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GAME PREVIEW: Islanders at St. Louis

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
8:00 pm, OLN; Bloomberg 1130

The Islanders continue on their three-game, six-day road trip tonight as they faceoff against the St. Louis Blues at 8:00 at the Savvis Center.

Defenseman Brad Lukowich is set to play in his 400th NHL career game tonight, a milestone his teammate Mike York reached on Sunday.

"I consider myself lucky to be playing in NHL and to have won two Stanley Cups," said Lukowich. "400 games is a big thing. I just want to keep playing and win some more Cups with this team."

Tonight's lineup for the Islanders is expected to be the same as Sunday's win over the Detroit Red Wings with no new transactions taking place.

Fans can catch the nationally broadcasted game on OLN.

Here are your game notes:

December 3, 2005
New York Islanders 2, Detroit Red Wings 1

With 3:41 left in the third period, Mike York broke a tie game by burying his fourth goal of the season to give the Islanders a 2-1 victory over the Red Wings in Detroit. Alexei Yashin also scored for the Islanders and Rick DiPietro made 35 saves on 36 shots for the win. Arron Asham, Jason Blake, Brad Lukowich and Miroslav Satan all recorded an assist. York played in his 400th NHL game, while rookie defenseman Bruno Gervais made his NHL debut.

- Center Oleg Kvasha (ankle) was injured on November 26 and is listed day-to-day.
- Center Petteri Nokelainen (patella tendonitis) has missed the last 14 games. He is currently on the Injured Reserve retroactive of November 3, 2005.
- Forward Shawn Bates (hamstring strain) was injured November 19, 2005 and is out 4-5 weeks. He is currently on the Injured Reserve.
Total Man-Games Lost (After 26 games): 35    






Arron Asham


Rib Muscle

Shawn Bates


Hip Strain (4), Hamstring Strain (5)

Rick DiPietro


Concussion (1), Bruised Knee (1)

Oleg Kvasha



Petteri Nokelainen


Sprained Ankle (1), Knee Injury (13)

Mark Parrish


Hip Strain

Brent Sopel


Sprained Wrist

Total Games Missed:



December 3 Recalled forwards Kevin Colley and Wyatt Smith and defenseman Bruno Gervais from Bridgeport (AHL). Assigned forward Robert Nilsson to Bridgeport.
November 30 Returned forwards Sean Bergenheim and Wyatt Smith to Bridgeport. Assigned defenseman Tomi Pettinen to Bridgeport on a conditioning assignment.
November 29 Recalled forwards Sean Bergenheim and Wyatt Smith from Bridgeport.
November 26 - Returned center Jeremy Colliton to Bridgeport.
November 25 Recalled center Jeremy Colliton from Bridgeport.
November 23 Returned center Jeremy Colliton to Bridgeport.
November 21 Placed forward Shawn Bates on the Injured Reserve List and called up center Jeremy Colliton from Bridgeport.
November 18 Placed center Petteri Nokelainen on the Injured Reserve list retroactive of November 3 - Assigned forward Luchiano Aquino from Bridgeport to Trenton (ECHL).
November 15 Signed forward Jeff Hamilton and assigned him to Bridgeport.
November 2 - Reassigned goaltender Wade Dubielewicz to Bridgeport.
October 31 - Recalled goaltender Wade Dubielewicz from Bridgeport.
October 28 Reassigned center Kevin Colley to Bridgeport.
October 27 Recalled center Kevin Colley from Bridgeport.
October 15 - Reassigned goaltender Wade Dubielewicz to Bridgeport.
October 14 Recalled goaltender Wade Dubielewicz from Bridgeport.

The Islanders continue their three-game, six-day road trip in St. Louis tonight. Although they lead the all-time series 45-30-20-1, they have not beaten the Blues since January 16, 2003. In 2003-04, St. Louis took both meetings, 4-2 and 3-2, respectively. In St. Louis, the Islanders have an all-time record of 20-17-9-1.

