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GET TO THE GAME: Carolina at Islanders - Tonight at 7:05 pm

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

Law Enforcement Appreciation Night; Halloween 4-Packs available for just $99!


Besides going to an incredible hockey game, the New York Islanders are donating a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales to two local Law Enforcement Charities:
  • Learning for Life Nassau County Law Enforcement Exploring Unit
  • Nassau County Widows and Orphans Fund

Islanders (5-3-0) vs. Carolina (6-2-3)

Rick DiPietro
The Islanders take on the Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes, in what is shaping up to be a contest between two quality teams in the East. The Islanders have won two straight, while Carolina has not lost in regulation since their third game of the season. Carolina is 5-0-2 in their past seven games.

Carolina sports one of the best offenses in the conference to this point, scoring at a clip of 3.55 goals per game. The Islanders counter with Rick DiPietro's 2.27 goals against average and .914 save percentage.

Both the Islanders and Hurricanes are coming off big wins. The Islanders had to fight through adversity to clinch a 4-3 game against New Jersey in the final 3.7 seconds of overtime on Saturday. Carolina played on Wednesday night at home and defeated the visiting Buffalo Sabres 6-2 with four third-period goals. It was the first time in the past six meetings that Carolina took down Buffalo. But yesterday, they lost 7-4 to the Montreal Canadiens.

This will be the first of four meetings between the Islanders and Hurricanes. In 2006-07, each team swept the home portion of the series.

Back to their old tricks
It was uncertain after the lockout what teams would thrive and what teams would dive. One unexpected team that flourished in the "New NHL" was the Carolina Hurricanes. Their balanced, speedy attack was just what was needed to succeed, as the Hurricanes won the 2005-06 Southeast Division title before capturing the Stanley Cup.

But what a difference a year makes. In 2006-07, the Hurricanes came up short to even reach the postseason, ranking third in the Southeast and 11th in the conference. After scoring 294 goals in 2005-06 - second best in the conference - they reduced their goal total by more than 50 in 2006-07.

It's a new year, and once again the Hurricanes look like the team that brought home Stanley Cup glory. The Islanders will try to stop this revitalized team in its tracks, and playing at the energetic Nassau Coliseum will only help their chances.

DiPietro vs. Hurricanes
Rick DiPietro comes into Saturday night's action having posted a 5-7-0 all-time record in 12 career games vs. the Hurricanes. Over this span, DiPietro has a 3.03 goals against average, allowing 36 goals. In 2006-07, DiPietro tallied a 2-2-0 record against Carolina, but was a perfect 2-0-0 at the Coliseum.

Ward vs. Islanders
Cam Ward takes the ice on Saturday night with a 4-1-0 record all-time against the Islanders. Ward has logged 298 minutes and has a 2.02 goals against average in the five contests. In 2006-07, Ward went 2-0-0 against the Orange and Blue, allowing a total of three goals. Ward did not make a start at the Coliseum last season.

Why break up a champion?
While the 2006-07 Carolina Hurricanes may not have reached the postseason, the 2005-06 Hurricanes won it all. So it's no surprise that the 2007-08 edition of Carolina looks similar to its predecessors. Carolina has retained 16 players from its Stanley Cup-winning team, including Ward, captain Rod Brind'Amour and young sniper Eric Staal.

In the off-season, the main acquisitions were former Islander Jeff Hamilton, who skated with Chicago last season, and Matt Cullen, who won the Cup with Carolina, signed with the Rangers last year and then was traded back to the Hurricanes.


(potential lines and D pairings)

39 Rick DiPietro
34 Wade Dubielewicz

32 Brendan Witt - 24 Radek Martinek
25 Andy Sutton - 47 Marc-Andre Bergeron
14 Chris Campoli - 8 Bruno Gervais

26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 89 Mike Comrie - 13 Bill Guerin
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
20 Sean Bergenheim - 63 Josef Vasicek - 81 Miroslav Satan
12 Chris Simon - 10 Richard Park - 2 Aaron Johnson

30 Cam Ward
47 John Grahame

22 Mike Commodore - 4 Glen Wesley
7 Niclas Wallin -6 Bret Hedican
8 Tim Gleason - 5 Frantisek Kaberle

61 Cory Stilliman - 12 Eric Staal - 51 Jeff Hamilton
59 Chad LaRose - 17 Rod Brind'Amour - 11 Justin Williams
13 Ray Whitney - 8 Matt Cullen - 18 Ryan Bayda
37 Keith Aucoin - 27 Craig Adams - 19 Trevor Letowski


Crucial Matchup: Sillinger vs. Brind'Amour
Mike Sillinger
Two of the best faceoff men in the league go head-to-head on Saturday when Mike Sillinger squares off against Rod Brind'Amour.

These two juggernauts of the draw have been two of the best in the league over the past decade. Last season, Sillinger and Brind'Armour were the only two centermen to eclipse 1000 faceoff wins.

Each has complete respect for one another and have dueled countless times at the faceoff circle. Saturday will be the next chapter in this epic battle within the game.

Who do you shadow?
The Islanders will have their hands full matching up against the well-balanced Hurricanes attack. The top defensive unit of Brendan Witt and Radek Martinek could take on Eric Staal's line, but that leaves the Justin Williams-Rod Brind'Amour line, which has accumulated the most points this season. And don't forget about former 76-point man Ray Whitney, who is being centered by Matt Cullen on the third line.

Ted Nolan and the coaching staff still have a couple days to figure out the matchups, and Islanders fans will want to find out the results on Saturday.



