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GAME PREVIEW: Minnesota at Islanders

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
7:00 pm, FSN 2; WLIE 540 AM (pre-games for both at 6:30 pm)

Today's game is the seventh meeting between the Islanders and the Wild. The all-time series is tied at 3-3-0-0. At the Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders lead the all-time series 2-1-0-0. The teams squared off once in the 2003-04 season with the Islanders taking the March 19, 2004 matchup 3-1 behind a solid effort from goaltender Rick DiPietro. Jason Blake scored his second career hat trick. Dwayne Roloson was the losing goaltender for the Wild.

Did You Know?
In 15 career games versus the Wild, Islanders defenseman Janne Niinimaa has three goals and 12 assists for 15 points. He leads all Islanders skaters in points versus the Wild.

2005-06 Season Series:
December 13, 2005: at Nassau Coliseum - 7:00 p.m. (EST)

December 10, 2005
New York Islanders 3, Edmonton Oilers 2 (F/SO)

Trent Hunter scored in regulation and added the determining goal in the shootout as the Islanders defeated the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 at the Nassau Coliseum this past Saturday night. Arron Asham also scored for the Islanders and Rick DiPietro made 27 saves on 29 shots for his eleventh win of the season. Alexei Yashin also scored the in the shootout for the Islanders. The final shootout score was 2-1 with Ales Hemsky scoring for Edmonton.

- Center Oleg Kvasha (ankle) was injured on Nov. 26 and is listed day-to-day.
- Center Petteri Nokelainen (patella tendonitis) has missed the last 17 games. He is currently on the Injured Reserve retroactive of Nov. 3, 2005.
- Forward Shawn Bates (hamstring strain) was injured Nov. 19, 2005 and is out 4-5 weeks. He is currently on the Injured Reserve.

Total Man-Games Lost (After 29 games): 44



PLAYER                         GAMES MISSED           INJURY

Arron Asham                          1                           Rib Muscle

Shawn Bates                         12                          Hip Strain (4), Hamstring Strain (8)

Rick DiPietro                          2                           Concussion (1), Bruised Knee (1)

Oleg Kvasha                           5                           Ankle

Petteri Nokelainen                 17                           Sprained Ankle (1), Knee Injury (16)

Mark Parrish                           4                           Hip Strain

Brent Sopel                             3                          Sprained Wrist

Total Games Missed:                     44

December 12- Returned defenseman Bruno Gervais to Bridgeport (AHL) and recalled Tomi Pettinen from his conditioning assignment at Bridgeport.
December 3 - Recalled forwards Kevin Colley and Wyatt Smith and defenseman Bruno Gervais from Bridgeport. Assigned forward Robert Nilsson to Bridgeport.
Nov. 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 3rd.
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.

Defenseman Tomi Pettinen has returned to the Islanders from his conditioning stint with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL). As a result, Bruno Gervais has been returned to the Sound Tigers. Gervais played in the Islanders last four games for the Islanders and went scoreless with two penalty minutes. Pettinen played in eight games for Bridgeport during his conditioning stint and recorded two assists and 16 penalty minutes. In nine games with the Islanders, Pettinen is scoreless with eight penalty minutes.

Jason Blake was named the H.L. Gross & Brothers Jewelers player of the month for November. Blake led the Islanders with 13 points in November on seven goals and six assists. In a win on Nov. 26 in Philadelphia, he recorded the third hat trick of his career. Alexei Yashin was the player of the month for October.

Mike York just keeps scoring. In the last four games, Mike York has been the Islanders hottest skater with eight points (4+4). He started off his hot streak by scoring the game-wining goal in Detroit on Dec. 4th and then tied a single-game high in points with five at Columbus two days later on Dec. 6th. He's also scored a power play goal at Columbus last Thursday night on Dec. 8th and added an assist last Saturday night vs. Edmonton.

Earlier this year, York scored his 100th NHL goal in the Islanders 5-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2005 at the Nassau Coliseum. On the season, York has recorded seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points and is fifth on the team in scoring.

Arron Asham and Trent Hunter have a hit or be hit type of mentality. Following Saturday's game, Asham is sixth in the league in hits with 79, while Hunter is in ninth place with 73. Brad Lukowich is third on the team and leads Islanders defenseman with 56 and is 23rd in the NHL. As a team, the Islanders have unloaded 503 hits on their opponents this season. In Saturday's game, Asham and Lukowich led the team with three hits each.