2005-06 Season Series:
December 6, 2005: at Savvis Center 8:00 p.m. (EST) 

Mike York, a veteran of six NHL season, played in his 400th NHL career game on Sunday at Detroit. Currently in his first season with the Islanders, York was originally drafted by the New York Rangers in the sixth round (136 overall) in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He went onto play in 230 games for the Rangers before being traded to Edmonton in March of 2002. He played in 144 games with the Oilers. This season, he has played in all 26 games with the Islanders.

Brad Lukowich is also approaching the same milestone. His next game will be his 400th of his NHL career. Also in his first season with the Islanders, Lukowich was originally drafted by the Islanders in the fourth round (90th overall) in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He started his career with the Dallas Stars and played in 224 games with them before being traded to Tampa Bay on June 22, 2002. With The Lightning, he played in 149 games en route to winning the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004. This season, he has played in all 26 games with the Islanders.

Arron Asham and Trent Hunter have a hit or be hit type of mentality. Following Sunday's game, Asham leapfrogged Hunter and is now fifth in the league in hits with 69. Hunter is one behind him with 68 and is in sixth place. In Sunday's game, Asham led the team with five hits. As a team, the Islanders have unloaded 452 hits on their opponents this season. Brad Lukowich is third on the team and leads Islanders defenseman with 48.

Jason Blake is off to the best start of his career. Through the first 26 games of this season, Blake has recorded 12 goals and 10 assists for 22 points, good enough for second on the team. Entering this season, his best mark through 25 games came in 2002-03 when he had 13 points and finished the year with career-highs with 25 goals, 30 assists and 55 points

Currently, Blake has points in five of the last six games (5+3). That includes a game from a week ago against Philadelphia on November 26 when he netted his third career hat trick.

Team captain Alexei Yashin leads the team in scoring with 28 points (12+16) in 26 games. This season, Yashin has recorded a point in 21 of 26 games, 13 of the past 16 (6+10) and in the last 10 of the last 11 games (4-10). He's also had five multiple-point games, including last week in Tampa Bay. This is Yashin's start since the 2001-02 season, his first as an Islander. That season he finished with 32 goals, 43 assists and 75 points. Through the first 26 games of that season he also had 28 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.

Earlier this week, the Islanders recalled defenseman Bruno Gervais and forwards Kevin Colley and Wyatt Smith. They also assigned forward Robert Nilsson to Bridgeport of the American Hockey League. Gervais made his NHL debut on Sunday in Detroit and saw four shifts for 4:07 of ice time.
After starting off the 2005-06 season with points in four of the first seven games (3+2), Mark Parrish slowed down after suffering a hip strain. But Parrish turned his luck around as he's making up for his mini-slump with points in five of the last seven games (2+6).

The Islanders started off December on the right note with a 2-1 win over Detroit this past Sunday. They have a 1-0-0 record so far in December. The Islanders will play a total of 12 games this month, six at home and six on the road. In 2003-04, the Islanders were 10-4-0-1 in December. 

















 * The Islanders have an overtime victory, two shootout victories and a shootout loss. See below for details.

The Islanders completed their third set of back-to-back games this past weekend, splitting the contests. The club fell to the Ottawa Senators at home on Friday 6-2, but rallied to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers on the road 4-2. 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 2-1-0 in the first game of back-to-back games and a 2-1-0 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 are 10-5-1 this season when scoring first and 3-6 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 killed off all four Detroit power plays last Sunday.
- They have allowed five power play goals in the last 11 games (58 chances).
- Overall, the Islanders have killed off 146 of 175 (83.4%) power play attempts in 26 games this season.
- The Islanders penalty kill is ranked fourth best in the NHL on the road with a 87.7 penalty kill percentage, while they are ranked 27th at home with a penalty kill percentage of 77.4.
- This season, the Islanders had a streak of 37 consecutive penalty kills, which spanned six complete games and parts of two others. The streak started during the team's game at New Jersey on November 8th and last until the second penalty kill of the team's game vs. Buffalo on November 23rd. Chris Drury scored on the power play for the Sabres at 17:29 of the first period to snap the Islanders consecutive penalty kill streak.
- 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 0-4 on the power play against Detroit on Sunday.
- They have fourteen power play goals in the last twelve games.
- Overall, the Islanders have scored a power play goal in 18 of 26 games this season.
- They are 27-157 (17.2%) 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. 

