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GET TO THE GAME: Atlanta at Islanders - Saturday at 7:00 pm

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

Tickets still available, purchase them here



THE REASON TO GO
1. Watch as the Islanders look to climb back into the playoff hunt against Ilya Kovalchuk and the Atlanta Thrashers

2. First 10,000 fans receive a Rick DiPietro mini-bobblehead courtesy of GEICO.


GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY

The Islanders look to get back in the playoff hunt as they meet Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Hossa and the Atlanta Thrashers.

To purchase individual game tickets, click here or visit the Coliseum box office, the Islanders Team Store at the Broadway Mall in Hicksville or call Ticketmaster at 631.888.9000.

We'll see you on Saturday evening at the Coliseum.

Click here to purchase tickets today!



 
RICKY BOBBLEHEAD NIGHT
The first 10,000 fans take home a Rick DiPietro mini-bobblehead this Saturday, when the Islanders host the Atlanta Thrashers at 7:05 pm…Purchase Tickets Here


You won't be able to take the actual Rick DiPietro home with you, but the first 10,000 fans attending the Islanders-Atlanta Thrashers game this Saturday at 7:05 pm can take home a GEICO mini-bobblehead of Rick DiPietro. The All-Star netminder is the third and final installment of the Islanders 2007-08 mini-bobblehead collection, which has already featured Mike Sillinger and Bill Guerin.





NYI Host 2nd Siller Foundation Night
Fans can help local burn centers and win a Coliseum luxury suite

Honor fallen firefighter and hero Stephen Siller and support the New York, Nassau, and Suffolk Firefighters Burn Center Foundations by purchasing tickets, starting at just $20, to the Islanders-Atlanta Thrashers game at the Nassau Coliseum on Saturday, February 16 at 7 pm.

On one of the most tragic days in history, men and women sacrificed their lives to come to the rescue of those in mortal danger. That is why the Islanders are proud to support The Stephen Siller Foundation, formed in honor of firefighter, Stephen, who took his final heroic steps as he ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center to help save others.

The Stephen Siller Foundation is known for restoring hope to the New York area, post 9/11, and once again is reaching out to continue that legacy. This foundation is best known for “The Tunnel-to-Towers Run” that takes place the last Sunday in September.  The sole purpose of the Stephen Siller Foundation is to honor the legacy of love given to the Siller family through Stephen.  They do this by paying tribute to his heroic life and death, his 342 FDNY brothers, and all those who lost on 9/11, through the annual Tunnel-to-Towers Run.  The Stephen Siller Foundation supports the Pediatric Unit of the NYC Firefighter Burn Center and burn centers throughout the nation.  They strive to help children who have lost one or both parents through local community awards and contribution to organizations with a like mission, including children of Firefighters, Policemen, EMS, and Military who lost a parent in the line of duty. For the 2nd year, the Islanders have teamed with the Foundation to raise money for your local Firefighters Burn Centers. This is where Islanders fans can help.

For the Islanders game against the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday, February 16th, we’re asking you, the fans, to buy tickets through the Foundation to help raise funds for your local Burn Center. All net proceeds will be donated to the New York, Nassau, and Suffolk Burn Center Foundations.

The first 10,000 fans will receive a mini Rick DiPietro bobblehead courtesy of GEICO.

Special seats have been reserved for the February 16th game, so don’t miss out on this great night!

The person that purchases the most tickets to this event, by February 15th, will receive their very own luxury box that seats 12, to be used the night of the event.

So please join the New York Islanders team in continuing the legacy of Stephen Siller, and all who fought for our freedom on 9/11.  

Ticket prices start at just $20, and can be purchased by calling 1.800.882.ISLES EXT. 3 or e-mailing groupsales@newyorkislanders.com



 
THE STORY
Islanders (26-25-7) vs. Atlanta (28-27-4)

The Islanders' win on Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs has given the team some rejuvenation, having played four solid games in a row. Despite sitting in 12th place, the Islanders are just four points back of eighth place Boston.

The Atlanta Thrashers are currently tied for 10th place, one point ahead of the Islanders. But unlike the Islanders, who are shooting for the top eight, Atlanta is two points back of division leader Carolina. By taking over the top spot in the Southeast Division, they guarantee themselves a spot in the postseason.

Saturday should have the feel of a playoff game as both teams will be fighting to keep with the pack as it gets closer to April.

DiPietro vs. Thrashers
Rick DiPietro comes into Saturday night’s action with a 4-3-1-1 career mark in nine games against the Atlanta Thrashers and a 2.49 goals against average, including two shutouts. On the season, DiPietro is 0-0-1 against Atlanta, allowing three goals during a shootout loss on December 5th in Atlanta.

Lehtonen  vs. Islanders
Thrashers netminder Kari Lehtonen comes into Saturday night’s contest with a 4-2-0 mark in six career games against the Islanders and a 3.04 goals against average. Lehtonen is a perfect 2-0-0 this season, including a 1.44 goals against average and one shutout coming on December 1st at Nassau Coliseum.