Jason Blake is off to the best start of his career. Through the first 29 games of this season, Blake has recorded 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points, good enough for second on the team. His goal total puts him in a tie for the team-lead with Miroslav Satan. Entering this season, his best mark through 29 games came in 2002-03 when he had 16 points and finished the year with career-highs with 25 goals, 30 assists and 55 points.

Currently, Blake has points in six of the last nine games (6+4). That includes a game against Philadelphia on Nov. 26 when he netted his third career hat trick. Most recently, Blake chipped in a goal and an assist in St. Louis on Tuesday night. Blake also leads the team in shots with 117.

Team captain Alexei Yashin leads the team in scoring with 29 points (12+17) in 29 games. This season, Yashin has recorded a point in 22 of 29 games. He recently snapped a five-game scoring streak (2+3), which ended on Dec. 6th in Columbus (11/15-12/6). He has also scored in 11 of the last 14 games (4+11). He's also had five multiple-point games. This is Yashin's second best 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 29 games of that season he had 33 points.

This season, he had a season-high seven-game point streak from Oct. 10-25, collecting 11 points (5+6). In addition to his seven-game point streak, Yashin recorded an assist in five consecutive games (Oct. 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 Nov. 14-Dec. 3.

For the second time in as many games, the Islanders went to the shootout to determine the final outcome. Alexei Yashin and Trent Hunter (determining goal) scored the Islanders as Rick DiPietro stopped two of three Edmonton Oilers shooters for the win. It was the Islanders third shootout victory of the season. The Islanders are now 3-2 in the shootout and 1-1 at the Coliseum. Rick DiPietro has been the Islanders goaltender in each shootout.

On Dec. 10th, the Islanders lost in the shootout for the second time this season. Alexei Yashin, Miroslav Satan and Mike York all missed fired on their attempts. Rick DiPietro stopped two of three shooters with Columbus' Davide Vyborny scoring the determining goal On Nov. 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 shootout victory over the Penguins on Nov. 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. The team's first shoot out victory came against the New York Rangers in a 3-2 decision at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 19. In that contest, Miroslav Satan scored the only shootout goal against Henrik Lundqvist.






Aaron Asham




Shawn Bates




Jason Blake




Trent Hunter




Robert Nilsson




Mark Parrish




Miroslav Satan




Alexei Yashin




Mike York












Rick DiPietro

10/10 at NYR




11/14 at PIT




11/23 vs. BUF




12/08 at CMB




12/10 vs. EDM



DiPietro Totals




The Islanders have started off December on the right note with three wins and a shootout loss in their first four games of the month. Following a 2-1 win at Detroit (12/4), the Islanders rolled past the St. Louis Blues 6-3 (12/6) and rallied against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night before falling in the shoot out 4-3 (12/10). They returned to the Coliseum to the defeat the Edmonton Oilers in the shootout this past Saturday night (12/10). They have a 3-0-1 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.

Win Loss OTL
Oct. 5 6 0
Nov. 7 6 1
Dec. 3 0 1

* The Islanders have an overtime victory, two shootout victories and two shootout losses. They have not yet lost in overtime. See below for details.

- The Islanders killed eight of nine Edmonton power plays on Saturday night.
- They have now allowed 11 power play goals in the last 14 games (84 chances).
- Overall, the Islanders have killed off 166 of 201 (82.5%) power play attempts in 29 games this season.
- The Islanders penalty kill is ranked fifth best in the NHL on the road with an 85.2 penalty kill percentage, while they are ranked 24th at home with a penalty kill percentage of 79.0.
- 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 Nov. 8th and last until the second penalty kill of the team's game vs. Buffalo on Nov. 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 Oct. 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 Oct. 8 and Jason Blake scored a shorthanded tally in the Islanders' 5-3 win over Washington on Oct. 13.

- The Islanders were two for seven on the power play versus Edmonton on Saturday night.
- They have 21 power play goals in the last 15 games.
- Overall, the Islanders have scored a power play goal in 21 of 29 games this season.
- They are 34-179 (18.9%) on the man-advantage and are tenth best in the NHL. On the road, the team's power play in tenth best in the NHL at 17.3%, while they are ranked sixth at home at 21.8%.
- 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 6-5-1 at home this season, scoring 37 goals and allowing 44. The Islanders broke a three-game home losing streak with Saturday night's victory. The team is currently in the middle of the three-game, eight-day home stand, which they are 1-0-0. They wrap up the home stand when the host the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, Dec. 17th.