The Islanders are back on the road this week and they are in the midst of a three-game road trip, which will take them to St. Louis (12/6) and Columbus (12/8). They have already defeated the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 on Sunday (12/4) for their eighth road victory of the season. In 2005-06, the Islanders are 8-7-0 on the road.

The team has a five game road trip in March, which will also take them to Atlanta, Boston, Florida, New Jersey and Tampa Bay.

The Islanders have only lost once in 61 games (53 wins, eight ties and one overtime loss in the shootout) when taking a lead into the third period. The Islanders are 9-0-1 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. The only loss occurred in the shootout this past Wednesday night when the Islanders dropped a 4-3 decision to the Buffalo Sabres. During the 2003-04 season, the Islanders were 26-0-5-0 when leading after two periods.

With Shawn Bates expected to miss the next four-to-five weeks (as of Nov. 19) with a strained hamstring, the Islanders have placed him on the Injured Reserve list. Bates has missed the Islanders last five games. Rookie center Petteri Nokelainen has been placed on the Injured Reserve retroactive of November 3rd with patella tendonitis. He has missed the last 13 games.

Before sustaining the injury in the final minutes in last Saturday night's win at Florida, Bates was on a hot streak with eight goals (8+1) in the past seven games. He's currently fourth on the team-lead in goals scored with ten and already surpassed his total from 2003-04. The Islanders are 7-0 in games that Bates has scored a goal, 8-0 if his shootout goal is counted. Bates also leads the league in shooting percentage with a mark of 35.7% and leads the team with four game winners (second in the NHL), 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 12 points this season (10+2).

In twelve games, Nokelainen has a goal and an assist with four penalty minutes. He scored his first career NHL goal on October 13 at Washington, which turned out to be the game-winner.

The Islanders have been outshot, 872-723, through the first 26 games of the 2005-06 season. The Islanders have been outshot in 19 of 26 games this season, including six straight from October 15-27. The Islanders are allowing an average of 33.5 shots per game. They have a record of 10-9 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 at Philadelphia on November 10. The Islanders have also allowed 40 or more shots in a game four times this season and have a record of 2-2. The most recent game was the team's loss to the Ottawa Senators on November 25 versus the Ottawa Senators.

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 3-1 in overtime/shootout (two shootout victories, one shootout loss) 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.

On November 23, the Islanders lost their first shootout since its inception dropping the decision to the Buffalo Sabres at the Coliseum. Ales Kotalik (determining goal) and Tim Connolly scored against Rick DiPietro, while Alexei Yashin and Jason Blake failed on their attempts for the Islanders. The Islanders are now 2-1 in shootouts.

The Islanders shootout victory over the Penguins on November 14 was the second longest so far in the NHL this season. Eighteen shooters were used by both teams, which at the time set 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 are 5-5-1 at home this season, scoring 35 goals and allowing 42. The Islanders are currently on a three-game losing at home with the last victory at the Coliseum coming on November 12 vs. Boston. In the three losses, the Islanders have been outscored 14-8.

The Islanders have a total attendance of 144,809 after eleven games at the Nassau Coliseum, for an average of 13,165 (81.1% 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.

In the Islanders 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night, two impressive streaks were snapped. In the first period, Buffalo scored a power play goal, which was the first tally the Islanders allowed with the opposition on the man advantage in six complete games and 37 total chances. The other streak was victories with the lead after two periods. Before Wednesday night, the Islanders were unbeaten in 61 games (53-0-8) when taking a lead into the third period. The streak was the longest in the NHL. The streak began on December 28, 2002 with a 3-0 win vs. Carolina.  

