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GAME PREVIEW

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Islanders (34-27-10) at Tampa Bay (39-30-4)

(7:30 p.m. ET, TV: FSN NY - ch.72 | Radio: Bloomberg 1130) The Islanders will to try salvage something out of their four-game road trip when they take on Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at the St. Pete Times Forum.

With the teams surrounding them in the standings starting to find their stride, the Islanders can ill afford to lose too many of their 11 remaining games. Fortunately, the Islanders still have games in hand on everyone in front of them in the standings and still control whether they reach the playoffs or not. A winning streak will put them right back in a playoff position.

The Islanders dropped their third straight contest on Saturday when they fell to the Florida Panthers, 8-5. Ryan Smyth, Mike Sillinger and Marc-Andre Bergeron had outstanding offensive games. Smyth and Sillinger each notched two goals and two assists, while Bergeron chipped in with one tally and two helpers. With the two goals, Smyth tied Blake for the team lead in goals with 35. The two are tied for tenth in the league in goal scoring.

One worthy note is that three of the Islanders goals came on the power play. Their power play percentage improved to 17.4% on the season and now ranks 17th in the league after being near the bottom just a couple of weeks ago. Smyth's team-leading 15 power play goals are tied for eighth in the league.

Things won't get any easier tonight for the Islanders when they take on a Lightning team with a lot of firepower up front. Lecavalier is tied for second in the league in scoring with 96 points, while St. Louis is tied for fourth with 93. Only Buffalo, Ottawa, Atlanta and Pittsburgh have scored most goals than the Lightning among Eastern Conference teams.

Like the Islanders, Tampa Bay is also on a three-game losing streak having lost to Toronto, Buffalo and Washington this week. Despite the recent setbacks, Tampa Bay sits in the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference, four points ahead of the Islanders.

Goaltenders Marc Denis and Johan Holmqvist have split time in goal all season. Denis started four of the past five games, while Holmqvist got the start against Washington on Sunday in their 7-1 loss.

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


BELOW ARE CHANNEL LISTINGS FOR FSN NY ON LONG ISLAND
CABLEVISION:
FSN NY: 72

DirecTV:
FSN NY: 624

DISH NETWORK:
FSN NY: 413

HDTV:
FSN NY: 725


GAME NOTES
CAREER NHL MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- Viktor Kozlov is a goal away from tying his career-high of 22.
- Jason Blake is three games away from 500.

STANDINGS:
Islanders
- 78 points, 4th place, Atlantic Division
Tampa Bay - 82 points, 2nd place, Southeast Division

TEAM LEADERS:
Islanders
Jason Blake & Ryan Smyth, 35 goals; Mike Sillinger, 31 assists; Smyth 63 points; Brendan Witt, 119 PIM
Tampa Bay Vincent Lecavalier, 48 goals, 96 points; Martin St. Louis, 54 assists; Andre Roy, 109 PIM

SPECIAL TEAMS:
Islanders
- Power play: 17.4 percent. Penalty killing: 81.4 percent.
Tampa Bay - Power play: 19.1 percent. Penalty killing: 78.5 percent

GOALTENDERS:
Islanders
Rick DiPietro (30-19-7, 2.59 GAA, .918 SV%); Mike Dunham (4-8-3, 3.49, .896); Wade Dubielewicz (0-0-0, 0.00, 1.000)
Tampa Bay Johan Holmqvist (23-14-2, 2.88, .891); Marc Denis (16-16-2, 3.13, .884)

SEASON SERIES:
Tampa Bay: 3-0-0

LAST MEETING:
January 15, 2007 at the Nassau Coliseum: 4-3 Tampa Bay win

ROAD/HOME RECORDS:
Tampa Bay
18-15-1 at home
Islanders 15-16-5 on the road
 

ISLANDERS
Goaltenders
1   Mike Dunham
34 Wade Dubielewicz
39 Rick DiPietro

Defensemen
3   Tom Poti
6   Sean Hill
14 Chris Campoli
32 Brendan Witt
44 Freddy Meyer
47 Marc-Andre Bergeron

Forwards
7   Trent Hunter
10 Richard Park 
11 Andy Hilbert
18 Mike Sillinger
20 Richard Zednik
25 Viktor Kozlov
27 Randy Robitaille
45 Arron Asham
55 Jason Blake
79 Alexei Yashin
81 Miroslav Satan
94 Ryan Smyth


TAMPA BAY
Goaltenders
30 Marc Denis
31 Karri Ramo
40 Johan Holmqvist

Defensemen
3   Doug Janik
7   Luke Richardson
21 Cory Sarich
22 Dan Boyle
37 Matt Smaby
44 Nolan Pratt
54 Paul Ranger
55 Shane O'Brien
71 Filip Kuba

Forwards
4   Vincent Lecavalier
9   Eric Perrin
16 Jason Ward
17 Ruslan Fedotenko
19 Brad Richards
20 Vaclav Prospal
24 Andreas Karlsson
26 Martin St. Louis
27 Tim Taylor
34 Ryan Craig
36 Andre Roy
49 Blair Jones
61 Karl Stewart
74 Nick Tarnasky

 

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