Islanders (33-24-10) vs. Washington (24-31-12)
(7:00 p.m. ET, TV: FSN NY 2 | Radio: Bloomberg 1130) The Islanders look to rebound after two losses to the Rangers, when they take on Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals tonight night at the Nassau Coliseum.
With 20.4 seconds remaining in the third period, the Islanders appeared to have tied the game at two against the Rangers on Thursday, but the video review was deemed inconclusive and the score stayed 2-1.
The loss was the Islanders' first in regulation, since they were defeated 2-0 by New Jersey on February 17th. Following the loss to New Jersey, the Islanders went 5-0-2 to help move into a playoff position.
Much of the Islanders' recent success can be attributed to the play of Rick DiPietro. Over the past 11 games, DiPietro has allowed more than three goals only twice and has limited the opposition to two or fewer goal on eight occasions. DiPietro ranks ninth in the NHL with a save percentage of .917 and is tied for fifth with five shutouts.
DiPietro and Co. will play one more game at home, against the Capitals, before going on a four-game road trip through Canada and Florida.
Washington is at the bottom of the Southeast-Division standings and not a threat to make the playoffs, but they still sport one of the NHL's most dynamic players in Alex Ovechkin, who leads the team in goals (38), assists (42) and points (80). However, the Islanders have done an effective job, limiting Ovechkin to only one goal in their three meetings.
Their most recent meeting was a 6-2 victory by the Islanders in Washington last Saturday. In that game, Miroslav Satan tallied two goals, Ryan Smyth scored his first as an Islander and Marc-Andre Bergeron contributed a goal and two assists.
That loss was the fourth in a row for a Capitals team that has struggled recently. They've now lost six in a row, including 3-0 shutouts to Boston and Carolina in their past two games. Part of the struggle is due to the team's lack of offense from their offensive leader. Following a four-game point streak, Ovechkin has failed to register a point in his last three contests. With Olaf Kolzig still out with an injury, third-string netminder Frederic Cassivi earned his first start of the season, allowing three goals on 31 shots against Boston on Thursday. Second-string goalie Brent Johnson was in goal yesterday against Carolina. He allowed two goals on 44 shots.
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 2.
Click here, to locate FSN NY 2 in your area.
For those of you not in the New York area, you can catch King and Mears' Bloomberg Radio broadcast on XM Satellite Radio, channel 205.
Islanders - 76 points, 3rd place, Atlantic Division
Washington - 60 points, 5th place, Southeast Division
Islanders Jason Blake, 33 goals, 59 points; Mike Sillinger, 28 assists; Brendan Witt, 115 PIM.
Washington Alexander Ovechkin, 38 goals, 42 assists, 80 points; Donald Brashear, 133 PIM.
Islanders - Power play: 16.6 percent. Penalty killing: 80.9 percent.
Washington - Power play: 16.7 percent. Penalty killing: 81.1 percent.
Islanders Rick DiPietro (29-19-7, 2.61 GAA, .917 SV%); Mike Dunham (4-5-3, 2.90, .911)
Washington Brent Johnson (5-12-6, 3.65, .889); Frederic Cassivi (0-1-1, 2.50, .904)
Islanders: 5 pts.; Washington: 2 pts.
March 3, 2007 at the Verizon Center: Islanders 6-2 win
Islanders 18-11-5 at home
Washington 10-18-5 on the road
1 Mike Dunham
39 Rick DiPietro
3 Tom Poti
6 Sean Hill
14 Chris Campoli
32 Brendan Witt
44 Freddy Meyer
47 Marc-Andre Bergeron
7 Trent Hunter
10 Richard Park
11 Andy Hilbert
15 Jeff Tambellini
18 Mike Sillinger
20 Richard Zednik
27 Randy Robitaille
45 Arron Asham
55 Jason Blake
79 Alexei Yashin
81 Miroslav Satan
94 Ryan Smyth
1 Brent Johnson
35 Frederic Cassivi
2 Brian Pothier
4 John Erskine
23 Milan Jurcina
26 Shaone Morrisonn
44 Steve Eminger
47 Bryan Muir
52 Mike Green
55 Jeff Schultz
8 Alexander Ovechkin
10 Matt Bradley
13 Jiri Novotny
16 Brian Sutherby
21 Brooks Laich
24 Kris Beech
27 Ben Clymer
28 Alexander Semin
39 Alexandre Giroux
43 Tomas Fleischman
87 Donald Brashear