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GAME PREVIEW: Islanders at Pittsburgh

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
2:00 pm, NBC; Bloomberg 1130

The Islanders make their debut on NBC when they face Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday afternoon at the Igloo. Dave Strader has the play-by-play for NBC, Brian Hayward is the color commentator and our own Joe Micheletti is the sideline reporter. The network's plans are to have a microphone on Mark Parrish throughout the game.

As for the game, the focus will be on the Islanders putting their 5-2 home loss to the Rangers on Thursday night in the rearview mirror. With four games to go before the Olympic Break, the Islanders must close the six-point gap between them and the final playoff spot. They know it can't get any larger before the NHL closes for two weeks.

- Kevin Colley (neck) was injured on Jan. 31 and is out indefinitely.
- Center Petteri Nokelainen (patella tendonitis) has missed the last 38 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.
- Alexei Zhitnik (ankle) was injured on Jan. 31 and is out for tonight's contest. He has missed one game.
Total Man-Games Lost (After 52 games): 117  

Arron Asham 1 Rib Muscle
Shawn Bates 16 Hip Strain (4), Hamstring Strain (12)
Jason Blake 5 Concussion (2), Bruised Ribs (3)
Kevin Colley 12 Knee Sprain (11), Neck (1)
Rick DiPietro 7 Concussion (1), Bruised Knee (1), Sprained Knee (5)
Oleg Kvasha 12 Ankle
Brad Lukowich 3 Strained Ribs
Petteri Nokelainen* 40 Sprained Ankle (1), Knee Injury (39)
Mark Parrish 4 Hip Strain
Garth Snow* 13 Knee Sprain
Brent Sopel  3 Sprained Wrist
Alexei Zhitnik 1 Ankle Sprain
Total Games Missed: 117  
*Denotes currently on Injured Reserve.      
February 1 Recalled center Jeremy Colliton from Bridgeport (AHL).
January 26 Recalled defenseman Joel Bouchard from Bridgeport and reassigned forward Jeff Hamilton to Bridgeport.

Goals... Mark Parrish 21
Assists... Alexei Yashin, Mike York 27
Points... Alexei Yashin 44
Penalty Minutes... Arron Asham 90
Plus/Minus... Jason Blake, Jeremy Colliton, Oleg Kvasha +1
Game-Winning Goals... Mark Parrish 5
Power Play Goals... Mark Parrish - 11
Power Play Assists... Alexei Yashin 16
Power Play Points... Alexei Yashin 22
Shots... Jason Blake 189
Shooting Percentage... Mark Parrish 24.7%
Time on Ice... Alexei Zhitnik 24:16 per game
Hits... Trent Hunter 153
Tonight's game is the 178th regular season meeting and 197th meeting all-time between the Islanders and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Islanders currently lead the regular season all-time series 81-69-22-3 and the all-time series (including playoffs) 92-77-22-3. At the Mellon Arena, the Islanders have a regular-season record of 34-29-14-1 against the Penguins. This is the fourth of eight meetings between the teams this season.
Did You Know?
In 72 career games against the Islanders, recently retired Penguin Mario Lemieux scored 50 goals with 81 assists for 131 points and 61 penalty minutes.
2005-06 Season Series:
November 3, 2005: L 1-5 at Nassau Coliseum
December 21, 2005: W 3-2 (F/SO) at Mellon Arena
January 6, 2006: W 403 (F/SO) at Nassau Coliseum
February 4, 2006: at Mellon Arena 2:00 pm
March 24, 2006: at Mellon Arena 7:30 pm
March 31, 2006: at Nassau Coliseum 7:00 pm
April 15, 2006: at Nassau Coliseum 7:00 pm
April 17, 2006: at Mellon Arena 7:30 pm
Center Jeremy Colliton has rejoined the Islanders from Bridgeport of the AHL. The 21-year-old Blackie, Alberta native has played in a total of five games with the Islanders this season, but has not recorded any points. He made his NHL debut on Nov. 23 vs. Buffalo. In 46 games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL this season, Colliton has scored 11 goals and 19 assists for 30 points and 40 penalty minutes. Colliton is the fourth leading scoring for the Sound Tigers and leads the team in plus/minus with a rating of +10.
Colliton was drafted by the Islanders in the second round (58th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. This is his first professional season.  
Miroslav Satan scored his 20th goal of the season on Tuesday night. The tally marks the ninth straight season that the Olympian has his the 20-goal plateau. Satan currently leads the Islanders in goals scored. In his 10th season in the NHL, Satan has scored 279 goals with 278 assists for 557 points in 755 games.
Coming into tonight's game, Trent Hunter is third in the league in hits with 153, while Arron Asham is in fifth with 147. Brad Lukowich is third on the team and leads Islanders defensemen with 99. As a team, the Islanders have unloaded 994 hits against their opponents this season. In Tuesday's game, the Islanders recorded a season-high 33 hits versus the Rangers. Hunter led the way with a team and personal-high nine hits while Asham recorded seven.
The Islanders have a 0-1-0 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.