- Jason Blake is six games away from his 300th as an Islander.
- Eric Godard's next goal will be his first NHL goal.
- Oleg Kvasha is eight points away from his 200th NHL point.
- Brad Lukowich is one game away from his 400th NHL game.
- Mark Parrish is one goal away from his 150th NHL goal.
- Mark Parrish is one goal away from his 100th as an Islander.
- Miroslav Satan is eight power play goals away from his 100th NHL power play goal.
- Alexei Yashin is seven points away from his 700th NHL point.

- Chris Campoli, Robert Nilsson and Petteri Nokelainen each played in their first NHL game on October 5th, 2005 at Buffalo.
- Chris Campoli scored his first NHL goal/point on his first NHL shot on October 5th, 2005 at Buffalo.
- Petteri Nokelainen scored his first NHL goal on October 13th at Washington.
- Robert Nilsson scored his first NHL goal vs. Buffalo on October 29.
- Alexei Yashin scored his 300th career NHL goal on November 14th at Pittsburgh.
- Alexei Zhitnik played in his 900th NHL career game on November 14th at Pittsburgh.
- Jeremy Colliton played in his first NHL game on November 23rd vs. Buffalo.
- Arron Asham played in his 300th NHL game on November 25th vs. Ottawa.
- Rick DiPietro played in his 100th NHL game on November 25th vs. Ottawa.
- Alexei Yashin scored his 200th point as an Islander on November 26th at Philadelphia.
- Bruno Gervais made his NHL debut on December 4th at Detroit.
- Mike York played in his 400th NHL game on December 4th at Detroit.

Islanders' captain Alexei Yashin recorded his 200th point as an Islander in Saturday's 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. He hit the milestone with an assist on Jason Blake's first period goal. This is Yashin's fourth season as an Islander.

Islanders' goaltender played in his 100th NHL career game in Friday's loss to the Ottawa Senators. He stopped 39 of 45 shots in the losing effort. He was the first goaltender to be selected with the No. 1 overall draft selection in 2000. He made his NHL debut on January 27, 2001 vs. Buffalo and earned his first win on February 16, 2001 at Edmonton. This is his fifth NHL season, all played with the Islanders.

Islanders' captain Alexei Yashin scored his 300th NHL career goal on November 14th at Pittsburgh. 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. 

Wednesday, December 7: Practice at Dispatch Ice Haus, 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 8: Game day skate at Nationwide Arena, 11:30 a.m. 12:15 p.m.
Friday, December 9: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 10: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 a.m. 11:15 p.m.
Sunday, December 11: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Monday, December 12: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
      * Minnesota Wild practice at Islanders Iceworks, 3:00 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, December 13: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 a.m. 11:15 p.m.

NEXT 10 GAMES (all times Eastern)
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.
Tuesday, December 13 vs. Minnesota, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 17 vs. Colorado, 7 p.m.
Monday, December 19 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 21 vs. New Jersey, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, December 23 vs. Ottawa, 7:00 p.m.
Monday, December 26 at Buffalo, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 28 vs. New York Rangers, 7:00 p.m.

Despite two goals from Robert Nilsson, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers fell to the Hartford Wolf Pack 5-3. Jeff Hamilton also scored for the Sound Tigers. Hartford's Martin Grenier scored the game-winner for the Wolf Pack, who netted three unanswered goals in the third period. Wade Dubielewicz started the game and made 28 saves on 32 shots. It was Dubielewicz third game in as many days.

The Sound Tigers will finish a three-game homestand when they host the Hershey Bears this Wednesday, December 7th at 11 a.m. in the third-annual, educationally-themed "Cool Fun 101" morning game. The Sound Tigers will play three road games next weekend visiting the Norfolk Admirals on Friday, December 9th at 7:15 p.m. and the Hershey Bears on Saturday, December 10th at 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 11th at 5 p.m. All Sound Tigers games are web-cast live at Fans can also watch all games live on the B2 Networks.



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