THE LINEUPS
(potential lines and D pairings)

ISLANDERS
Goaltenders
39 Rick DiPietro
34 Wade Dubielewicz

Defensemen
25 Andy Sutton - 24 Radek Martinek
44 Freddy Meyer - 2 Aaron Johnson
47 Marc-Andre Bergeron – 4 Bryan Berard

Forwards
26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 63 Josef Vasicek – 7 Trent Hunter
89 Mike Comrie - 13 Bill Guerin - 11 Andy Hilbert
15 Jeff Tambellini – 51 Frans Nielsen – 57 Blake Comeau
20 Sean Bergenheim – 10 Richard Park – 81 Miroslav Satan


ATLANTA
Goaltenders
32 Kari Lehtonen
1   Johan Hedberg

Defensemen
39 Tobias Enstrom - 28 Niclas Havelid
2   Garnet Exelby – 5 Steve McCarthy
77 Alexei Zhitnik - 22 Ken Klee

Forwards
17 Ilya Kovalchuk – 12 Todd White – 8 Mark Recchi
13 Slava Kozlov - 11 Eric Perrin – 18 Marian Hossa
29 Brad Larsen – 27 Chris Thorburn - 36 Eric Boulton
16 Bobby Holik – 23 Jim Slater – 9   Pascal Dupuis


Crucial Matchup: Highlight-Reel Goals vs. Dirty Goals

Trent Hunter and Ruslan Fedotenko's tallies in the Islanders' 4-3 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday night epitomized the way the Islanders can be successful.

After working the defense along the boards, the Islanders look to get the puck to the net at every opportunity and then just crash away. It's not pretty, but it's effective. And with guys like Hunter, Fedotenko, Bill Guerin and Josef Vasicek going hard to the net, it's tough to knock them down.

The Thrashers, meanwhile, have some very skilled players, who look for the seams and try to make the perfect plays. Ilya Kovalchuk is most effective when he finds an opening and someone gets him the puck. His goals are flashy and can often be found in SportsCenter's top 10 plays.

We shall find out on Saturday, which style trumps the other when grit meets skill at the Nassau Coliseum.




Islanders Leaderboard Through 57 Games

Goals    #
1. Bill Guerin    19
2. Mike Comrie    16
3. Mike Sillinger    14
   
Assists    #
1. Mike Comrie    25
2. Trent Hunter    22
3. Miroslav Satan    19
   
Points    #
1. Mike Comrie    41
2. Bill Guerin    31
3. Trent Hunter    30
    Miroslav Satan    30



MILESTONE WATCH:
  • Sean Bergenheim is one game away from skating in his 100th NHL contest.
  • Radek Martinek is three games away from skating in his 500th career NHL contest.


MILESTONES RECORDED: (in the past week)
  • Bill Guerin tallied his 750th NHL point on 2/9 at MIN.
  • Trent Hunter skated in his 300th NHL game on 2/9 at MIN.


HISTORY IN THE MAKING:

Bill Guerin, the Islanders' leading goal scorer with 19, is one goal away from tying an NHL record. If Guerin nets his 20th goal of the season, he will become just the second player in NHL history to record 20-or-more goals with six different teams. Guerin currently has ten 20-or-more goal seasons with the following teams: New Jersey (3 times), Edmonton (2), Boston (2), Dallas (2) and St. Louis (1). Ray Sheppard is the lone player to accomplish the feat, doing so with Buffalo, New York Rangers, Detroit, San Jose, Florida and Carolina.



SUBPLOTS

Islanders versus the Southeast Division
After two tough battles with Atlanta yielded just one point earlier in the season, the Islanders will be hungry to salvage the 2007-08 series with the Thrashers. The Islanders have had success this season when going head-to-head with Southeast Division opponents not named the Atlanta Thrashers. Overall, the Islanders are 6-4-3 against the Southeast Division with seven games remaining on the schedule. On the other side, Atlanta comes in with a sub .500 record against Atlantic Division opponents, going 6-7-2 to date.

Jockeying for the playoffs
Both the Islanders and Thrashers come into Saturday night’s contest on the outside looking in when it comes to the top eight seeds in the Eastern Conference, but the race is so close that teams are flip flopping positions on a daily basis. The Islanders, just six points out of the eighth spot, need to jump over four teams currently ahead of them in the standings to move into playoff position. With a win on Thursday against Toronto and Saturday night against Atlanta, the Islanders would move ahead of the Thrashers.


LOUDVILLE IS OPEN!

High School and College students get to the Nassau Coliseum with the best deal in professional sports. For only $10, catch the Islanders climb their way back into the playoff race and get yourself a Rick DiPietro mini-bobblehead.
 


LOUDVILLE tickets go on sale 60 minutes before game time. There are a limited number of seats available per game, so arrive early to secure a seat. Remember to bring your Student ID! There is a limit of one $10 LOUDVILLE ticket per ID. Once you get to the LOUDVILLE section, do your part to help lead the crowd in giving the Islanders the best home-ice advantage in the NHL!




 
 
Islanders vs. Atlanta Thrashers All-Time Series:

All-Time: 16-10-2-2     
Home: 8-7-0-0          
Road: 9-3-3-1            
OT: 0-1-3

Last Win: 2/1/07, Islanders 5 at Thrashers 2
Last Loss: 12/5/07, Islanders 3 at Thrashers 4 (SO)
2006-07: Islanders went 2-1-1 vs. Atlanta
2007-08: Islanders are 0-1-1

2007-08 Season Series:
December 1, 2007 – Islanders 0 vs. Atlanta Thrashers 4
December 5, 2007 – Islanders 3 at Atlanta Thrashers 4 (SO)
February 16, 2008 – Islanders vs. Atlanta Thrashers, 7:00 p.m.
February 28, 2008 – Islanders at Atlanta Thrashers, 7:00 p.m.

*All times EST

Check out video of the Islanders all season long on Islanders TV.



Compiled by Adam Baruch and Jason Lockhart

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