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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Islanders (4-4-2) vs. Chicago (4-7-0)

(7:30 p.m. ET, TV: MSG | Radio: Bloomberg 1130) On the eve of Halloween, the Islanders look to end their seven-game homestand on a high note as they take on an injury depleted Chicago Blackhawks team at the Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders have gone 3-1-2 since they returned home from their four-game road trip and have a chance to eclipse the .500 mark with a win tonight. Saturday, versus the Florida Panthers, the Islanders needed ten rounds of a shootout to come away with two points. Miroslav Satan scored in Round One of the final frame after some controversy and Andy Hilbert scored in the tenth round before Rick DiPietro stoned Joel Kwiatkowski to clinch it for the Islanders. Shawn Bates scored his first of the season, Alexei Yashin his fourth and Jason Blake his team-leading fifth in the game. Sean Hill earned two assists against his former team.

After ten games, Mike Sillinger has claimed top spot on the faceoff winning percentage leader board performing at a rate of 61.2%. Trent Hunter also tops the hits category with Ottawa's Chris Neil with 40.

Chicago started off the season with a record of 4-2-0, but has since lost five in a row, including their last three games via the shutout a scoreless streak of 205 minutes and ten seconds. The Blackhawks have a reasonable excuse for their sharp decline. They've lost two of their top scorers to injury: Martin Havlat and Michal Handzus as well as their starting netminder Nikolai Khabibulin, all of which will not be in action tonight.

Havlat is currently leading the team in goals and points, while Handzus left the October 21 game against St. Louis with a torn ACL and will be out for the remainder of the season.

Yashin will be happy to see the Blackhawks, having notched a career-high four goals against them on March 5, 2003 and has seven goals in his last three games against Chicago. The Islanders, as a team, are 3-0 in their last three meetings against the Blackhawks having outscored them 16-5 in that stretch.

Chris King and Steve Mears have the call on Bloomberg Radio 1130 while Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe can be seen tonight on FSN NY Network.

Check your local listings to locate FSN NY in your area.

Islanders - 10 points, 3rd place (tied), Atlantic Division. Chicago - 8 points, 4th place, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Islanders Jason Blake, 5 goals; Alexei Yashin, 8 assists and 12 points; Brendan Witt, 30 PIM. Chicago Martin Havlat, 7 goals and 13 points; Radim Vrbata, 8 assists; Reed Low, 31 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Islanders - Power play: 18.9 percent. Penalty killing: 79.3 percent. Chicago - Power play: 17.5 percent. Penalty killing: 80.9 percent.

GOALTENDERS: Islanders Rick DiPietro (2-4-0, 3.66 GAA, .890 SV%); Mike Dunham (2-0-2, 2.20, .939). Chicago Brian Boucher (0-5-0, 3.83, .876); Nikolai Khabibulin (4-2-0, 3.36, .890).

2005-06 SEASON SERIES: Islanders, 1-0-0.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Islanders 3-1-2 at home; Chicago 2-3-0 on road.

The Islanders trail in the all-time series 36-40-20-0

Mike Sillinger has been a faceoff specialist for his entire NHL career and now currently leads the league with a 61.2 faceoff wining percentage. The 16-year veteran has ranked in the top-15 among NHL faceoff leaders in each of the past five seasons. Sillinger has also played for an NHL record twelve franchises.

Jason Blake enters tonight's game one goal shy of 100 for his NHL career. In his eight-year career, Blake has scored 99 goals with 126 assists for 225 points. As an Islander he has scored 92 goals with 105 assists for 197 points. Blake was acquired from the Los Angeles Kings on January 3, 2001 for a fifth round draft selection.

Islanders' sniper Miroslav Satan has increased his consecutive games played streak to 242 games. In 2003-04, Satan was one of three Islanders to play in all 82 games and has now appeared in every game over the last two seasons and the last 68 in 2002-03 (2002-03 to 2003-04 with the Buffalo Sabres).

- In the team's first shootout of the season, Mike York scored in the sixth round to put the Islanders over the Anaheim Ducks for a final score of 5-4 on Oct. 11. Viktor Kozlov also scored for the Islanders, while Mike Dunham turned away five of six Ducks shooters.
- Steve Sullivan and Paul Kariya scored for Nashville as the Predators defeated the Islanders 2-1 on Oct. 16.
- Andy Hilbert lifted the Islanders past Florida in the tenth round to give the Islanders a 4-3 victory at the Coliseum. Rick DiPietro stopped nine of ten attempts for the win. Miroslav Satan also converted on his first attempt of the season.


1   Mike Dunham
39 Rick DiPietro

3   Tom Poti 
6   Sean Hill
8   Bruno Gervais
24 Radek Martinek
32 Brendan Witt
77 Alexei Zhitnik

7   Trent Hunter
10 Richard Park 
11 Andy Hilbert
12 Chris Simon
16 Mike York
17 Shawn Bates
18 Mike Sillinger
25 Viktor Kozlov
45 Arron Asham
55 Jason Blake
79 Alexei Yashin
81 Miroslav Satan

30 Sebastien Caron
31 Brian Boucher 
2   Duncan Keith
5   Jassen Cullimore
6   Lasse Kukkonen
7   Brent Seabrook 
23 Jim Vandermeer
33 Adrian Aucoin 
44 Danny Richmond

8   Tony Salmelainen
10 Patrick Sharp 
11 Bryan Smolinski
14 Rene Bourque
15 Tuomo Ruutu
16 Radim Vrbata
17 Mikael Holmqvist
19 Denis Arkhipov
22 Martin Lapointe
27 Craig MacDonald
28 Michael Blunden 
34 Reed Low
51 Jeff Hamilton
57 Karl Stewart 

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