Familiar Face in a New Place
As if the matchup between two of the hottest teams to start the 2007-08 season in the Eastern Conference wasn't enough to get you excited about Saturday night, then try this: A member of the Carolina Hurricanes for the better part of six seasons, current Islanders center Josef Vasicek, will go up against his former mates for the first time as a member of the Orange and Blue. During his six seasons wearing the Carolina red, Vasicek compiled 57 goals and 78 assists while appearing in 341 games. In 2005-06, Vasicek was a member of the Carolina Hurricanes' Stanley Cup Championship squad.

Special Teams Battle
After playing eight games on the season and sporting a 5-3-0 record, the Islanders are seconf in the league in power play percentage, scoring at a clip of 27.0 percent (10-of-37) while on the man-advantage.

Out of their ten power play goals, six have been scored during a traditional 5-on-4 power play, three while up two men, and one while on a 4-on-3 man-advantage. The Islanders have successfully capitalized their two-man advantages three of six times.

But Carolina has been nearly as good on the man-advantage, having scored on 22.2% of their chances. The Hurricanes have actually tallied four more power play goals than the Islanders due to the fact that they draw so many penalties. Carolina is tied for second with the Kings in power play opportunities with 58, while the Islanders have only been up a man 37 times.

What makes this game even more intriguing is that Carolina's potent power play will match up against the Islanders' sizzling penalty, which is tied for second in the league. Something has got to give.

Sillinger approaching 1000-game benchmark
Seventeen-year veteran and current Islanders center Mike Sillinger is closing in on a milestone that few wearing the Orange and Blue have crossed. Sillinger will take the ice on Saturday night vs. the Carolina Hurricanes for the 999th time in his NHL career and is scheduled to skate in his 1,000th contest on Thursday, November 1 vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Coliseum. During his 17-year career, Sillinger has played for 12 different teams while collecting 224 goals, 298 assists and 522 points. Sillinger has been a member of the Islanders organization since the start of the 2006-07 season and has accumulated 26 goals, 35 assists and 61 points in 90 games. He has yet to miss a spot in the lineup since coming to the Islanders, appearing in 82 games in 2006-07 and the first eight games of 2007-08.

Appearing in 998 career games, below is a breakdown of Sillinger's career regular season numbers with each of the 12 teams he played for:






DET Totals





ANA Totals





VAN Totals





PHI Totals





TB Totals





FLA Totals





OTT Totals





CBJ Totals





PHO Totals





STL Totals





NSH Totals





NYI Totals





NHL Totals





Other Islanders to wear the Orange and Blue when reaching the 1,000-game milestone include:
Keith Acton
Butch Goring
Denis Potvin*
Bryan Trottier*
Ed Westfall

*Players to appear in all 1,000 games with Islanders




Law Enforcement Appreciation Night

Besides all of the excitement Saturday's game has to offer, the Islanders will also be celebrating Law Enforcement Appreciation Night.

Law Enforcement members receive up to 40% off tickets to Saturday's game, starting at just $16. To purchase tickets at the box office, please be sure to bring your law enforcement ID card.

Long Island's finest don't just know how to serve and protect, but also how to put on a good show. The Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) will be visiting the Nassau Coliseum fully equipped with must-see vehicles and equipment that they use on a daily basis.

Highlights include a fully operational Mobile Command Center, Emergency Service Unit vehicles and gear, K-9, Bicycle and Mounted Units and a NCPD chopper. All of these displays will be on-site in the Expo Hall.

Also joining the festivities will be the Bureau of Special Operations (BSO) S.W.A.T. Unit, which will excite the crowd by rappelling off of the Coliseum. But that's only the beginning. They'll reconvene inside to make a special puck delivery prior to the start of the game that may go down as one of the most exciting puck drops in Coliseum history, so don't miss it.

"We're really excited to be helping out on Law Enforcement Appreciation Night," said Sgt. John Hermann of the BSO. "Many of the guys in our unit are huge Islanders fans, so guys were really eager to be a part of Saturday's event. It was tough deciding who would be here."

Saturday's game will be attended by the NCPD Commissioner, Lawrence Murphy, who will stand with the Color Guard during Officer Brian Enoch's singing of our National Anthem. The NCPD Pipe and Drum unit will serve as the first intermission entertainment.

A portion of the proceeds of Saturday's ticket sales will go towards the Widows & Orphans Fund and the Learning for Life Nassau County Law Enforcement Exploring Unit, dedicated to educating the youths of Long Island.

The first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive a free Islanders Law Enforcement-themed hat courtesy of Fox Sports New York. It's the second collectible hat of a three-part installment.

Call 1.800.888.ISLES to reserve your tickets today or visit



Halloween Pack Available!

Halloween is almost here, and the Islanders want to celebrate the ghostly holiday with you, your friends and family at Saturday's game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Islanders have cooked up the perfect potion to bring the whole family for just $99. The Halloween Pack includes 4 tickets to the game, 4 hot dogs and 4 sodas. If you are among the first 10,000 fans to arrive at the Coliseum on Saturday - also Law Enforcement Appreciation Night - you will also receive a collectible blue Islanders hat courtesy of Fox Sports New York.

This frightening deal is valued at $225, but for Saturday's game it's priced at just $99. So bring your friends and family!

The Islanders will also be holding a Halloween Mask Raffle at Saturday's game. Make sure to get a raffle ticket at the game to win a Halloween mask created and autographed by your favorite Islanders player.

To purchase a Halloween Pack, please call 1.800.882.ISLES ext. 2.

compiled by Jason Lockhart and Adam Baruch

Check out the Islanders TV Game Day tab for complete coverage of each game this season.

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