The Islanders have a total attendance of 157,058 twelve games at the Nassau Coliseum, for an average of 13,088 (80.1% capacity) with one sellout. After twelve games at Nassau Coliseum in 2003-04, the Islanders had a total attendance of 149,233, an average of 12,426 (67.6% capacity) with one sellout. The seating capacity for the Nassau Coliseum is 16,234.

The Islanders finished up a three-game, six-day road trip with a 2-0-1 record last week. They defeated the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 on Sunday (12/4) and the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday (12/6) for their eighth and ninth road victories and fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in the shoot out on Thursday (12/8).  In 2005-06, the Islanders are 9-7-0-1 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 are 11-5-1 this season when scoring first and 4-6-1 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 have only lost once in 62 games (54 wins, eight ties and one overtime loss in the shootout) when taking a lead into the third period. The Islanders are 10-0-1 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 when the Islanders dropped a 4-3 decision to the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 23rd. During the 2003-04 season, the Islanders were 26-0-5-0 when leading after two periods.

The Islanders have been outshot, 962-847, through the first 29 games of the 2005-06 season. The Islanders have been outshot in 21 of 29 games this season, including a stretch of seven games that started on Nov. 19 at Florida and ended at St. Louis on Dec. 6. The Islanders are allowing an average of 33.2 shots per game. They have a record of 12-8-1 when they have been outshot and have a record of 2-4-1 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 Nov. 10 and tied that mark at Columbus on Dec. 8. 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 versus the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 25.

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 Nov. 1 at the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders are 4-2 in overtime/shootout (one overtime win, three shootout victories, two shootout losses,) this season and have a lifetime record of 66-61-194 in overtime. Last season, the Islanders had a record of 2-4-11 in overtime.

- Arron Asham is six points away from his 100th NHL point.
- Jason Blake is three games away from his 300th as an Islander.
- Kevin Colley's next goal will be his first NHL goal.
- Eric Godard's next goal will be his first NHL goal.
- Oleg Kvasha is eight points away from his 200th NHL point.
- Bruno Gervais' next goal will be his first NHL goal.
- Miroslav Satan is eight power play goals away from his 100th NHL power play goal.
- Wyatt Smith's next goal will be his first as an Islander.
- Alexei Yashin is six points away from his 700th NHL point.
- Alexei Yashin is nine assists away from his 400th NHL assist.

- Chris Campoli, Robert Nilsson and Petteri Nokelainen each played in their first NHL game on Oct. 5th, 2005 at Buffalo.
- Chris Campoli scored his first NHL goal/point on his first NHL shot on Oct. 5th, 2005 at Buffalo.
- Petteri Nokelainen scored his first NHL goal on Oct. 13th at Washington.
- Robert Nilsson scored his first NHL goal vs. Buffalo on Oct. 29.
- Alexei Yashin scored his 300th career NHL goal on Nov. 14th at Pittsburgh.
- Alexei Zhitnik played in his 900th NHL career game on Nov. 14th at Pittsburgh.
- Jeremy Colliton played in his first NHL game on Nov. 23rd vs. Buffalo.
- Arron Asham played in his 300th NHL game on Nov. 25th vs. Ottawa.
- Rick DiPietro played in his 100th NHL game on Nov. 25th vs. Ottawa.
- Alexei Yashin scored his 200th point as an Islander on Nov. 26th at Philadelphia.
- Bruno Gervais made his NHL debut on Dec. 4th at Detroit.
- Mike York played in his 400th NHL game on Dec. 4th at Detroit
- Brad Lukowich played in his 400th NHL game on Dec. 6th at St. Louis.
- Mark Parrish recorded his 150th NHL goal on Nov. 29th vs. Philadelphia.
- Mark Parrish recorded his 100th goal as an Islander on Nov. 29th vs. Philadelphia.

PRACTICE SCHEDULE (all times local)
- Wednesday, December 14: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 am-12:30 pm
- Thursday, December 15: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 am -12:30 pm
- Friday, December 16: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 am -12:30 pm
- Saturday, December 17: Game day skate at Nassau Coliseum, 10:00 am - 11:15 pm
- Sunday, December 18: Practice at Islanders Iceworks, 10:00 am -12:30 am
- Monday, December 19: Game day skate at Air Canada Centre, 11:30 am - 12:45 pm
Tuesday, December 20: Practice at Nassau Coliseum, 11:00 am-12:30 pm

NEXT 10 GAMES (all times Eastern)
Tuesday, December 13 vs. Minnesota, 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 17 vs. Colo

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