. In his seven-year NHL career, Blake has recorded 86 goals and 113 assists for 199 points. This season, he's the Islanders fourth leading scorer with 20 goals and 19 assists for 39 points.

Coming into tonight's game, Trent Hunter is third in the league in hits with 161, while Arron Asham is fifth with 154. Brad Lukowich is third on the team and leads Islanders defensemen with 106. As a team, the Islanders have unloaded 1,049 hits against their opponents this season. In Wednesday's game, John Erskine led all Islanders with three hits.

On Feb. 4, the Islanders recorded a season-high 33 hits versus the Rangers. Hunter led the way with a team and personal season-high nine hits.

The Islanders have a 1-2-1 record in the month of February. Due to the Olympic Break from Feb. 12-28, the team will play a total of six games, three at home and three on the road.

The Islanders have a road record of 12-14-2 this season. In their most recent game, the Islanders lost to the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 on Wednesday night. Following tonight's game, the Islanders' next road game is March 6 at Washington.

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 Philadelphia Flyers were 2-4 on the power play against the Islanders on Wednesday night.
- Overall, the Islanders have killed off 268 of 343 (78.1%) power play attempts this season.
- The Islanders penalty kill is ranked 29th in the league. On the road, the penalty kill is 20th in the league with a percentage of 80.7, while at home they are ranked 30th in the league with a percentage of 75.4.
- 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 2-7 on the power play against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.
- They are 57-317 (17.7%) on the man-advantage and are ranked 14th in the NHL. On the road, the power play is ranked 5th in the league with a conversion rate of 18.6 percent. At home, they rank 22nd in the league with a conversion rate of 17.2 percent.
- Overall, the Islanders have scored a power play goal in 36 of 53 games this season.

The Islanders are 17-8-1 this season when scoring first and 7-18-3 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, 1,784-1,645, through 55 games of this season.
- The Islanders have been out-shot in 36 of 55 games this season.
- The Islanders are allowing an average of 32.4 shots per game while taking 29.9 shots on goal per game. Sixteen of the team's 24 victories have come when the team has been out-shot.
- They have a record of 16-18-1 when they have been out-shot and have a record of 7-9-3 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 51 shots on goal, including 21 in the final period, at Boston on Jan. 28. In that game, the Islanders also allowed a season-high 44 shots on goal.

The Islanders have taken the lead into the third period 17 times this season and have a record of 14-2-1. This stretch includes winning in overtime (vs. Bruins, Nov. 1) and winning in the shootout five times (at Rangers, Oct. 19, at Pittsburgh, Nov. 14, vs. Edmonton, Dec. 10, vs. Pittsburgh, Jan. 26 and at Pittsburgh, Feb. 4). The two losses occurred vs. Buffalo (shootout, Nov. 23), at Buffalo (Dec. 26) and at Ottawa (Dec. 30).

Every month, Islanders fans along with H.L. Gross & Brothers Jewelers select the Islander of the Month. Winger Miroslav Satan was named the Player of the Month for January. In fourteen games, Satan had 12 points (four goals, eight assists) and a +4 plus/minus rating.

October - Alexei Yashin
November - Jason Blake
December - Mike York
January - Miroslav Satan

- Shawn Bates is three assists away from his 100th as an Islander.
- Jason Blake is one point away from his 200th NHL point.
- Eric Godard is five games away from his 100th NHL game.
- Oleg Kvasha is seven goals away from his 100th as an Islander.
- Mark Parrish is ten points away from his 200th as an Islander.

NEXT 10 GAMES (all times Eastern)
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
Monday, March 6 at Washington, 7:00 pm
Tuesday, March 7 vs. New Jersey, 7:00 pm
Friday, March 10 vs. Toronto, 7:00 pm
Saturday, March 11 at Boston, 7:00 pm
Tuesday, March 14 at New Jersey, 7:30 pm
Thursday, March 16 at Atlanta, 7:00 pm

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