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Oficiální stránky New York Islanders

GAME PREVIEW

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

(7:30 p.m. ET, TV: FSN NY 2 | Radio: Bloomberg 1130)  It's a must-win situation for the Islanders tonight at the Nassau Coliseum when they face off against Mats Sundin and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Both teams will be playing for the right to extend their playoff hopes. If the Islanders win and Montreal loses or gains only one point, tonight against the Rangers, the Islanders are still alive. If Montreal loses and the Maple Leafs lose, then all three teams can still reach the postseason. However, a Montreal win at Madison Square Garden will clinch them a playoff berth, eliminating Toronto and Islanders from postseason play. Montreal and the Rangers drop the puck at 7 pm, so we'll all be watching that game closely.

The Islanders, however, won't concern themselves with what they can't control. What they were able to control was their game against the Rangers on Tuesday, which was ultimately a must-win game due to wins by Montreal and Toronto the same night.

Arguably the most exciting game at the Nassau Coliseum all season, due to its magnitude, Tuesday's 3-2 shootout win had everything from hard hits to impressive goals, and of course, a shootout. With the Rangers hoping to clinch a playoff spot with a win, the Islanders took control early on with a goal by Arron Asham.

After being out-played by the Islanders in the first half of the opening period, the Rangers fought back to hold a 14-7 lead in the shots department through 20 minutes. Wade Dubielewicz was superb in his second start of the season, turning aside 36 of 38 shots in the game.

Despite continuing to get out-shot, the Islanders scored the second goal off a lucky bounce. Alexei Yashin's centering pass ricocheted off a Rangers leg past Henrik Lundqvist.

The Rangers scored the next two goals to even the score heading into the third period. The shots were 31-16 in favor of the Rangers after two periods.

Following a scoreless third period and overtime, it was time for a shootout. It looked like a daunting task for the Islanders, considering Lundqvist's stellar record in shootouts (8-4), but it was Dubielewicz, who stole the show. Miroslav Satan converted for the fourth time this season, going with a deke to his backhand to slide the puck past Lundqvist.

From there it was all Dubielewicz. Michael Nylander had the puck poked off his stick, while Brendan Shanahan missed. The final shooter, Jaromir Jagr, had his shot stoned by Dubielewicz's right pad to secure the 3-2 victory.

Following a day of practicing, it's back to another must-win scenario for the Islanders against a team also looking to reach the postseason.

Toronto is playing well recently having earned points in five of their past six games. Their only blip came against the Rangers in a 7-2 loss on Sunday. They bounced back with a 3-2 overtime win against Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Since the last time these two teams met back on February 22nd - a 3-2 Islanders win - the Maple Leafs have a new addition and returned some players from the IR. Darcy Tucker and Kyle Wellwood are back in the lineup after missing extensive time, while faceoff specialist Yanic Perreault was claimed from Phoenix at the trade deadline to help bolster their offense.

Their captain, Mats Sundin has been leading the way offensively with 27-46-73 in 73 games. He's currently riding a four-game point streak (0-5).

In goal, Andrew Raycroft is carrying the load having earned four wins in his past six starts. His numbers haven't been stellar - a 2.94 GAA and a .895 SV% - but the Leafs' potent offense - third in the East - has made up for Raycroft's average performance.

Chris King and Steve Mears have the call on Bloomberg Radio 1130, Howie Rose, Billy Jaffe and Deb Kaufman will cover the game for FSN NY 2.

Click here, to locate FSN NY 2 in your area.


GAME NOTES:
GAME-TIME CHANGE ALERT
Please be aware that the Islanders/Devils regular season final on Sunday, April 8 has been moved to a 3:30 pm start. The Islanders telecast can be seen on MSG.

BLAKE CLOSING IN ON 40
Jason Blake is looking to become only the eleventh Islander to score 40-or-more goals in a single season. This feat has occurred a total of 28 times in Islanders history with Mike Bossy leading the way with nine times. Blake currently has 39 going into tonight's against the Toronto Maple Leafs. His current goal total of 39 is the most by any Islander in nine years. He will also be the first Isle to hit 40 goals since Zigmund Palffy scored 45 in 1997-98.

DECIDED BY THE SHOOTOUT
The Islanders have participated in 12 shootouts this season and have a 7-5 record. Jason Blake, Andy Hilbert, Viktor Kozlov, Frans Nielsen, Randy Robitaille and Miroslav Satan have converted in the shootout. Satan leads the team with two determining goals. Rick DiPietro has five victories in net for the Islanders.

PLAYERS

ATTEMPTS

GOALS

DET. GOALS

Shawn Bates

1

0

0

Jason Blake

6

1

1

Andy Hilbert

3

1

1

Trent Hunter

5

0

0

Viktor Kozlov

10

4

1

Frans Nielsen

1

1

0

Tom Poti

1

0

0

Randy Robitaille

2

2

1

Miroslav Satan

11

4

2

Mike Sillinger

2

0

0

Jeff Tambellini

1

0

0

Alexei Yashin

3

0

0

Mike York*

3

1

1

TOTALS

52

14

7

*No longer on team

 

GOALTENDER

 

GAME

ATTEMPTS

GOALS

RESULT

 

Rick DiPietro

 

10/28 vs. FLA

10

1

W

 

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