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GAME PREVIEW: Islanders at Philadelphia

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

Now that the Islanders are coming off arguably their most solid effort of the season in defeating the Devils 4-1 on Tuesday, they can turn their attention to avenging one of their most disappointing efforts of the young season -- a 5-1 loss in Philadelphia on Oct. 15.

"Last time we were in here, we were disappointing, at best," Islanders coach Steve Stirling told Alan Hahn of Newsday, as reported in today's editions. "We all have enough pride to know that wasn't good enough. So we get another crack at it."

Petteri Nokelainen (knee) practiced yesterday, while Shawn Bates (groin) was held out of practice as a precautionary measure. As he proved Tuesday night, a healthy Bates would be a big help as the Islanders try to put together two wins in a row.

The Islanders snapped their two-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday at Continental Airlines Arena.  Shawn Bates led the Islanders with a season-high two points (1+1) in the win. The last time Bates had a multiple-point game was on February 21, 2004 when he recorded a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win over Buffalo. The win also snapped a three-game road losing streak for the Islanders.

The Islanders have a lifetime record of 79-89-26-0 against the Philadelphia Flyers.  At home, the Islanders have a lifetime record of 50-33-15-0 while in 88 road games, they have a record of 21-56-11-0 against the Flyers.  The Flyers lead the season series, 1-0.  Philadelphia defeated the Islanders, 5-1, at the Wachovia Center on October 15.  Last season, the Islanders were 2-3-1-0 against the Flyers, including a 1-2-0-0 record at the Wachovia Center. The Islanders' last win at Philadelphia was on March 25, 2004, a 4-2 victory.  In their last five visits to the Wachovia Center, the Islanders are 2-3-0-0 and are 5-4-1-0 in their last 10.

The Islanders conclude their three-game road trip tonight against the Flyers.  The Islanders have split the first two games of the trip, losing 6-0 to Ottawa on Saturday and winning 4-1 on Tuesday against the Devils. Earlier this season, the Islanders lost 5-1 to the Flyers at the Wachovia Center on October 15.  The Islanders, who are 3-5 on the road this season, will play five of their next six games away from the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders have been outscored, 30-21, in eight road games this season.

Team captain Alexei Yashin leads the team in scoring with 17 points (8+9) in 15 games. Yashin has recorded a point in 11 of 15 games, including four multiple-point games. He had a three-game point streak snapped on Saturday at Ottawa. Yashin recorded five points (2+3) from October 29-November 3. 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 have a record of 2-2-0-0 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.

The Islanders had a record of 5-6-0-0 in the month of October. Last season, the Islanders were 4-3-2-0 in October.

The Islanders are 4-3-0 at home this season, scoring 22 goals and allowing 26. The Islanders had their two-game home winning streak snapped with a 6-4 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on October 29. The Islanders have lost two of their last three home games. The six goals were the most allowed by the Islanders at home since the N.Y. Rangers won 6-3 on February 26, 2004.

The Islanders had a record of 25-11-4-1 at home during the 2003-04 season. The Islanders ranked first in the East and third in the NHL in home wins. The 25 wins and 55 points at home were the most in 19 years (1985-86 season).  During the 2003-04 campaign, the Islanders had a nine-game unbeaten streak (6-0-3-0) in February marked the longest streak since the 1989-90 season.

Center 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 Tuesday at the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders are 2-0 in overtime this season and are 64-60-194 lifetime in overtime. Last season, the Islanders had a record of 2-4-11 in overtime.

The Islanders are unbeaten in 57 games (49-0-8) when taking a lead into the third period. The streak is the longest active streak in the NHL. 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 6-2 this season when scoring first and 1-6 when the opposition scores the first goal of the game. Buffalo, Carolina, Philadelphia, Montreal, the N.Y. 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, Buffalo, Boston and New Jersey. 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 were 1x4 on the power play on Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils. The Islanders scored a power play goal for the first time in four games on Tuesday against the Devils. Overall, the Islanders have scored a power play goal in 10 of 15 games this season. Overall, the Islanders are 14x100 (14.0%) on the power play. 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 16-4-1at home in games that they scored at least one power play goal.

The Islanders killed off three of New Jersey's four power play chances on Tuesday. The Islanders have allowed six power play goals and one shorthanded goal in the last three games. Overall, the Islanders have killed off 95 of 119 (79.8%) power play attempts in 15 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 short handed tally in the Islanders' 5-3 win over Washington on October 13.

The Islanders have been outshot, 501-418, through the first 15 games of the 2005-06 season. The Islanders have been outshot in 12 of 15 games this season, including six straight from October 15-27. The Islanders are allowing an average of 33.4 shots per game. They have a record of 6-6 when they have been outshot and have a record of 1-2 in games when they have outshot the opponent. The Islanders have also allowed 40 or more shots in a game twice during the season, and have a record of 1-1.

The Islanders completed their first set of back-to-back games of the season with a sweep of 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 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.

Goaltender Rick DiPietro improved to a perfect 4-for-4 against penalty shots when he stopped Dany Heatley at 14:12 of the second period.  Heatley was awarded the penalty shot when he was taken down by defenseman Alexei Zhitnik. Earlier in the season, DiPietro stopped Atlanta's Patrik Stefan on a penalty shot in the second period on October 27. Stefan was awarded a penalty shot at 4:16 of the second period when he was hauled down by Janne Niinimaa on a breakaway. The penalty shot was the second attempted against the Islanders this season and the 28th in team history. his is the first time since the 1997-78 season that an Islander goaltender has stopped two penalty shot attempts in one season. The last Islander goaltender to stop consecutive penalty shots was Glenn Resch. He stopped Don Murdoch (New York Rangers) on January 28, 1978 and Ron Sedlbauer (Vancouver Canucks) on March 7, 1978.

Friday, November 11: Islanders Iceworks, Syosset, N.Y., 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 12: Game-day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10-11:15 a.m., Game vs. Boston, 7 p.m.
Sunday, November 13: Islanders Iceworks, Syosset, N.Y., 10-11:30 a.m.
Monday, November 14: Game-day skate at Mellon Arena, Game at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, November 15: Philips Arena, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Wednesday, November 16: Game day skate at Philips Arena, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Game at Atlanta, 7 p.m.
Thursday, November 17: Game day skate at St. Pete Times-Forum, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Game at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 18: Bank Airlines Arena, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 19: Game day skate at Bank Airlines Arena, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Game at Florida, 7 p.m.

Saturday, November 12 vs. Boston, 7 p.m.
Monday, November 14 at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 16 at Atlanta, 7 p.m.
Thursday, November 17 at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.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 27 vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

The Islanders have a total attendance of 88,361 after seven games at Nassau Coliseum, for an average of 12,623 (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 (74.7% capacity) with one sellout. The listed seating capacity for the Nassau Coliseum is 16,234.

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