Date Time Opponent Result/Location
2/2 7:00 NY Rangers L 5-2
2/4 2:00 Pittsburgh Melon Arena
2/6 7:00 Tampa Bay Nassau Coliseum
2/8 7:00 Philadelphia Comcast Center
2/11 1:00 New Jersey Continental Airlines Arena
2/28 7:00 Montreal Nassau Coliseum


Win Loss OTL
Oct. 5 6 0
Nov. 7 6 1
Dec. 5 6 1
Jan. 6 7 1
Feb. 0 1 0
Totals 23 26 3

The Islanders have a road record of 11-13-2 this season. In their most recent game, the Islanders defeated the Boston Bruins 4-3 at the TDBanknorth Garden on Jan 28. Following this afternoon's contest, the Islanders' next road game is Wednesday, Feb. 8.
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.

Win Loss OTL
Oct. 2 4 0
Nov. 5 3 0
Dec. 2 3 1
Jan. 2 3 1
Totals 11 13 2

- The New York Rangers were 3-3 on the power play against the Islanders on Thursday night.
- Overall, the Islanders have killed off 254 of 323 (78.6%) power play attempts this season.
- The Islanders penalty kill is ranked 29th in the league. On the road, the penalty kill is 12th in the league with a percentage of 82.6, while at home they are ranked 30th in the league with a percentage of 74.7.
- 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 vs. the New York Rangers on Thursday night.
- They are 52-302 (17.2%) on the man-advantage and are ranked 20th in the NHL. On the road, the power play is ranked 13th in the league with a conversion rate of 16.9 percent. At home, they rank 17th in the league with a conversion rate of 17.6 percent.
- Overall, the Islanders have scored a power play goal in 35 of 52 games this season.
The Islanders are 16-8-1 this season when scoring first and 7-17-2 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, 1,689-1,564, through 52 games of this season.
- The Islanders have been out-shot in 34 of 52 games this season.
- The Islanders are allowing an average of 32.5 shots per game while taking 30.1 shots on goal per game. Fifteen of the team's 23 victories have come when the team has been out-shot.
- They have a record of 15-17-1 when they have been out-shot and have a record of 7-9-2 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 16 times this season and have a record of 13-2-1. This stretch includes winning in overtime (vs. Bruins, Nov. 1) and winning in the shootout four times (at Rangers, Oct. 19, at Pittsburgh, Nov. 14, vs. Edmonton, Dec. 10 and vs. Pittsburgh, Jan. 26). The 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

When the Islanders unloaded a season-high 51 shots on goal and let up a season-high 44 shots on goal last Saturday night at Boston, they set a new franchise record for most combined shots in a game with 95. The previous record 94 set on Oct. 12, 1993 at Los Angeles. The Islanders recorded 43 shots on goal and the Kings recorded 51.
- Jason Blake is three points away from his 200th as an Islander.
- Jason Blake is three games away from his 400th NHL game.
Sunday, February 5: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Monday, February 6: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:30 am 11:15 am
Tuesday, February 7: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Wednesday, February 8: Game day skate at Comcast Center, 10:30 am 11:15 am
Thursday, February 9: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 11:00 am - 1:30 pm
Friday, February 10: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Saturday, February 11: No Morning Skate
NEXT 10 GAMES (all times Eastern)
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
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, Mark 10 vs. Toronto, 7:00 pm

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